Stray dog and new owner visit police, thank rescuers

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published January 7, 2019

 Biskit visits with Officer Chris Bennett, who rescued Biskit last summer when Biskit was a stray, at the Utica Police Department Dec. 20.

Biskit visits with Officer Chris Bennett, who rescued Biskit last summer when Biskit was a stray, at the Utica Police Department Dec. 20.

Photo provided by Rosemary Tharrett

UTICA — An uncommon reunion sparked some good cheer at the Utica Police Department just before the new year Dec. 20.

Near the end of the summer, the Utica Police Department received a call about a stray dog that was found wandering Brownell Street, near Summers Street.

The stray dog was picked up by Officer Chris Bennett and taken to the Humane Society of Macomb in Shelby Township, which is what happens when no one calls to report that their dog is missing. The Humane Society of Macomb makes every effort to return stray pets to their owners, and when it can’t, it places them with new families that will take good care of them.

The lost dog, Biskit, spent six weeks at the shelter before he was adopted Oct. 15 by Rosemary and Jeff Tharrett, of Macomb Township, who had lost their Corgi to cancer the same summer and were looking for a new friend. A month later, Rosemary contacted the Utica Police Department on Facebook to let the department know how grateful she and her husband were that the police had saved Biskit. But it wasn’t until Dec. 20 that they brought Biskit to the department for a reunion.

“Biskit was the third dog we were interested in meeting for a possible adoption when we finally felt ready. The first two were adopted right away, and then one day Biskit was featured on the HS Facebook page, so I checked out his bio. I went to meet him on a Friday; I asked if he was approachable, and they said ‘absolutely.’ He immediately leaned his body into mine, let me pet him everywhere, and then rolled over onto his back for belly rubs,” said Rosemary.

When the meet-and-greet with Biskit went better than expected, the Tharretts decided that he would make a great addition to the family.

“The next day, my husband and I both went because I wanted to make sure he was OK with men, and he was even more affectionate and lovable then, so we decided to make him part of our family, and we brought him home the following Monday,” said Rosemary.

“We both fell in love with his calm, loving demeanor and his gorgeous face. Our two previous dogs we got as puppies, so Biskit is our first rescue, and we were unsure of the pit bull stigma, but I’m so happy that we went with our instincts. I call him our ‘gentle giant.’ I can literally take a tennis ball out of his mouth when we’re playing outside,” she said.

After taking Biskit home, they got to know him more, and he was even more well-behaved than they had imagined.

“Biskit is an absolute angel, and we can’t believe how lucky we got with him. He came to us completely housebroken, trained and has never shown an ounce of aggression,” said Rosemary.

She said the vet estimates that Biskit is about 2 years old, and Biskit played well with other dogs in a play group and didn’t have any issues at the Humane Society.

Feeling thankful and happy that they were able to have the opportunity to make Biskit part of their family, the Tharretts thought those who rescued their new family member would like to meet the dog whose life had made a difference for them.

“At first he was a little timid to go in the doors (of the Utica Police Department), but it took very little coaxing to get him to go in. Our vet warned us that he may be afraid of men in uniforms, but I didn’t see that at all. He was very calm, let everyone pet him, and I was very proud of him. I loved meeting Chief (Sean) Coady and Officer Bennett so I could personally thank them for saving him that night,” said Rosemary.

The reunion turned out better than Rosemary expected, and the officers were happy to meet Biskit once again and see that he was happy now with his new family.

“I also loved hearing from Officer Bennett that even that evening (when he was found), Biskit was playful and not aggressive at all,” she said.

Coady, Officer Bryan Orlowski and Bennett were able to meet Biskit and his new family.

“It is always nice to put a face with the story! In this case, the smile on the owner’s face says it all. They are a perfect match,” said Coady.

“I can tell you that it is rare that we hear from people in these situations, It was great to see that this ended well with a dog having a second chance with a wonderful family! I wish Biskit and his new family a great new year! Biskit has a lot to celebrate,” said Coady.

Bennett said he really enjoyed the reunion and seeing Biskit happy now after he had been all alone on the streets and scared when Bennett first met him.  

Bennett has two dogs of his own, so he knows the joy that a dog can bring. Both of his dogs were adopted too.

“The reunion was great! The dog was extremely calm and loved the attention from me, the chief and Officer Orlowski,” he said.

“Rosemary dropped off a bag of goodies for the department and made sure to include some dog treats for the other dogs we come in contact with,” Bennett said. “Biskit was very calm the first day I met him, and he was just as good when we met again the other day.”

Of course, with any new pet in a new environment, there will be some challenging and uncomfortable moments.

“The only obstacle we came across, which has since been resolved, was at first he was leery of getting in the car. In fact, the day we brought him home, my husband, Jeff, had to pick him up to put him in the back seat. It took a few lessons with me coaxing him in with treats for short rides through the neighborhood for him to trust us that he will come back home, and now he happily jumps in whenever we take him anywhere.”

Just to make sure that Biskit was up to date and feeling great, the Tharretts took him to meet their vet.

“Even though he came neutered with all of his shots, we wanted our vet to meet him, and he did great there. He even wagged his tail while they took his temperature and willingly went in the back for a nail trim,” said Rosemary.

Over Thanksgiving, Rosemary said, they had 18 people over and Biskit was a perfect gentleman. Even their extended family loved him and wanted to take him home.

“Biskit is such a happy dog, always wagging his tail and is very eager to please,” she said.

“He has had complete freedom in the house since the second day we had him, and he has never so much as touched a thing. We tried to crate him for his own comfort and safety, but he was stubborn about that, so we left him out and hoped for the best. I came home that first day to him greeting me at the door wagging his tail and not one thing out of place,” said Rosemary.

“We hit the doggy lottery with Biskit!” she said.