by Floyd Stormer


Every Coastie knows the exploits of the Campbell's famous mascot "Sinbad" and the Klamath's "Maximillian Talisman, BM3, but how many know of Maggie?

Most mascots living on Coast Guard ships were well loved and cared for. In return, the animals (usually dogs) were faithful to their own ships and protective companions for their men. Each, in their own way, gave of themselves to the other.

Then there was Maggie of the Mackinaw She was at least part German Shepherd (some would say "part" pit bull) and she didn't like anyone. The men of the Mackinaw returned her animosity in triplicate. The big problem being, one could not get rid of the other.

Maggie insisted the Mackinaw was her home and she refused to leave. When she was left behind in Cleveland, accidentally of course, she was see swimming past the Cleveland Lights .... trying to catch "her" ship. When the men at the Light called the Mackinaw and told them their dog had already swum six miles and was going strong, the ship was turned around to retrieve Maggie. Maggie thanked the crew by becoming more cantankerous than ever.

There was a time when members of the crew tried to "dump" Maggie (the only name mentioned consistently as one of the participants in this effort was "Doc" Holbrook.) Maggie was put off at Detour Island and it was felt she was gone forever.

However another Coast Guard Cutter, the Tamarack, found Maggie and did not realize she wasn't the most popular mascot in the Coast Guard. They made a special trip to "The Great White Mother" which was breaking ice in Whitefish Bay, to return Maggie. If the men of the Tamarack expected thanks, they must still be waiting. To quote one man who was a member of the Mackinaw crew at the time... "That damn dog had more lives than ten cats."

No one seems to know or care how long Maggie was aboard the Mackinaw and it is unknown what happened to her after her hitch in the Coast Guard ended. It is hoped that the "Monster of the Mackinaw" found someone that liked her enough to keep her.

From "We've Been There" by Esther Stormer copyright 1992


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