Dog's Best Friend

Unique and funny highlights of local dog and owner relationships

Luther - Justin Ratzlaff / Spokes 

On any given day at the quaint little bike shop in St. Bonifacius, you will find the most docile Siberian Husky mix laying around and greeting customers. Justin Ratzlaff, his owner and the face behind Spokes, said Luther has become the unofficial mascot. “We even ran a billboard last year where we advertised sales, service and a cute dog.” While Luther comes off cool as a cucumber, Justin says that hasn’t always been the case. When they brought him home at about 6 months of age from Under Dog Rescue, he was a bit of a terror. It is commonly joked about in the husky breed community that they often have dynamic personalities. Luther is said to be chill most of the time, but that other 5% is where you’ll find him a bit more daring, jumping into water and rolling around in the mud. He’s extra enthusiastic when it comes to Scott, the treat carrying UPS driver. There’s no denying Luther is the star of the shop. Just ask Justin.  

Daisy - Jennifer Carlson / Sam & Friends 

Daisy, affectionately called Daisy Mae, joined the Carlson family in July of 2019. She’s a big fan of car rides, and loves going through the drive thru. Unlike most dogs, she doesn’t like pup cups, but she’ll scarf down an ice cream cup no problem. Daisy has a sneaky side to her, and is known for stealing anything she can get off the counter. Recently, she licked all the chocolate off of the Special K Bars and once demolished a whole box of Duncan Donuts. This past Christmas when the family was under the weather, Grandma surprised them with an amazing platter of Christmas cookies. It delighted Jen and the family, but the next morning all that remained was the platter, some crumbs, and the Saran wrap. Daisy’s days of ruling the house alone might soon be numbered! Don’t tell her that a new puppy may be joining the Carlson crew soon.   

Luther - Martin Cole / Thrivent Financial 

Martin Cole is okay being told he’s starting to look like his dog, 45-pound Standard Schnauzer Luther, because, “He’s a good-looking dog.” Standard Schnauzers are rather rare and hard to acquire because breeders are very particular when choosing adopters. Often if you don’t plan on showing your Schnauzer, breeders won’t even consider you, but Martin managed to secure a visit and he told his girls to turn on the charm. Within a week they had a promising phone call, and after a lengthy application process, they brought him home. Luther is happiest when he’s zooming around the yard, keeping track of the neighborhood kids. He’s also laid claim to the spare bedroom in the house, where he has a bird’s eye view of all outside activity. Martin chuckled, “Luther doesn’t like sharing his room with overnight guests and sits outside the door waiting for them to leave.”  

Rip - Brittany Simmington / Studio West Dance Studio 

When Brittany and David Simmington set out to select an F1 Standard Goldendoodle at a breeder in Zumbro Falls, they knew they wanted a male. There were eight boys to choose from on their selection day, but one specific puppy kept climbing into Brittany’s lap. A kiss on the nose sealed the deal, and Rip found his forever home. The couple decided they wanted to choose a strong name for their dog and came up with Rip, the popular rugged character from the hit series, Yellowstone, however he couldn’t be more opposite. He enjoys playing with and eating ice cubes, begging for belly scratches and generally being silly and mischievous. He’s also a big fan of The Social Ice Cream Parlor in Victoria where he scores his favorite treat, a pup cup. Rip is about to be a big brother to a human, and while a lot of people thought they were crazy to get a puppy before the arrival of their baby, Brittany feels like Rip has helped them prepare. Safe to say that the big teddy bear will be an exceptional brother and will have fun with his new friend. 

Roco and Totti - Dr. Jessica / Victoria Veterinary Hospital  

Dr. Jessica had a dream of working with rural farm animals until she rescued her first dog, a Schnauzer, when she was in Veterinary School. From that point on, small animal medicine was where she wanted to be! Three years ago, in 2019, Dr. Jessica purchased the veterinary clinic in Victoria and created Victoria Veterinary Hospital. Two years later she moved west to Victoria where she is very thankful to be surrounded by a strong community of animal lovers. Schnauzers have a special place in Dr. Jessica’s heart-- she admits she’ll probably always have one.  Currently she has two sassy and strong pet companions at home, Roco and Totti, named after soccer players.  They have a dynamic relationship, Dr. Jessica says, “Roco is the boss and Totti follows.”  When they get into trouble, which usually involves taking food that’s not theirs, Roco is the instigator and Totti isn’t far behind.  

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