What’s a Cyber Crime Dog?

Me, of course! Hi, I’m Phoebe The Cyber Crime Dog!  That’s me with my human Mom, Jayne Hitchcock! She usually posts here on the 15th of the month, but Miss Kate Flora asked if I’d do a guest post, so here I am!

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What’s a Cyber Crime Dog, anyway? Well, I go to schools and libraries with my Mom to teach students and people how to stay safer online. I do a double high-five, a fist bump and when mom asks me what I say to cyberbullies, I growl! I am also mascot for Mom’s organization, Working to Halt Online Abuse – Kids/Teen Division so that kids and teens can email me if they are being cyberbullied. Plus, I have a Facebook profile and Twitter account. Go ahead and add me as a friend or follow me on Twitter! As you can see, I also have mad skills as a typist, BOL (that’s Bark Out Loud for you humans). I was featured in American Dog magazine and I’ve won prizes for my good looks (seriously, I just won a bag of chicken jerky from Tasman dog treats for posting my pic on their Facebook page).

How did I come to be kind of a celebrity?

Well, it all started four years ago in early December. I was a sled dog in Canada (Thunder Bay, Ontario). Here’s a few pics of how I lived and me pulling a sled with my team – I was one of the leads, can you tell which one?

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The couple who owned our team and two other teams were getting divorced and instead of fighting over us, they decided to give us up. So three ladies in New Hampshire drove up to Canada and each took a team. Our team was named after the characters in the TV show “Friends.” No, I cannot sing “Smelly Cat.”

When we got to our new home, only three of us were socialized enough to be put up for adoption. Dad was looking on Craiglist for free stuff and decided to check out the pets section. You see, Mom and Dad had two Shibas (Japanese dogs), Bandit and Guin. Guin died (she was 15) and Bandit was grieving (he was 16 and blind at the time). All of a sudden, Dad saw the post with pics of me in it and fell in love with my big, blue eyes.

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The next day, he and Mom drove to New Hampshire, gave the lady a check for $150 and brought me home. Since I’d been living outside 24/7, I was like a huge puppy (albeit I was only 33 pounds at the time). I had to learn to pee only outside, how to go up and down stairs, that dog beds are for sleeping in and yes, that this snack or bone was just for me and no one else. I was so filthy that even after giving me a bath in the tub (I hate that bathroom), I had to go to Petco to get beautified. Bandit liked me right away and followed me all around the house and slept with me. Here’s a pic of us:

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He was short enough to walk under me, BOL. The vet said I needed to put on weight and suggested to Mom to take me as many places as she could. So she did. We went to Kents School in Maine one time and although I didn’t go on stage with her, students came up after her talk and petted me and talked to Mom about being bullied. That’s when Mom got the idea to make me the mascot and teach me tricks and bring me to schools.

Here’s a funny story: Mom had asked the lady she got me from to send my paperwork (I was registered with the Canadian Kennel Club). Well, when she got it, the name on the papers was Monica and not Phoebe. Mom called the lady and she apologized and said she got Monica and Phoebe mixed up. When she called for Monica, Phoebe would come to her, and when she called for Phoebe, I (Monica) would come to her. She only realized that when she sent the paperwork out. Everypawdy was confused! So I stayed Phoebe – it fits me better (and my personality, too).

Bandit lasted for another year. I was sad when he died, but Mom and Dad adopted a black cat named Buddy a few weeks later. He’s a pain in my behind (and I mean that literally, he likes to stand up on his hind legs and bat my butt or bite it as I walk by), but I still love the little rascal. He has his own page on Facebook if you’d like to see how sarcastic he can be (as you can see, I have having my photo taken, Buddy loves the camera).

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I got certified as a therapy dog last year so that Mom could get me into schools that otherwise wouldn’t have let me come in and we go to the local hospital every other week to visit patients. I have my own ID badge!

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So, that’s how I became a Cyber Crime Dog! A lot of the students make friends with me on Facebook after we go to their school and I’ve helped many of them with their cyberbullying problems. I love helping humans! Got a question? Please ask! And if you are interested in having Mom and me come to your school, shoot me an email at phoebe@haltabuse.org.

ROO ROO! (that’s how I say hello and goodbye)

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10 Responses to What’s a Cyber Crime Dog?

  1. Carole Price says:

    I love Phoebe! Thanks for sharing such a happy story with your readers. It literally brought tears to my eyes.

  2. Lil Gluckstern says:

    What a wonderful story. You are a hero, Phoebe. and I think you are beautiful. And mostly sweet ;). You are doing so much good!

  3. thelma straw says:

    Love your dear dog!!!!!!!! Thelma in Manhattan

  4. Allison Keeton says:

    Thank you for sharing Phoebe today! Wonderful story.

  5. So happy to meet the talented and witty Phoebe!