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Peanut dog debuts at Oak Harbor school

Roxie, the 1-year-old Labradoodle gives Logan Gonzales a lick on the nose after checking his classroom for peanut products Thursday.  - photo courtesy of Joe Hunt
Roxie, the 1-year-old Labradoodle gives Logan Gonzales a lick on the nose after checking his classroom for peanut products Thursday.
— image credit: photo courtesy of Joe Hunt

Seven-year-old Logan Gonzales recognizes that his new dog Roxie "the peanut dog" is not only a best friend, but a blessing.

The shaggy, Australian Labradoodle followed her owner to school for the first time Thursday to sniff out hidden dangers that could hospitalize the boy.

The peanut-sniffing dog is the families' solution to Logan's life-threatening peanut allergy. His reaction is so extreme that he was taken to the emergency room several times just because of the smell of them.

The family tried other treatments with little success before settling on a peanut dog. And after years of living in constant fear, Roxie is bringing some much-needed relief to parents Derick and Judie.

As Roxie sniffed out Crescent Harbor Elementary School that morning, she found trouble in the hallway. She detected peanut product in one of the lunch sacks. However, because the sacks are routinely separated from Logan's class, they aren't considered a threat.

The Labradoodle cleared the rest of Logan's classroom and quietly curled up on the floor after the job was done.

Logan's classmates have been aware of Roxie's arrival for months, and while they're curious, they know that when her service jacket is on she's busy working.

"When the jacket is off, they can play with her," Judie said.

The peanut dog will only come to school with Logan in the mornings, to sniff out his classroom. But as Logan grows older, she'll stay with him throughout the day.

The Gonzales' recently brought the dog home from Colorado where they trained with her for a couple weeks.

During their trip, a crew from NBC's "The Today Show" filmed the families' experience, and the Gonzales' were greeted by King-5 camera crews when they landed at the airport.

Seattle producer Karen Lucht said the "Today Show" segment is scheduled to air this Tuesday, Nov. 10.

Roxie was purchased after friends and strangers in the Oak Harbor community contributed about $12,000 to pay for the dog. Other local businesses volunteered food and even lifetime medical care for Roxie.

Community Events, April 2014

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