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This is a food truck that will have tongues and tails wagging. Duck neck and chicken hearts on the menu

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reidathegolden(SEATTLE) — While most Seattle residents are fast asleep under their 800-thread count comforters during the wee hours of Saturday morning, Dawn Ford is crawling out of bed.

By 3:30 a.m., Dawn has showered, brushed her teach, thrown her reddish-brown hair into a messy bun and painted her face with makeup. Wearing sweats and comfortable sneakers, she pulls out of her driveway and makes the five-minute commute to her office. The streets are quiet and empty of people, save for a few homeless residents and those drunk souls who couldn’t find Ubers after the local dive bars closed.

Arriving to work, she turns off the alarm and starts making a to-do list on the dry erase board hanging on the wall. She ties an apron around her waist and fires up the oven before grabbing her ingredients from around the kitchen.

Flour? Check.

Eggs? Check.

Cheese? Check.

Time to start baking.

It’s a true labor of love for this 38-year-old dog lover, who owns and operates the dog treat company “The Seattle Barkery” with her husband, Ben.

The couple, who spend their weekends baking and decorating treats for their business, came up with the idea for the upscale dog treat company after discovering a hole in the marketplace.

Several years ago, Dawn and Ben had owned their own dog walking service, and at the end of each walk, would give their doggy clients what they had thought were “natural, organic” treats. But when they discovered those treats were poor quality or had been recalled, they were horrified.

Then Dawn had a thought.

“How hard could it be to make our own?”

Turns out: hard.

“We had all the taste testers we could want with our business,” said Dawn. “[But] dog treat recipes can be really complicated and have a lot of ingredients that you don’t necessarily have on hand… like bone broth or brewer’s yeast.”

Dawn wrestled with the various online recipes and couldn’t understand why the dogs weren’t enjoying the expensive and hard-to-make treats, so she started researching what human foods dogs were allowed to eat.

“Dogs love human food,” began Dawn, “so how can we make this more appealing for them and simple for me?”

Cheese, peanut butter and apple were high on the list.

The Fords took their new recipes – cheesy donuts with grain free flour and peanut butter apple bites – to the local farmers market and sold out every weekend.

But the long set-up and tear-down hours of the farmers market started to take their toll on Dawn and Ben. The Seattle rain certainly didn’t help either. That’s when Dawn noticed the food trucks at the farmers market and became green with envy. Those food trucks would be the last ones in and the first ones out, according to Dawn, and all they had to do was open their windows. She realized maybe they too could capitalize on the ease of a food truck… albeit for dogs.

The Fords starting combing through Craigslist’s ads, finally settling on a well-used, dark turquoise former maintenance truck that lovingly came with the name “Buster.”

$20,000 later and the retrofitted dog treat truck was ready to hit the road.

It’s been five years since the truck opened it’s window for the first time, but it’s still causing a bit of confusion. Some people even think it’s a hot dog truck, explained Dawn.

“Some other [humans] just come up and start ordering and you can just tell that there’s some confusion. So we’ll say ‘Where’s your dog at today?’” Dawn continued.

“People then exclaim ‘Ohmygosh!’ And then they are so embarrassed. And they’ll say ‘I thought the chicken feet were weird but everything else looks good,’” added Dawn with a laugh.

Sometimes though, people will still try to order the dog treats for themselves.

“What I found if that pretty much every culture eats the whole chicken except for America,” explained Ben, a 40-year-old King County resident hailing from Colorado.

“A lot of Brazilians will try to order the chicken hearts themselves because it’s a common street food there.” And while all of the company’s ingredients are human-grade, Ben noted that the food still isn’t licensed for human consumption.

“If I don’t see a leash attached to them, I start asking some questions,” said Ben, chuckling to himself.

For the most part, Dawn said there’s some level of familiarity with new customers, who may have heard about the truck’s other locations through dog park friends.

With the foundation of their truck’s success, The Fords also opened a “treat bar” at Dogwood (an indoor dog park where dog owners can drink alcohol while watching their pets) and staioned a permanent vintage trailer named “Hammy” stationed near Lake Washington at the Magnuson Off-leash dog park.

According to Ben, the truck serves between 3,500-5,500 loyal fans a year, including Molly Oberndorf’s two Goldendoodles, Moose and Nellie.

“Everyone thinks I’m nuts,” said Oberndorf, laughing, “But in a good way,” she added quickly. Whenever they visit the Barkery truck, her dogs run nose first up to the aptly named “treat tunnel,” a device that drops a free treat down a shoot and into the waiting, drooling mouths of her dogs.

Oberndorf said her dogs, who are partial to the truck’s “beefy sticks” and “bacon birthday cakes” have sensitive stomachs – something that Dawn said is one reason owners trust their treats.

“[Our foods] do have a shelf life and that’s what’s appealing to people. They’re not all hard and they won’t stay fresh on your shelf for two years and be ‘edible,’” said Dawn, a mom of her own three pups.

Those treats include peanut butter cookies, pumpkin pretzels, bacon cupcakes and doggie icew cream sundaes with edible bowls.

For the pups’ owners, the truck sells a special brand of local coffee, called the “Leg Lifter Blend.”

The truck’s number-one selling dog product are always the chicken hearts that have been air fried in coconut oil – think popcorn for dogs, as it were.

“A lot of people have been burned by treats at the pet store or the rock hard treats. You don’t want to be duped into spending $15 on a bag of treats [your dogs] don’t like,” continued Dawn.

“Maybe they just want something less processed,” she said.

Keeping up with that less-processed workload has proven a lot harder than the Fords were expecting.

“It’s not a dream scenario. We don’t have any social life. When we go out with other friends and family, I’m like, ‘You want to go out at 7:30pm? I go to bed at 8 o’clock,’” said Dawn, laughing.

The couple considered franchising, but quickly agreed that wasn’t a business model that worked for them.

“To even become a franchise is about $40,000, and then you got to hope that somebody is going to be crazy enough as you to do what you do,” said Dawn.

Almost every day, the Fords receive a phone call or email asking for advice on how to start a dog food truck in another city. And while they fully encourage others to try it, they warn the process may turn most folks off.

Between the licensing and permitting processes, registering recipes with the Department of Agrucultue, random health inspections and the daily grind of the baking business, the Fords admitted they may not have gone into the dog food truck business had they known five years ago what they know now.

“Five years in, you know, we know our health inspector by name,” said Dawn. “We have a good relationship with the city,” she continued, “But it’s very daunting and it’s a lot of money right up front. If you just want to do it on the weekend, you’re never going to make a return. You really gotta hustle.”

Currently, the Fords said are putting every penny they earn directly back into the business – they are preparing to open their first official brick-and-mortar store in January within a new Amazon building.

In the meantime, the Fords continue to stock their various locations and take orders for specialty cakes – they’ve made bakery items for “Gender Reveal” parties and celebrated a dog’s “Bark Mitzvah,” amongst others.

On the whole, the company gets a ton of positive feedback.

“There are a few older generations that kind of roll their eyes that say ‘Only in Seattle’” eplained Ben. “And I laugh and say ‘You’re right, only in Seattle!’”

But regardless of what anyone thinks, Ben said he knows how lucky they are. The company just celebrated it’s five-year anniversary last week.

“I tell my employees: It’s such a great job because your customer is already walking up to you and smiling,” said Ben, “So that’s very rewarding.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Goat breaks down door of family home, takes nap in bathroom

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iStock/Igor Vershinsky(ASHLAND, Wisconsin) — A goat who escaped from an Ohio farm ended up breaking into a family home and taking a nap in the bathroom.

The goat, named “Big Boy”, went missing from a local farm in Ohio before he ended up a few miles away inside the Keathley residence in Ashland County’s Sullivan Township.

Big Boy allegedly butted his head against a sliding glass door repeatedly before breaking the glass and entering the Keathley residence.

Jennifer Keathley said that her 18-year-old son, Logan, came home from school last Friday afternoon to discover their German Shepherd in the driveway, the broken glass on the back porch, and the house smelling terrible, according to the Associated Press.

“This is the most random story in the world,” Jennifer Keathley said earlier this week.
 
Home surveillance showed Logan’s hilarious reaction once he arrived home to find the goat taking a nap in the bathroom.

“Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope,” said Logan once he saw the goat in the bathroom and ran out of the house after he discovered Big Boy.

Two Ashland County Sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene not long after and attempted to lure the goat, albeit unsuccessfully, from the Keathley residence using carrots, a dog bone and grass, according to AP. When their attempts didn’t work, Big Boy was eventually grabbed by his horns and dragged outside where he was secured in a dog cage while he awaited his owner’s arrival.

Jennifer Keathley was able to locate the owners after she put a message out on a local community Facebook page. The apologetic owner came forth later that same evening to collect Big Boy and loaded him onto a livestock trailer to take him home.

After the break in the Keathley’s discovered that their home insurance policy covers damage from deer and bears – but not goats.

The family tried to get rid of Big Boy’s odor using carpet deodorant and urine neutralizer, according to AP. But the scent apparently still lingers.

Keathley, however, took the incident in stride.

“There’s all these awful stories in the world, people need this,” said Keathley.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Author Jennine Capó Crucet responds after white college students burn her book

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Twitter/@elainaaan(ATLANTA) — A Latina author and New York Times contributor responded after students at Georgia Southern University (GSU) burned a copy of her new book after she gave a talk on campus.

“This book began as an act of love and an attempt at deeper understanding,” Jennine Capo Crucet said in a statement released Friday on Twitter.

“I hope GSU can act from the same place and work to affirm the humanity of those students who might understandably feel unsafe in the aftermath of the event and the book burning, and that the campus continues the difficult and necessary conversation that began in that auditorium,” she continued.

Crucet spoke at the school’s performing arts center on Wednesday about her novel “Make Your Home Among Strangers” that follows the story of a Hispanic girl, inspired by her own struggles growing up in a predominantly white environment.

She said in the statement that she gave a talk there she’s given at other colleges and that “nothing close to the events at GSU has occurred during any of my previous campus visits.”

After her talk, the author and University of Nebraska professor opened up the floor for questions, and one student pressed her about generalizations of white privilege, according to the university’s newspaper, The George-Anne.

“I noticed that you made a lot of generalizations about the majority of white people being privileged,” the student said, according to the paper. “What makes you believe that it’s OK to come to a college campus, like this, when we are supposed to be promoting diversity on this campus, which is what we’re taught. I don’t understand what the purpose of this was.”

“I came here because I was invited, and I talked about white privilege because it’s a real thing that you are actually benefiting from right now in even asking this question,” Crucet responded, per the paper.

In her Friday statement, Crucet said the student had a “hostile reaction” that “closely mirrored the exchange that I recount in the essay itself. it was very surreal and strange.” She continued that “after students began shouting back and forth at each other,” she asked faculty to find the student who asked the question “and other students who were similarly upset, and follow up with them because a compassionate and continuing conversation needed to occur.”

Crucet added that “the event continued as planned, with other students apologizing for the strangeness and rudeness they felt their peer had shown in the way the question was delivered.”

Later Wednesday evening after the event, a video was posted on Twitter that showed a group of students allegedly burning her book.

“While it’s within the students’ First Amendment rights, book burning does not align with Georgia Southern’s values nor does it encourage the civil discourse and debate of ideas,” John Lester, vice president for strategic communications and marketing said in a statement to The George-Anne.

Crucet said that during the event “many students remarked on how much the story of the novel’s protagonist mirrored their own, and expressed gratitude for the book.”

“To think of those students watching as a group of their peers burned that story — effectively erasing them on the campus they are expected to think of as a safe space — feels devastating,” she said.

Crucet has a second book, “My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education,” that includes a collection of essays on “feeling like an ‘accidental’ American and the tectonic edges of identity in a society centered on whiteness,” according to her website.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Ohio University suspends student groups over hazing allegations

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iStock(ATHENS, Ohio) — Ohio University has suspended 20 student organizations, including all of its fraternities, over hazing allegations that are roiling the campus.

The public university received reports of hazing last week against nine fraternities, prompting the school to suspend all 15 of its fraternities, spokesman Carly Leatherwood told ABC News on Friday.

“It escalated so quickly and there were so many” people coming forward with allegations, Leatherwood said.

The six fraternities that did not have specific hazing allegations against them are working on a plan to be reinstated.

Five more allegations were reported this week against three sororities, one business fraternity and the marching band, resulting in the additional suspensions.

Leatherwood would not detail any specifics of the allegations but said police had determined that there was “no actionable criminal activity” in all but one of the allegations.

Police are still reviewing allegations against one fraternity, according to Leatherwood. Calls to Athens police were not immediately returned.

Leatherwood said the school is investigating all the hazing claims.

“Any time we have allegations come forward, we take them very seriously,” she said. “These measures were all taken to preserve the safety and security of our students.”

Despite the suspension for the marching band, the 245 members of Marching Band 110 will still be allowed to participate in school-sanctioned activities, like the Homecoming Parade, that count as academic credit. However, they cannot participate in any social gatherings.

Calls to the marching band and the director of sorority and fraternity life were not returned.

More than 2,000 students — or around one in eight undergraduates — are involved in Greek life at the school.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Memory card found on the street labeled 'Homicide' leads to arrest of alleged killer

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Rawf8/iStock(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) — A man has been arrested for murder after a memory card labeled “Homicide at midtown Marriott” that contained videos and images of a violent attack was discovered on an Alaska street, authorities said.

A woman called Anchorage police on Sept. 30 to say she found an SD card lying on the ground, and that it contained disturbing videos from early September that showed a woman being beaten, raped and strangled, according to court documents.

The SD card contained 39 images and 12 videos, the court documents said.

Some of the footage showed a naked woman “moaning and struggling to breathe,” and trying to fight back, documents said. In another video, the suspect is seen stomping on the woman’s throat with his foot, documents said and laughing as he strangles her.

Images also showed the victim in the back of a truck, documents said. The victim was later identified as 30-year-old Kathleen Henry, police said Thursday.

Police have charged Brian Smith, 48, with first-degree murder, and said he had a room registered at that hotel in question during that time period and a car matching the truck seen on the footage, and that his accent matches the voice heard in the video, court documents said.

Detectives found that Smith’s phone pinged “to a location on Rainbow Valley Road along the Seward Highway within minutes of the last still image from the SD card of the female in the back of the black truck,” according to court documents.

On Oct. 2, two days after the SD card was found, Henry’s remains were discovered near Seward Highway, the Anchorage Police Department said.

Smith was taken into custody at an Anchorage airport on Tuesday.

Smith has pleaded not guilty. His attorney declined to comment to ABC News on Friday.

A connection between the suspect and the victim was not clear.

The police department said it “extends its gratitude to the citizen who stepped forward with the evidence.”

Her actions “played an instrumental role” and “serves as another example of when you see something suspicious, say something,” said police.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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