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Wanamingo's doggone pleased: Gov. Dayton names new puppy after southeast Minnesota town

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton holds his new dog, Wanamingo. Dayton got the dog from the Paul Wolf farm near Clara City, Minn., to replace one that died. The black German shepherd joins an older dog, Mesabi, that Dayton has had since 2001. They live with Dayton in the official governor's residence.

A small Goodhue County city is getting statewide recognition after the governor chose it as his new puppy's namesake.

Gov. Mark Dayton has named his new black German Shepherd "Wanamingo" or "Mingo" for short - a name city officials appreciate.

"It's nice to be recognized by name," Wanamingo City Administrator Mike Boulton said. "Maybe people can get a geography lesson, too."

The Wanamingo City Council passed a resolution at its last meeting commending the governor for choosing the name and inviting him and his dogs to visit to the city anytime. They sent the document, along with a letter and a dog tag from the city, to Dayton.

The governor will take them up on their offer this month, Boulton said. Dayton will visit Wanamingo on March 24 and meet with Mayor Ron Berg and Boulton.

At the meeting, they will present the governor with a new dog tag engraved with the city seal on one side and "Wanamingo" on the other. City council members chipped in to pay for the fancier tag, Boulton said. They'll also give Dayton a signed copy of the resolution praising the name.

The governor decided to get a new dog to join his other German Shepherd, Mesabi, after his 8-year-old dog Dakota died two months ago.

Dayton was traveling the state during his campaign and saw the city's name. He has given his other dogs Native American names and continued the tradition, a sentiment Wanamingo officials acknowledged.

"We appreciate the Native American names that you use for your pet names," the council said in a letter to the governor. "This is a genuine part of Wanamingo and Minnesota history."

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

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