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In 1962 a stray dog was found under a pile of boxes in a Coast Guard warehouse in what used to be called Government Island, the Coast Guard Base in San Francisco Bay, when a seaman named Dave Bunch was mopping the floor. It was love at first sight. At first the men decided to hide the pup from the Commander, thinking she wouldn’t be allowed. But soon enough all of the men in the barracks fell hard for the little dog. Then one day when high waves challenged another vessel at sea, it was Vera’s fierce determination and natural swimming ability that brought the life preserver and safety line to the sinking boat. Vera became a hero and the beloved pet and mascot of the San Francisco Coast Guard.