Green Charter township, in Mecosta county, a man named Robert Fortney is camping along the Muskegon river when a pack of wild dogs close in on him.
Fortney remained silent, but the sensitive noses of the dogs quickly picked up his scent. Since he had been small game hunting earlier in the day, Fortney had his loaded rifle nearby.
As the dogs approached, they assumed the group posture of a pack on a hunt. Fortney picked up the gun and fired a shot into the air.
The dogs cringed and turned to slink back into the forest, all accept one: a huge black dog with unusual eyes.
“They were blue,” said Fortney. “What kind of dog has blue eyes?” The big dog and Fortney considered each other for a long moment, less than ten feet separating them. Fortney fired another shot over the head of the strange dog. Then to Fortney’s shock and amazement, the black dog stood up on two legs and cast a glare that sent shivers down his spine.
“It reared up on its hind legs and stared at me,” said Fortney in a phone interview in 1987. “It may be that I was just scared, but I swear that dog was smiling at me.”
This detail of a Dogman seeming to smile is common to the legend of the Michigan Dogman and seems to suggest that the creature has a devious, calculating demeanor.