Secretary of State John Kerry made a special trip to Waldo County last week to collect his new yellow Labrador retriever puppy Ben from a local dog trainer.

Kerry arrived at Puddleduck Boarding Kennel in Morrill Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 26, where he met the dog for the first time. According to the Boston Globe Kerry chose the name Ben in honor of Benjamin Franklin.

Owner Frances Plessner, who had been training the dog for the past two months, said after an initial introduction with Ben she took the dog and Secretary Kerry outside to go through commands.

According to a State Department Spokesman, "Ben made his debut accompanying the Secretary to work on Monday, where he got to know the Secretary’s senior team at the daily 8:30 meeting, and spent much of the day time resting on a dog bed after chasing a tennis ball and exploring the State Department’s seventh floor ‘Mahogany Row.’ All indications are that Ben is free of any suspicion of having eaten any homework or treaties.”

Kerry purchased the five-month-old lab from a woman in Massachusetts who found Plessner after the Secretary asked her to find a trainer. Plessner said Kerry called her personally to ask her to train the puppy.

"I thought it was a prank," Plessner said.

After her initial shock, Plessner agreed to train the dog for two months, after which Kerry would take him home. Plessner said Ben lived in her home and was very responsive to the training. She said Kerry was not looking for any fancy or difficult tricks just a "good family companion."

During the time Plessner was training Ben she said Kerry would call every few weeks to check in on their progress, but that he did not put any pressure on her during that time. She called the Secretary "excellent to deal with" and said since he took the dog home he has emailed saying how happy he is with Ben.