In 1987, disc jockey Steve Cook at WTCM-FM in Traverse City, Michigan recorded a song titled "The Legend", which he initially played as an April Fool's Day joke. He based the songs on actual reports of the creature. Cook recorded the song with a keyboard backing and credited it to Bob Farley. After he played the song, Cook received calls from listeners who said that they had encountered a similar creature. In the next weeks after Cook first played the song, it was the most-requested song on the station. He also sold cassettes of the songs for four dollars, and donated proceeds from the single to an animal shelter. Over the years, Cook has received more than 100 reports of the creature's existence. In March 2010, the creature was featured in an episode of MonsterQuest. Cook later added verses to the song 1997 after hearing a report of an animal break-in by an unkown canine at a cabin in Luther, Michigan. He re-recorded it again in 2007, with a mandolin backing.
The first sighting of the Michigan Dogman occurred in 1887 in Wexford County, when two lumberjacks saw a creature whom they described as having a man's body and a dog's head. in Paris, Michigan, Robert Fortney was attacked by five wild dogs and said that one of the five walked on two legs. Reports of similer creatures also came from Allegan County in the 1950's and in Manistee and in Cross Village in 1976. Linda S. Godfrey, in her book The Beast of Bray Road, compares the Manistee sightings to a similar creature sighted in Wisconsin known as the Beast of Bray Road.