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Obit: Grafton, Good Dog

Grafton, Good Dog

September 27, 2005--January 2, 2022

Grafton the Good Dog joined us on March 27, 2006, care of Save A Dog, Inc. Initially named Soda Pop, Grafton arrived untrained, afflicted with mange, and prone to peeing in the house--much to the chagrin of Frank. Frank will tell you that he did not want a dog—was allergic to and somewhat afraid of them—but his love for Erin meant that he had to overcome his fear and take a daily dose of Claritin. Despite this early rocky start, once Grafton learned to pee outside and his mange cleared, his arrival made us a family, going from two members to three.

Grafton was not our fur baby, first baby, or child. He was too dignified for such monikers. He was our companion, our buddy, our sidekick and guardian. Obsessed with food of any kind, and with an intelligence and savvy that was, at times, astonishing, he proved to be a quick study when motivated by tiny pieces of hot dog or string cheese. He sat, offered a paw, lay down, did “his business” on command, and went to bed when told. Up until the final days of 2021 he was able to snatch a gently tossed treat of out of midair. He never chewed a shoe, stuffed animal, or took any toy that didn’t belong to him. He once spent a week sleeping next to a canvas shopping bag of forgotten Girl Scout cookies (including the peanut butter ones) and never so much as pawed at the packaging (he was given two peanut butter cookies in gratitude once we remembered where they were). Grafton was an expert at the Fake Sneeze to get our attention—especially before dinner—and in his golden years would howl in demand of pizza crust on Thursday nights (Pizza Night at our house).

When our children came along, Grafton welcomed them without resentment. He spent many a late night keeping us company when our oldest was colicky, and joyfully shared in both kids’ dropped Puffs, peas, and pasta during their messy eating stages. And when we unclicked the high chair tray, he waited patiently at his bowl, tail wagging, as the bounty was delivered. As both the kids and the dog grew older, they played together and cared for one another. Grafton showed the kids what it meant to be responsible pet owners, and in turn the kids showered him with affection and pizza crust. He was gentle with every child who visited our home, and if he felt that children were Too Much, he’d duck into his crate or, later, head to his bed and wait for calmer times.

Grafton was not a “hugging dog,” although he tolerated the occasional cuddle from a person he loved. Instead, he was an ear-scritching, head patting, back rubbing sort. If you were sleeping or working, he’d nudge you with his nose under your forearm, demanding affection. If you were a guest he deemed worthy of giving him attention, he’d wag his backside at you, then back up and sit on your foot, staring balefully at you over one shoulder until you pet his head. He preferred sleeping within sight of where his People were working, especially once the pandemic hit.

He did not jump on people, sniff inappropriately, bark incessantly, knock over the trash, or climb on furniture. He was afraid of high winds and would sound like a 150-lb Rottweiler if the doorbell rang or someone came to the door unexpectedly.

He was, in short, the Best Dog Ever.

He declined rapidly, due to a fast-growing cancer that took him from us long before we were ready. Grafton leaves behind his bereft family of four, and many other friends and people who adored him. Our lives were richer for him being with us, and we already miss him terribly. He made us more empathetic, more careful, more generous and joyful, and for that we are forever grateful.


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