He has been gone for 60 years.
He’s believed to be a Labrador-mastiff mix, and he’s missing his tail.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, he’s a statue — missing from Robbins Farm Park since about 1950.
According to Boston.com, Roland Chaput and fellow members of the Friends of Robbins Farm Park decided earlier this year to make at least some effort to find the dog and return it to its original home.
“Maybe it is in some guy’s backyard and he forgot all about it,” Chaput says.
Since the early 1900s, the dog — he has no name — sat atop a hill at the park.
But where he came from, like where he has gone, isn’t known.
According to a history of the park, by Oakes Plimpton, the statue belonged to the land’s previous owner, the late Nathan Robbins, a member of a well-known Arlington family that gave the town several of its public buildings, including the library.
Robbins married May Robbins in 1902, and around 1912 they moved into a house on the farm. While it’s not known where the Robbinses obtained the statue, it has been speculated that he was procured for use as a make-believe guard dog.
Chaput says the statue was probably cast iron, but could have been bronze. He says it was about four feet long, and modeled after a Labrador retriever, or a mastiff, or a mix of the two breeds.
Nathan and his wife May, by some accounts, had a major falling out in the 1920s, and went 20 years without speaking to each other, though living in the same home. A 1929 Globe article reported that May was suing her husband for financial support and claimed that, though her husband grew potatoes, he would only give her rotten ones to cook for herself.
The farm was owned by the Robbinses until 1942, when the town obtained the property for use as the purpose of using the land as a park.
Around 1950, the old farmhouse was torn down, and the statue of the dog disappeared, possibly taken by a memberof the demolition crew. Or maybe not.
Not even the dog’s sculptor is known for sure. One member said it was initially thought to have been made by famed Arlington sculptor Cyrus Dallin, but recent research suggests that wasn’t the case. Now they suspect the statue was a copy of one made by 19th century Rhode Island artist Thomas Frederick Hoppin. It was called “The Sentinel.”
The group has located similar dog statues in Houston, and is considering having a copy of one of those made if they can’t find the missing one.
Chaput said they’d even consider paying something for the statue’s safe return.
“I want it to go into the playground, where the kids can have their picture taken with it,” he said.
Anyone with information about the statue is asked to call the Friends of Robbins Farm Park at 781-646-7786.
(Photo: From the book,”Robbins Farm Park, Arlington, Massachusetts: A Local History,” by Oakes Plimpton)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 15th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 60 years, animals, arlington, art, boston, disappeared, dog, dogs, friends of robbins farm park, massachusetts, missing, pets, return, robbins farm park, sculpture, search, statue
Five days before she made history in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren put down the golden retriever whose dignity and grace helped her cope with the often nasty senatorial campaign, and much more.
The emotional mix that the first female senator in Massachusetts was faced with in the final days of her campaign — seeing one’s political star rising while one’s dog is dying – was recounted last week in column by Brian McGrory in the Boston Globe.
Otis, Warren’s cancer-stricken golden retriever, was loyal, true, non-judgmental, honest, dignified and simple — in other words (and this is our opinion) everything politics is not.
Based on her description, quiet moments with her ailing dog brought her solace during the rough and tumble campaign.
“It’s the lack of complication,” Warren said. “I could spend time just running my hands through Otis’s coat, drawing circles in his short fur, and thumping him on the side, his big hollow chest, you know that sound. It’s possible to get lost in there. And that’s what I needed.”
Otis is described as an inseparable companion, who often accompanied Warren and her husband, Bruce Mann, to their jobs at Harvard University.
“He was with Warren in fall 2011 when she declared her campaign for the Senate. He was there as controversies flared, as accusations were leveled, as attack ads filled the airwaves. Polls rose and fell, criticisms alternated with compliments, but always there was Otis, blinking excitedly as Warren came through the door at the end of the day and always ready for a walk.”
Otis was diagnosed with lymphoma in the spring. He was undergoing chemotherapy. The treatments, which at first appeared to be working, later lost their effectiveness.
On Halloween night, Otis watched trick or treaters come and go, too weak to get up off the floor. By the end of the night, Warren and Mann were convinced it was time to let Otis go.
“I called Warren after her victory to see if she wanted to talk about this quiet loss in the final days of a very public campaign. It hurt her to talk about, but in an hour-long phone call this week, one filled with her laughter and her tears, she did.
“She described ‘the white fur ball with big feet’ that arrived at her house 7½ years ago, the casual way he would approach his many admirers, how the ground used to all but shake from his heavy gait.”
On Oct. 28, Warren posted the photo above on Facebook. On Nov. 1, Otis was euthanized at Angell Memorial Hospital. On Nov. 6, Warren was elected as the first female senator from Massachusetts.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 5th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, campaign, cancer, chemotherapy, death, died, dog, dogs, election, elizabeth warren, euthanasia, euthanized, female, first, golden retriever, lymphoma, massachusetts, otis, pets, politics, senate, senator
A week before Thanksgiving, a Plymouth District Court judge granted the dog — owned by a 38-year-old Marshfield woman — the protection of a restraining order from a violent ex-boyfriend.
We like this law, and suggest other states take a look at it, including Alabama.
In the Massachusetts case, the dog is now in foster care, while the woman and her two-year-old daughter are staying in a domestic violence shelter at an undisclosed, out-of-state location.
“(She) feared that her boyfriend might try to take the dog, and she stated that he had already kicked and dragged the dog in the past,” said Deni Michele Goldman, Marshfield’s animal control officer.
“This new law allows a judge to award the possession of an animal to the victim and to prohibit the accused from abusing, threatening or taking the pet,” Goldman told the Taunton Daily Gazette.
“I give her updates by phone. And once she gets settled into a safe place, she will have her dog again,” said Goldman, who is the spokeswoman for the Animal Control Officers Association of Massachusetts.
The woman had filed for a restraining order in September just weeks after Gov. Deval Patrick signed an animal protection bill creating a safety net for pets caught up in domestic violence situations. The bill also instituted a statewide spay and neuter program and required training for animal control officers.
Goldman said that that more than 70 percent of abused women report that their batterers have threatened to hurt or kill their pets.
(Photo: Marshfield Animal Control)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal control, animals, courts, custody, dogs, domestic violence, first, judge plymouth, labrador, law, marshfield, massachusetts, mix, panzer, pets, protection, rescues, restraining orders, shelters, state, violence
A Massachusetts couple drowned Monday after jumping off their pontoon boat to save their dog in Hampton Ponds.
Police said Daniel Cyr, 64, jumped in the pond to retrieve the couple’s West Highland terrier, Sadie, who had leapt off the boat.
Patricia Cyr, 61, went into the water– even though she couldn’t swim — to help her husband as he struggled in the water with the dog.
Daniel Cyr died at the scene while his wife passed away at a nearby hospital later Monday, the Boston Globe reported.
The dog, who survived, had been given to the couple by Daniel Cyr’s sister six weeks ago to replace a dog who had died a year ago. Sadie will be returned to the sister.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 22nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, boat, couple, dog, dogs, drown, drowns, hampton ponds, husband, massachusetts, pets, rescue, sadie, saving, west highland terrier, wife
Officials in Abington, Mass., say the town’s “crown jewel” has a Problem, with a capital P and that rhymes with D and that stands for dog.
They say dogs are posing a “serious health problem” especially around the pool area at Island Grove Park, which is often referred to as “the crown jewel of Abington.”
Dogs aren’t legally allowed to be unleashed at the park – but dogs are running loose, nipping at guests, and “depositing feces and urine in the public pool area,” according to the Enterprise, in Brockton.
“It’s an absolute health issue,” Park and Recreation Superintendent Mark Chirokas said at a meeting of the town selectmen. “It’s frustrating.”
Park and Recreation Commission Chairman Russell Esau said the problem came to a head in September when the board received “a complaint” from a resident.
That led to installing signs around the pool area and at Eager Beaver summer camp, also on the park grounds, reminding pet owners to clean up and keep their dogs on leashes.
But the signs don’t seem to have worked too well — especially at night when large numbers of dog walkers descend on the park.
Since 1975, the town has banned dogs from being in any town park or water unless they are kept on a leash, subject to a $100 fine.
Town Manager John D’Agostino said on top of legal concerns about possible dog bites, many dog owners do not clean up after their dogs properly.
“What happens is (excrement) is being deposited in barrels. Then it becomes a health issue with the employees who have to clean the barrels,” he said
The selectmen are looking at a couple of solutions, including the obvious one: BUILD A DOG PARK!
But they seemed more intent on the idea of cracking down on scofflaws by increasing the hours that the town’s animal control officer works from 10 hours a week to 15, and requiring the five new hours be spent handing out warnings and citations at Island Grove.
The selectman did say they will at least look at the idea of putting a dog park on a 64-acre town property known as Griffin’s Dairy.
As one person pointed out in a comment on the Enterprise article, there’s no dog park in Abington — not a one, even though there are 15 town parks, fields and facilities listed on the recreation department’s website.
“Typically more than 50% of households own pets and many of those are dogs, so please tell me why a town like Abington can’t set aside a small area for taxpayers with dogs?” the commenter wrote. “Come on Abington, make some room for your dogs!”
(Photo: From the Friends of Abington Park website)
Posted by jwoestendiek June 20th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abington, animal control, animals, concerns, crown jewel, dog, dog park, dogs, feces, health, island grove park, leashed, massachusetts, park, pets, selectmen, unleashed, waste
But when she put them up on the streets of Acton, Mass., she says, city officials told her she couldn’t do that, and even took them down.
She says the city told her the signs violated its laws.
“It makes me really angry and I don’t understand it,” Panek told WBZ News. ”Frankly, I just can’t wrap my brain around it.”
Panek is pursuing other routes — passing out brochures and maintaining a Facebook page about her lost dog, but Bridgett, despite 30 reported sightings, still hasn’t been found.
Mike Gowing, the Chairman of the Acton Board of Selectmen, says the town’s laws pertaining to signage — intended to keep the town from being overrun with signs and losing its “historic feel” — are confusing, and in the process of being rewritten.
How long lost dog signs should be allowed to stay up is one of the matters to be addressed.
“If you’ve lost your dog, how long is it that you should have the ability to put up signs that say, ‘Where’s my dog’? When do you call that?” he asked. In the case of Bridgett, he added, sounding something less than sensitive, “…It was over the winter, this dog’s either been taken in by somebody, or it’s gone.”
The director of Acton’s Planning Department, which enforces the towns signage laws, said Panek was never ordered to take down a sign, only informed that she was responsible for eventually taking them down.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: acton, animals, bridgett, dog, dogs, finding, laws, littleton, lost, lost dog, massachusetts, missing, pat panek, pets, posters, posting, search, siberian husky, signage, signs, town
A Greenfield, Mass., woman is facing animal cruelty charges after her car apparently dragged her dog for four miles.
Police received a report Sunday morning that a black dog was being dragged from the driver’s side of a car in Turners Falls.
When police arrived, they found a man and a woman coming out of a wooded area, where the body of a dog had been discarded, WWLP (22News) reported.
The woman was identified in police records as Shylo Valego of Greenfield. The man is identified as Casey A. Aiken of Turners Falls.
The two had originally told police that they did not know who the animal’s owner was and had found it dead in the road. Later, Valego admitted the dog belonged to her, police said.
An examination of the vehicle led police to conclude the the dog’s leash was trapped in the vehicle’s driver’s side door as the woman drove from her Greenfield home into Turners Falls; a distance of about four miles.
She was charged with cruelty to animals, obstruction of justice, and possession of an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle. Aiken is charged with obstruction of justice and being an accessory after the fact.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 21st, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, car, charged, cruelty to animals, dog, dogs, door, dragged, four miles, greenfield, leash, massachusetts, owner, pets, turners falls
The ruling, issued by the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, pertained to a mutt named Kayla, who — though not a service dog or a certified therapy dog — provided emotional support to her owner.
The complaint was brought against the owners of the Brighton Gardens building by Richard M. Blake, who was diagnosed with HIV infection more than two decades ago, according to the Boston Globe.
After his diagnosis, Blake isolated himself and rarely left the house.
“He was depressed, basically lounging around the apartment all day long, and his weight rose and blood pressure got out of control,’’ said Denise McWilliams, general counsel for the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts.
Blake’s doctor recommended a dog to help lift Blake’s mood and improve his mental and physical health.
“She’s just given me sort of a routine in my life,’’ Blake said of the boxer mix he got in 2008. “She’s given me a lot of joy. Animals just seem to make it hard for you to be in a bad mood … Ever since I have had her, the walks and the tons of exercise I do with her have helped.’’
Blake said his landlord gave him permission to get the dog, but two months later tenants were notified that a no-pet policy in their leases would be enforced.
After unsuccessful attempts to get the landlords to make an exception, Blake filed a complaint with the state commission in December, 2008.
In its ruling, the commission said that evidence “supports a finding that requiring Complainant to give up his dog would seriously jeopardize his emotional and physical well-being.’’
Posted by jwoestendiek April 6th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: aids, assistance, brighton gardens, commission, discrimination, dogs, emotional, health, hiv/aids, housing, kayla, landlords, massachusetts, richard blake, rules, service, support, tenants, therapy
We came across this sign on Highway 6 on Cape Cod — and, quirky signage being part of any good road trip blog, thought we’d pass it on.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 29th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 1 milf, cape cod, dog's country, dogscountry, funny, massachusetts, milf, parking, photos, road trip, sign, travels with ace, vandalism
I was enjoying a cup of clam chowder — yes, another one — and Ace was laying at my feet, halfway under the bench, when I decided he was picture-worthy and took out my camera.
Sure, they are scavengers, but I like watching them — whether it be soaring regally through the sky or picking through trash like hungry hobos.
The seagulls around Provincetown have pretty good pickings, but — kind of like the humans outnumber the parking spaces — gulls far outnumber the posts in the water, which seem to be the perching spot of choice.
I’d only taken a couple of photos when a fellow gull looked down from above and, apparently either wanting the spot, or feeling he was American’s next top gull model, swooped down and bumped the first off the post.
After I finished the chowder, and Ace cleaned the cup, gull No. 1 — apparently wanting his perch back — swooped down and knocked No. 2 off.
Then he sat there a few more minutes, looking proud as an eagle.
When some fishermen on a boat were cutting bait, he vacated the post for a closer look, hovering in the air and being pushed backwards by the wind.
He’d flap his wings to get closer, hover, float backwards, and flap his wings again.
Then, seeing no handouts, he went back to his post.
Seagulls kind of have it all figured out. I was forking over money at every turn in Provincetown.
Seagulls? They pay for nothing. They scavenge scraps, sleep wherever they want, squawk whenever they feel like it, and park for free. I salute them.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 29th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, america, beach, birds, cape cod, dock, dog's country, dogscountry, gulls, massachusetts, nature, ocean, photography, pier, provincetown, sea, seagulls, travels with ace, water, wildlife