Acushnet Mourns Loss of Town’s Elected Dog
Now that I'm a dog owner for the first time, I can better appreciate the importance dogs play in our lives. Sometimes it seems as if it is a dog's world and we just live in it, especially when life introduces us to dogs like Chewy from Acushnet.
Chewy was rescued by his Acushnet family, the Spencers, after a series of heartbreaking events that occurred at his first home in New Jersey.
"My husband was driving back from Virginia when I called him," said Lucy Spencer. "I said, 'Hey, can you stop at a rest area on the New Jersey Turnpike and pick up a dog?'"
Spencer said Chewy quickly found a purpose in life and a way to give back to his Acushnet community. When you have a personality as big as the one that this dog had, there really is only one option if you want to really make the biggest difference: small-town politics.
Chewy knew his limitations. He didn't jump right into a race for a seat on the Select Board. Instead, the 14-year-old Boston bulldog mix decided to do it the old-fashioned way.
He'd start small and work his way up.
According to Spencer, the dog was self-elected five years ago as Acushnet's official sprinkler inspector, winning with only one vote. (He ran unopposed.)
"Each spring he would inspect the functionality of all 21 in-ground (and above) sprinkler heads," says Spencer. "Sometimes he would pop one off just to ensure his Papa (Lucy's husband, Matthew) would have nothing better to do than replace it."
Finding a successor to Chewy, who died not too long ago after a long life, is going to be quite the obstacle for the small SouthCoast town.
"Chewy is hoping there are other pups in town who will run in a special election on the next spring/summer day where candidates must post online videos for voting," Spencer said. "Chewy also leaves (pun intended) the official Leaf Inspector position open for another special pup."
Chewy's most important job, however, was bonding with Matthew's brother Michael. "My brother-in-law has Down Syndrome, and he lives with us," said Spencer. "As they aged together, Chewy was a tremendous companion to Michael."
After Easter dinner, Lucy and Matthew were asking Michael if he wanted another dog.
"I want Chewy," said Michael.
He didn't want a new dog because he didn't want the pain of feeling that loss again, a sentiment every dog owner knows all too well.