The Dog That Adopted a School

So far as we know, He was the only dog to be buried on the school campus, with a monument erected over his grave by the boys and girls who loved him so well.
G. H. S. Mascot
Killed June 13, 1943

These words on a granite marker recall the story of a little dog so devoted to a school and its various activities that he was buried on the campus. The memorial stands just at the foot of the flagpole on Grainger High School campus in Kinston and marks the grave of the gayest, friendliest little dog that ever adopted an entire school. Juicy must have had a good master somewhere in town or in the outlying area of Kinston, because when he first appeared at school he was plump and evidently had been eating well. No one ever knew where he came from and I don't recall who it was that first called him by his rather incongruous name. The little black and white dog first joined the younger boys on the back campus. They shared their lunches with him, and after that he joined in their ball games, racing madly back and forth in the endeavor to catch their ball.

Extended Privileges

Later he invaded the corridors, and he often wandered into the auditorium when an assembly program was in progress. A dog in school usually is regarded as a novelty. Pupils laugh at his appearance, and their attention is distracted from their studies. This may have been the case for a period after Juicy arrived at Grainger, but in a very little while nobody paid any particular attention to his wanderings from one classroom to another. So well behaved was he that not even the teachers objected to his presence. So Juicy was given a free rein and went and came as he pleased.
On one occasion, however, he almost brought disgrace on himself, even though in doing so he was wholly innocent. Usually, during an assembly program, he walked about in the aisles, only stopping occasionally to nose a friendly outthrust hand. But at this particular time, a speaker with a rather loud and stentorian voice was talking on Russia and suddenly exploded into a long list of harsh-sounding Russian proper names. Juicy, halfway down the aisle, halted in amazement and turned a startled look in the direction of the speaker. Then he ran on the stage and stood with one ear cocked forward as he surveyed the speaker with an inquiring expression as though he were saying: "What in the world did you say?" Everybody roared. Even the speaker was convulsed. One of the dog's friends hastily removed him from the stage and the auditorium and kept him outside until the interrupted program was finished.
Juicy spent not only most of the school hours at the building but he haunted it at night too, so that if there chanced to be some kind of meeting on hand, he could grace it with his presence. He disliked missing any social gatherings.

Wouldn't Be Denied

One day when the school band was going to Caswell Training School, a few miles distant, to give a concert, Juicy trotted about expectantly as members gathered about the bus. But when he tried to get aboard, the band director vetoed the attempt, and the bus driver announced emphatically that no dog could ride in the vehicle. So the bus started off without the dog. Undeterred, however, Juicy raced the bus for half a mile until even the driver felt sorry and yielded to the band members' pleadings. The bus was stopped and Juicy was taken up.
At commencement time, the little dog became infected with the excitement manifested by the seniors. It was a custom to rehearse the baccalaureate and commencement processional and recessional quite thoroughly, as well as the rest of the programs.Never was there a rehearsal period, no matter at what time it was called, that Juicy was not present, fairly quivering with excitement. He watched the seniors line up for the march and then ran barking down the aisle ahead of them.
When the sponsor went to the stage to direct the line, he raced to join her, an alert ear cocked and bright eyes darting from director to seniors as though he understood the whole business.

Had to be Curbed

Finally the distracted sponsor appealed to the principal, declaring that Juicy would certainly be on hand for the commencement exercises and probably would steal the entire show. "Don't worry," he chuckled. "I have already engaged bed and board for our friend throughout the whole program — with the janitor." And so he was kindly but firmly restrained from joining the seniors at the closing program much to the disappointment of many of them. As a matter of fact, a few protested and begged that the dog be allowed to be with them. "It doesn't seem natural not to have him around," said one girl. "He's been with us all year and he ought to see us graduate." Finally, however, it was agreed that it would be best for all concerned if Juicy were conspicuous by his absence.
It was later in the summer of that same year that Juicy, following some of the senior boys, was run down and killed on one of the streets of Kinston. Grief-stricken, the boys asked and obtained permission to bury him on the campus he loved so well, and to mark his grave. They bought and had lettered the marker that stands at the foot of the flagpole today.
Occasionally one sees a student stop and look curiously at the inscription but it means little to the new boys and girls attending the school. Only a few of the teachers now remember the happy little dog that won all hearts from freshmen to principal.

By LEONORA H. WATTS, Teacher, Senior English
Published in North Carolina "State" magazine, August 5, 1950