This bittersweet story comes from the Star-Gazette.com.
‘He was a very loving dog,’ children say
Community bids farewell to Kramer, a dog who listened to kids.
By Ray Finger
SOUTHPORT — Young and old came Friday to Olthof Funeral Home to say farewell to a friend who knew how to listen deeply and make people feel loved without saying a word.
A special service was held to honor Kramer, a 9-year-old Rottweiler well known at Broadway Middle School where he accompanied school resource officer Juli Lathrop, a Chemung County sheriff’s deputy.
“It was the community that said we have to have this,” Lathrop said, “because he has touched so many lives and changed so many lives, and the fact that it’s such an emotional bond that he’s had.”
The circumstances in which Kramer met many people, especially children, were some of the worst times of their lives, Lathrop said.
“They wanted a way to be able to pay respects for what he’s done for them and to have a chance to have some closure.”
It might seem unusual to have a service for a canine, but only to those who did not know Kramer or the impact that he had, said Rob Olthof, president and owner of the funeral home.
“We always have tried to recognize a need in the community for any type of figure that has impacted people’s lives,” he said.
“We’ve tried to be here as a community support source.”
At the front of the room were pedestals displaying flowers, Kramer’s collar and an ornately carved oak box containing his cremated remains.