Mr. Griff-Friend, Family, Brother & Son
The friends and family of Steve and Patti know the role well that Mr. Griffey, a black cocker spaniel played in their lives. Not just as a pet, but as a member of the family and the community of Mattawan.
Mr. Griffey was presented to Steve Powell by Vicki Lumbard, 13 years ago, at a time when he vehemently opposed adding a pet to the family. However, that all quickly changed the day he arrived, when little Griffey crawled up his arm, sat on his
shoulder and put his little nose just about two inches from Steve’s face. From that moment on, the strongest bond between pet and owner began.
This bond was not only that of pet and owner, but also like a father and son, brother to brother and business partner.
Yes, we said business partner because each day, Mr. Griffey unlike most dogs went to work at Powell Custom Homes. Steve would say (in their secret language) “Griffey for want to go for working?”. With those words, strange as they seemed
to outsiders, Griff knew it was time to get up and go to work. You see Griff had an important role down at “The Shop”. His friendly little face and wagging stubby tail would greet customers upon their arrival. During business discussions with
fathers and mothers regarding home purchases, he often entertained the children and little babies who came with their parents. He was a very gentle dog, and loved playing with the children and sharing his many toys.
Often Steve and his partners would have business meetings that would take him away from the office. During such an occurrence, Griff would wait patiently by the glass doors for his return. The Office Manager Anne, would console him by
feeding him treats and petting him by her desk. In later years, along came the second company mascot Herman, Randy and Mike Powell’s pet basset hound. Although Mr. Griffey never had an aggressive bone in his body, nonetheless, he found
Herman’s playfulness quite annoying and guarded Steve’s desk where his special treats were kept.
The community knew Mr. Griff well. His special friends Ann Marie and Tonja at the Paw Paw Veterinary Clinic took the best of care of him and held a special place in their hearts for the illustrious Mr. Griffey. Upon his arrival, I dare say he was the
clinic’s equivalent of a rock star. His Au Pair Mike was relentless in caring for Mr. Griff during those times when Steve and Patti were away from home. Griff also had a very special friend Autumn Alexander, Joe and Theresa Alexander’s pet,
whom he held a special place in his heart.
As a matter of fact, that reminds us of an incident involving Autumn and Griff (it’s not what you think–¦at least not that we know of). It was decided that they would take a trip to the groomer’s together (much like couples go for massages together I
think) where much to everyone’s horror (especially Patti’s who had to pick them up and bring them home) they were shaved absolutely bald. Both were extremely embarrassed about this situation and I’m sure if they could speak, would have
demanded to switch hairdressers. No bows, no shaving bald–those were the future rules.
When Patti and her children Jessica and Cody came into Steve’s life, Griff still being the youngster that he was, often had his shiny black coat in a very curly, long haired style. This being the fashion at the time, Cody declared a name change for
Mr. Griffey and for a time after was lovingly called “Harry”.
We cannot fail to mention another incident in earlier years, which could have brought Mr. Griff to meet his maker prematurely. Steve and Patti were at home, when Steve had drifted off taking a little nap on the couch. Suddenly Patti noticed that
Mr. Griff’s ear was smoking. Quite by accident, Steve had dropped a cigarette on him while sleeping and Griff’s hair was on fire! Fortunately no one was injured in the incident.
Like his father, Steve, Griff loved his groceries. By the looks of him, he didn’t miss any meals either. Griff was a bit portly he was. The staff at Main Street Pub often specially made grilled chicken for him to maintain a low calorie diet. But know
one could deny his absolute favorites were cheese and pizza. When it came to cheese, no Velveeta for this guy–oh no. Nothing but the best! Of all things he was offered for his last supper, he turned away from them all and decided the cheese
Patti had cut up was going to be it.
Christmas was a favorite time of year for Mr. Griff. I dare say, after the trip to the pet store was made, and the new toys were purchased, he was so excited (he knew they were there you see), Patti and Steve would often have to give him some
of his gifts early to calm him down.
If Steve and Pattie were going out for the evening, as soon as he was old enough to stay by himself, his favorite television show was the Disney channel. However, as he grew older and more mature, he preferred CNN. This also served as a
dual purpose so he could keep his eyes on the stocks and know what kind of mood Steve would be in when he came home!
There was only one other thing worthy of mentioning that really would irritate Mr. Griffey. Do not, I repeat do not, vacuum in his presence. For certain, there would be all kinds of barking and carrying on.
Two years ago, a life changing experience happened. Mr. Griff was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo surgery to amputate one of his legs. In true Griff fashion, he prevailed and overcame his handicap. He even allowed friends and
family to joke about his affliction by calling him “Tripod”. Even though his mobility wasn’t what it used to be, he certainly became more vocal to compensate for his handicap. Many surgeries followed the original amputation, but Griff retained the
same upbeat personality we had all grown to know and love.
As you can clearly see by reading some of these excerpts about the life of Griffey Powell, he touched many lives. He evolved from Mr. Griffey, to Harry, back to Mr. Griffey, sometimes Mr. Griff, Bubby, and eventually Tripod. But no matter what he
was called, he came to each person with his little tail wagging.
Sadly Mr. Griffey recently said goodbye much in the same way he said hello 13 years ago–just about two inches from his beloved Bubby’s face.
We will all miss you dearly, Mr. Griff.
P.S. Papa Bob and Grandma Norma will truly miss you.
ALL OUR LOVE TO MR. GRIFF