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The Yankee Express

Waffles is dog mayor-elect for Sutton parade, fireworks

Waffles basks in the glow of his win as dog mayor-elect in the town of Sutton.

By Rod Lee

No one could have predicted when the decision was made to create a “dog mayor” contest as a fundraiser for the town of Sutton’s parade and fireworks this year what kind of response the initiative would generate.
Any doubts about its prospects were quickly dispelled, setting the scene for Sunday, June 26 with activities on the Town Common (food trucks, cow chip bingo, live entertainment) starting at 3:00 p.m., a parade from the Early Learning Center to the Town Common at 4:00 and fireworks at 9:15.
The rain date for fireworks only is Friday, July 8. 

 Deputy Mayor, Baylor

“It was awesome!” Coleen Tarantino, one of the organizers of the effort, said. “The town absolutely rallied behind this event. The spirit of the fundraiser was contagious!”
With more than forty dogs registered and over 2500 votes cast over about a month’s time (online, April 11-May 14, at two dollars per vote), the campaign proved to be popular with residents—and a money generator.
“I was surprised, (co-collaborators) John Rocheleau and April Brown were surprised that this would take off like it did,” Ms. Tarantino said.
The entire grassroots push was organized and funded “by volunteers,” Ms. Tarantino said. Facebook postings, yard signs and word-of-mouth publicity helped fuel interest in the dogs that were put up as candidates by their owners (i.e., campaign managers).
“Who doesn’t love dogs?” Ms. Tarantino said.
“It was a very competitive field,” she said.

 Sherrif Copernicus

“Interestingly, our neighbors in Grafton appear to have a similar contest. We can only say ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!’”
“Waffles,” AKA “Sir Waffles the Goob” or “Shuffles,” a deaf rescue dog owned by Brian and Beth Brayton, was voted mayor-elect.
“Baylor” won the post of deputy mayor, “Copernicus” that of sheriff and “Reginald Percival Ambrose Walker” that of parade commissioner.

 Parade Commissioner Reginald Percival 

Ambrose Walker 

Talking about Waffles on June 7th, Beth Brayton said “we adopted him as a one-year-old, rescued from the puppy mill. He was kept in a crate that was too small. He can run and jump but shuffles both legs,” hence that nickname. “He is just a really sweet pup. He is our third boxer. After the first passed, we got Waffles. We have three dogs. The others are Effie, a pit bull mix, and Shannon, a terrier mix.
“I saw his little mug and said ‘that’s him, that’s the one we want,’” Ms. Brayton said, of Waffles.
“He has a brother named ‘Pancakes,’ also a deaf boxer.”
The Brayton’s are active dog owners with strong ties to the adopt-a-boxer rescue network. Waffles is now five years old and a beloved member of the family.
“He’s just a giant mush,” Ms. Brayton said. “Sixty-five pounds, he sits on my lap and crushes my knees. He’s really, really spirited. He goes on vacations with us in Provincetown.”
When a neighbor mentioned to Beth Brayton early on that her own dog was running for mayor, “I said ‘what is this? There’s no way I can’t be involved!’
“Waffles got six hundred twenty-five votes, which is insane. Even on the next-to-last day of voting he was in second place.”
Elected for a one-year term, Waffles, in addition to the “bragging rights,” proclamation/certificate in recognition of his ‘PAWSOME’ achievement and the chance to make appearances at local events, which Ms. Tarentino said go with the title, “he will have his own float and a sash and maybe a bow tie,” Ms. Brayton said. “We will be on the float with him!”
The lighthearted nature of the dog mayor contest—a charming ingredient—is reflected is one of the questions Waffles, by way of his campaign managers, responded to. Asked “if I were mayor, I would…” Waffles answered “…outlaw squirrels and make naptime mandatory after all meals. Also,” Waffles revealed, “my parents will match any donations (votes for me) by donating to local rescues/shelters to help pups like myself.”
As for what “occupation” he would hold if he was a human, Waffles replied “a career in politics, obviously.”
Contact Rod Lee at [email protected] or 774-232-2999.