Popular Fenway fixture German Shepherd dragon dies at age 10


No dog has a better yard than Drago.

As countless Boston Red Sox players and fans have seen in the last decade, Drago’s playground has been Fenway Park.

Drago was overjoyed to sniff along the green monsters, explore bargains, and rest on the pitcher’s mound before the match. It is also valuable as a German Shepherd service dog for the headground keeper Dave Meller.

A week ago, Drago suffered a stroke shortly after the Red Sox walked on the grass in the outfield before hosting Auckland. Two days later he died at the age of 10.

“Because he saved my life, changed my life, inspired me, gave hope to my life in a way I didn’t have for decades, and didn’t know it was possible. , Congratulated him for being in my life, “Meller sent a text message to the Associated Press on Thursday.

“I’m completely broken heart,” he said.

Before the match against St. Louis on Friday night, the Red Sox recognized Drago on a video board and read compliments on a loudspeaker system.

“Friends have given us lifelong memories of many walking around diamonds in Fenway Park’s 110-year history, but perhaps our headground keeper, Dave Meller’s 4th. No one has offered as much love and comfort as a real-legged companion, “said the salute.

“Last night we learned that this constant presence and beloved person in the ballpark has been resting for nearly a decade,” it said. “We send love and support to his family, honor his service and acknowledge his rich life. Drago, I miss you.”

Meller has been taking care of Fenway’s lawn since 2001 and met Drago in 2014.

Drago was always near Meller’s side, inside and outside the field. Meller was hit by a car twice in her life, requiring dozens of surgeries, and Drago helped deal with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorders.

A few days before the Red Sox played the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2018 World Series, Dragoronp Around the grass in Fenway Park, one of his sons, the puppy Bronco, was owned by Boston pitcher Rick Porcello.

Bronco was one of five puppies born to Lyle, Meller’s other dog that summer. At the time, Red Sox infielder Ian Kinsler also adopted a litter.

“If you look at Dave with Drago in the field, you’ll see that he’s a special dog,” Kinsler said the day before the series.

Many Red Sox fans who know the history of the team often wondered if Meller’s dog was named after former Boston pitcher Dick Drago.

Meller would say it feels good, but it’s not accurate.

“He was born in Slovakia,” Meller once explained. “They told us that his name means” precious “in Slovak. “

Meller is surrounded by dog ‚Äč‚Äčlovers. A few years ago, his wife and his family went to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City to tour the behind-the-scenes area for an hour.

Meller said the keeper, one of Drago’s sons, would become his service dog after finishing his training.

In honor of Drago, Meller gives people “special love” for dogs and considers donating his dear pet’s name to the Home Base program at the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston or Massachusetts General Hospital. I asked.

“I was overwhelmed by the powerful and beautiful compliments to Drago. He touched the lives of so many people,” Meller said.

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