Call it the luck of the labradoodle.
A charismatic canine named Seamus has been the official mascot of the Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade for the last four years without a hitch. Each year the Labrador Retriever-Poodle mix rolls down Third Avenue in a mustang convertible, sporting a shamrock hat and flashing his signature smile at parade-goers — and locals can’t imagine the procession without him.
“Seamus is like the patron saint of the parade,” said Ridgite Robert Davis, friends of Seamus’s adoptive parents. “He’s the center of attention. Everybody loves him.”
Seamus’s owners, Deirdre Croni Butler and Michael Butler, put Seamus in the parade in 2012 on a whim. He rode in the backseat of his friend’s roadster to much fanfare, and the following year the parade committee dubbed the doggy the official mascot — after all, his name is Seamus.
But this pampered pooch has never seen the emerald hills of Ireland and is Brooklyn-bred through-and-through. The Ridgite works as greeter/mascot/salesman at the Butlers’ Third Avenue pet supply store near 76th Street, Paws Truly, where the cult of Seamus lives strong.
The shop is peppered with blown up photos of the fluff ball — including Seamus dressed as “Santa Paws,” and in a party hat for his fifth birthday — signed with well-wishes from locals, of course. Seamus’s doppelganger — a look-a-like Home Depot Christmas decoration — stands tall in the storefront window. And the shop’s business cards read more like the pup’s personal calling cards, which state: “Seamus Butler” with a beaming headshot of the dog.
Paws Truly is stocked to the gills with all manner of pet goodies, but it’s Seamus’s larger-than-life persona that keeps locals coming back, said Deirdre.
“He’s a real charmer,” she said. “He’s got a great smile — a real ladies man. He’s good fun.”
The Butlers adopted Seamus when he was five months old in 2007 when Michael went into a pet store for bird feed and came out head over heels for the snowy pup. He had to wear down Deirdre, who at first felt the couple wasn’t in a position to take in a dog.
But Deirdre soon caught Seamus fever and the pair took him in. He was nameless for a few days as they mulled over possibilities, and eventually Seamus stuck.
Now the 10-year-old fluff ball prances around the pet shop in his staple American flag bandanna and a seasonal three leaf clover collar. Most days he meets customers at the door, maybe helps them pick out a treat or two if the mood so strikes him, but his joy is people watching at the door.
“He’s like a true Brooklynite — he likes to watch everybody go by on the avenue,” said Deirdre. “He just knows so many people. He’s a good soul.”
This year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade marks Seamus’s fifth as the mascot. And his owners say he’s looking forward to it.
“I really do feel he enjoys it,” said Deirdre. “If he could wave to people I think he would.”
Look out for Seamus during the Bay Ridge St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 26, which runs along Third Avenue, starting at Marine Avenue and running up to 67th Street. Kick off is at 1 pm.
©2017 Community News Group