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Four legged crossing guard causing a stir in Greenwich

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Albany/HV: Four legged crossing guard causing a stir in Greenwich
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Many have asked the question "Why did the chicken cross the road?" However, it's a dog that folks in Greenwich are wondering about. Our Matt Hunter has more on the village's first four legged crossing guard.

GREENWICH, N.Y. – It may appear she's stuck in a back and forth routine as she crosses Main Street one time after another each weekday afternoon, but Sophy, a German Shepherd- Black Lab mix, is actually fulfilling her civic duty. She and her owner, Clifford Mealy, are the Greenwich School District's newest crossing guards.

Mealy, who moved to Greenwich from Dutchess County about 20 years ago, worked for the state as a nature photographer for years before retiring and starting his own business. He agreed to sign on as a volunteer crossing guard last month under one condition, that Sophy could be his sidekick.

"I had a feeling she could do it and would like doing it and I was right," Mealy said.

Equipped with her own pint-sized stop sign, courtesy of Mealy's mother…

"I think that's what the crossing guards in the city have, so she brought it up and it's a perfect fit for Sophy."

... Sophy accompanies Mealy and the students on each trip across the street, keeping them out of harm's way. Right away, she was a tremendous hit.

"It was really funny, she had to do it with the big one first, but now she has the small one," a fourth grade student named Aly said.

"I think kids need it, I think they need to see a happy face," Mealy said.

Pulling two shifts a day, before school and after, Sophy and Mealy have proven to be quick studies. The dynamic duo figures to hone their routine even further as the year progresses.

"She's going to get better, she's only been doing it about a month,” Mealy said. “I think she'll have it down pat probably by the end of the school year."

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