L to R: Frodo helps Emily Cohen ’17 with her base map; checking out new plantings at the Coach House; assisting members of the Class of 2019 with their topographic models.

We’re sorry to share the very sad news that Frodo passed away suddenly last weekend. He was a well loved and important part of the Conway community for the past nine years. Kim Erslev and her family adopted Frodo, a sweet small dog who spent much of his life accompanying Kim to the Conway School studio, nine years ago. Frodo got to know every student who was at the school during those years, and every inch of all three of the school’s recent campuses: 332 Deerfield Road in Conway, Mill 180 in Easthampton, and the Coach House here in Northampton. Whenever he visited, he would make the rounds to check in with everyone and smell all the smells. He would graciously allow head pats, tummy rubs, and back scratches from all he encountered, and then snuggle up in a cozy spot somewhere—preferably somewhere he could keep an eye on Kim. Often before settling down, he would deem it necessary to race excitedly to and fro in the studio, just to set the tone and express his happiness to spend another day supporting Conway students, faculty, and staff.

L to R: Frodo sits at attention during one of Kim’s Site Engineering classes; note the “Frodo north arrow” in Kim’s white board graphic; Frodo checking the sofa to be sure it has the proper level of cushiness. (He approved.)

Frodo was a trained therapy dog, and he took his job seriously. One recent year, he was included on the students’ end-of-year evaluation survey—and he received fittingly high praise:
  • “I appreciate Frodo’s thoughtful insights and consider it good luck if he chooses to sit next to me occasionally.”
  • “I appreciate the way Frodo makes me feel valued and loved and teaches me about showing either pure joy or ultimate peace. Please give him tenure.”
  • “Frodo has a strong command of empathy and olfactory awareness. Should there be more funds available in the annual budget, I would recommend a healthy bonus for this particular employee. Or maybe just a treat.”
  • “We are so fortunate to have him. This program is an intense emotional experience. Dogs remind us—like no one else—about what matters most.”

As Campus Manager Dave Weber ’15 aptly put it, “Frodo may have been small in stature but he had a mountain of a soul and vast reserves of joy, which he spread generously.” Indeed, Frodo spread an outsized amount of love and comfort at the Conway School, and we will miss him.

Conway faculty and staff are making a contribution to the Dakin Humane Society in Frodo’s memory.