Christmas Break in Ohio ends up being Joe’s last holiday season


Amanda Smith, Staff Reporter

Joe the Rooskie was a beloved rooster whose life came to a sudden end over Christmas Break.

Nancy Grandillo, wife of Dr. Michael Grandillo, was going to leave Joe on campus over break instead of bringing him back to Ohio because friend Kathy Harkin offered to take care of him.

“When I forgot my phone and went back to campus for it, Joe decided to hop in the car to show that he wanted to come along too,” said Grandillo. She decided to let him come along after all and put him into a carrier.

On Christmas morning, the Grandillos made the unfortunate discovery on their way to church. They found his body in the street after being run over by a car. He was not even two years old yet.

The Grandillos decided to bring his body back to Lakeland so he can be buried on campus as soon as the ground thaws.

Joe hatched in spring of 2011. He came to the Grandillos with six other chicks and was the only rooster. “Joe and a hen made it through the winter, but the hen disappeared in March 2012,” said Grandillo.

Joe’s life may have been short, but he was still able to enjoy many things. Grandillo said Joe loved watching kids walk to and from school and that children in the neighborhood would take a daily walk with their parents or caregivers to see the rooster. Joe also enjoyed roosting in a tree at night when he was not placed into the coop.

When the Rooskie came to Lakeland, he did the same activities, but on a larger scale. He walked around campus, roosted in a tree overnight, and crowed at dawn. The only difference was that it was a larger area and he had more people to watch.

Unfortunately, Joe had one major flaw—he wasn’t afraid of cars. He liked getting close to the road, despite the danger. Even at Lakeland one could see him in the road walking around.

While in Tiffin, Ohio, Joe also had a run in with the law. He made the papers when the Grandillos’ neighbors called the police about him. You could keep chickens in Ohio, but not roosters because of the noise. “When the police were called about Joe, I got a warning from the officer and, in the paper, the police report claimed there was a rooster at large,” said Grandillo. “Everyone knew who it was.”

There are a couple of facts about Joe that many may not have known. One is that Dr. Grandillo named him when they arrived at Lakeland. Another is that he and the Grandillos’ dog, Tipper, got along perfectly. “They loved to play tag,” said Grandillo. “The cat even got along with him. He was also a very social bird if you let him approach you.”

Grandillo also said Joe seemed to get along better with women than with men.

Grandillo is planning to get more chicks in the spring and, if another rooster happens to be in the mix, he will be welcomed, too.

Joe the Rooskie may not have made it past one semester at Lakeland College, but his memory will last among the students who knew him for that short time.