Dunkirk Dave & Bob
[the 1st Cousin of Punxsutawney Phil]
- As told by Dunkirk Dave’s handler, Bob Will...........
"As a young boy I brought home a sick and injured groundhog and nursed it
back to health, after many months. Eventually, I released the groundhog back to
nature. During this time I researched groundhogs because it was difficult to
find anyone who knew anything about or even spoke well of groundhogs.
No one seemed to know anything or care about this special animal that I
discovered to be quite fascinating and unique. Throughout my teenage years
I became a close friend to Dunkirk Dave. I was very happy that my
wonderful parents allowed me to take adopt orphaned Dunkirk Dave."
Dunkirk Dave and His Weather Predictions....
"My familiarity with groundhogs continued and increased during my college years and I
wanted to be a teacher. Eventually I brought Dunkirk Dave into the classroom
so they would learn the true facts about him.
Of course, every Groundhog Day, Dave came out of his burrow and 'spoke' to my
students. [I had learned the Groundhog language and taught it to my students.]
Every Groundhog Day, Dave hurried outside to see if an accurate prediction
of early spring weather was fortold."
" I later became a State-licensed wildlife authority and have been a rehabilitator to
legally care for sick, injured, and orphaned animals. During this time, I met another
person interested in groundhogs and caring for wildlife– Bill Verge. Bill became a
valuable assistant, caring for groundhogs and other hurt or orphaned animals.
Since then I took individual care of small mammals, and releasing them back to the wild,
I have gotten to know many groundhogs over the years. There was
always a groundhog at home with me to show my students when I brought them to my
Leonard Catalano, head school custodian, mentioned Dunkirk Dave to our
local newspaper staff. One Groundhog Day, Ron Gustafson and Keith Sheldon, editors
for the 'Dunkirk Evening Observer', took pictures, wrote an article, and named this
groundhog, “Dunkirk Dave” 'expert weather predictor.' After the original story was
published, our local Dunkirk Dave prognosticator became well known. I have asked
Dunkirk Dave, my local groundhog for over 59 years, to predict the coming of spring
weather. Dunkirk Dave, historically, is the second-longest prognosticating groundhog in
Following a personal visit with Dunkirk Dave and family, Jeb Bobseine,
a well known newspaper editor from a Masschusettes newspaper, wrote about him -
"Every Day is Groundhog Day at Bob Will's house!"