May 2, 2016


When our daughter was three years old we lived in a typical suburban home with a yard surrounded by neighbors who weren’t terribly neighborly.  They kept to themselves and we didn’t think much of it since having a toddler, a big dog and two careers was enough to keep us occupied.  After a while the surliness started to grate and we disliked the isolation of living in a subdivision so we decided to move. 

After days and days of boxes and bubble wrap and hauling and sorting and lifting and cleaning and dismantling and supervising the movers, we were finished.  It was a warm summer evening and we were dirty, hungry and totally exhausted but finally all packed for the drive to our new home.  I got into in one car with our daughter and my husband got into the other car, both loaded to the gills with odds and ends that hadn’t made it into the moving van.  Loaded, that is, except for a certain golden canine who was nowhere to be found.

We had dismantled Max’s electric fence in preparation for the move and tied him for a short time to a tree in the backyard.  He had been in the garage but kept escaping, then in the bathroom but he kept scratching on the newly repaired door, so this seemed like the most reasonable solution for two frazzled people in the midst of a move.  My husband searched around in the dark and found Max’s collar tied to the tree but no Max.  Had this been a different dog, this would have been a surprising development.  He called and called and still no Max.

Our daughter started crying in the backseat and my husband said he’d wait and find Max.  I was relieved about this and itching to get to our destination but a little worried that he wouldn’t find Max.  Just as I started to back out of the driveway, I heard a crepitant crashing of bushes, and I saw Max flying through the air as he leapt off the six foot retaining wall and landed with a thud of paws in the driveway.  The next thing I heard was a rumbling belly laugh from my husband.  I said, “great, you found Max, see you there!” and I hear, “No don’t go, you have to see this” and I say, getting impatient, “No, really I’m leaving” and I hear, “Wait!  You are not going to believe this.”  So I grudgingly get out of the car thinking to myself, “this better be good because I am really grumpy right about now” and I was not disappointed.  There, sitting in the backseat of my husband’s car, I saw Max with his chest puffed out and in his mouth an enormous steak from the neighbor’s grill that was still sizzling with steam.  When he moved to gulp it down – there was no way he was forfeiting his winnings in the Dog Lottery of a Lifetime - we both noticed that he had three small black grill marks on his snout.

And that, my friends, was our final goodbye to that neighborhood.

If you have a favorite golden dog and a love of Chatham on the Cape, you'll love Chatham Ivy's newest "Entering Chatham" tote bag featuring a cat boat, a seal and a Golden Achiever.  You can fetch it by clicking here.

I smell steak!

Entering Chatham Tote Bag

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