Monday, August 18, 2008

My Dogs Tell Me Where to Live!

My wife and I were driving into Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod,
recently looking at properties for sale in or near the town and the water.
There were several cute, intriguing cottages near the water, tucked in on
a side street with cozy fenced-in yards and neighbors closeby. But quickly
we realized something: We could never have one of these homes.
There isn't a lot of room in P-town, so everyone is kind of squished
into a very small and busy place. Everyone hears what everyone else is
doing, and you are never far from interested eyes and ears.
The thing is, we are a noisy bunch. We don't arrive anywhere quietly
--- or, for that matter, leave anywhere quietly. We are a family with four
dogs. Four big dogs with big mouths and big egos. Every noise in the night
is a possible intruder, every knock on the door a threat to the family's
safety, every entrance or departure in the car must be announced, and
every other dog in our vicinity MUST be barked at no matter what. That
seems to be the dog credo: When in doubt, bark and bark loudly.
Now, if there was just one dog, maybe two, the barking could be
contained. But with four dogs, it is like an explosion of noise that
probably can be heard for blocks. This makes it very difficult to quietly
show up or leave anywhere.
We used to own a vacation condo in the town of Truro (Cape Cod, near
P-Town), where the units were about 10 feet apart. It would never fail that
when we would arrive at 11 p.m., the barking chorus would start. Or when
leaving, our dogs would see our always-annoyed neighbors and
decide they would ALL say goodbye. Needless to say we do not live there
anymore. We moved to the next town, where for neighbors we have
four horses on one side (their humans are rarely home) and an elderly
couple (presumably with hearing problems) on the other side about 100
yards away. Perfect.
So, this is where we vacation and where we probably will stay. We can
dream about living in Provincetown and walking downtown for coffee or a
quick dinner. We can dream about winning megabucks and living in a big,
beautiful house on the bluffs of P-town with plenty of land between us and
our neighbors. But for now, our little house next to the horse farm is just
Because without a houseful of dogs, well, it'd be more like a nightmare.

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