Going to the dogs

The North End of the island is one of the few places along the East Coast where you can legally drive your 4 wheel drive vehicle down the beach and set up camp right above the high tide line — tents, campers, campfires, dogs running free.

Booze? Hell, the Brew Thru, our drive-through beer and smokes store, does beer delivery right to your tent stakes 7 days a week during the summer. They’ll sell you firewood, too.

We don’t go there in the summer. Understandably, it gets kind of rowdy and crowded, but this time of year it’s perfect. The beach is long, wide and level. Polly can run.

And, of course, we can run into dog owners, locals mostly.

We’d just parked the car on the street and were headed to the beach when we saw this guy walking toward us with two little dogs on leashes.

GUY #1: Buffullowthuday. Dumwevzehuj!

ME: Can’t wait! Thanks!

Guy kept on walking.

A (to me, sotto voce): You understood him? What’d he say?

ME (nods): He said, ‘It’s beautiful out there today. Them waves is huge!’

Seven years ago when we moved here I couldn’t understand the locals either, and now sometimes I feel like one. I still need to stuff clamshells in my mouth to talk like that, though.

The guy was right. It was beautiful out on the beach. And the waves were huge.

We went back to the North End the next day, parked in the same spot even. Before we got out of the car, we saw a dog that looked very much like Polly trotting down the street. Alone.

We have pretty expensive leash laws on the streets, so you rarely see dogs padding down the sidewalk on their own. This dog looked lost.

We called the dog over and checked his collar and tags. I got out my cell phone to call Buddy’s owner.

GUY #2: Hello?

ME: Hey, you looking for your dog?

GUY #2: Sure am. Where you at?

His truck pulled down the street before I’d even finished giving him the address.

GUY #2 TO DOG: Buddy, you a bad boy!

BUDDY (wags tail happily): Woof!

GUY #2 TO US: Happens again, just drop him off at [insert name of local sleazy dive bar here]. Buddy knows the place. He’ll just wait for me to show up there, ‘cause he knows I will, sooner or later.

Buddy and he got into the truck and took off.

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