It all began with a duck.

Bonnie Waitzkin, who summers next door, called late one afternoon to ask if I knew anyone who had a pet duck. The duck was in her backyard. She feared for its safety as a dog was expected at her house shortly. I asked how she knew it was a pet duck.

“I know it’s a pet duck because it’s so beautiful and was calmly drinking the water in my driveway,” she said. “It didn’t stir when I went by. It’s black with a stunningly white breast. I know a wild duck when I see one, and this duck clearly isn’t wild. Can’t you find out whose duck it is and see that it gets safely home?”

Since I live year-round in West Tisbury, Bonnie, like most summer people, thinks I know everyone and every pet in town. But in these days of the Vineyard real estate boom, I don’t.

I’ve met the dog-walking Mamets from Chevy Chase, Md. They bought Dianne Powers’s house and replaced her four Great Danes with two small dogs. Dianne’s Fancy and Sailor were good friends of mine. When I passed by on walks, I tossed their toys for them. But they have moved to Pennsylvania. The small dogs that replaced them are shy, I am told, and I am shy about making friends with shy dogs.

Nicole Lamy and Michael Patti are newcomers from Cambridge who bought the Craven house. They have two rescue dogs, Clover and Echo. Both bark vigorous alarms when guests arrive, but are friendly once you have been formally introduced, their owners say.

Off Music street on Tiasquam Road, where I live, it did, indeed, seem to be raining cats and dogs when I went hunting for the pet duck’s home. There is a Hodgson dog named Coquina at the end of the road, and three dogs were out two houses away at the home of Jason Flanders and Sue Pachico. Cat-owning Sue Hruby, a former neighbor, sold her house to two-dog owning doctors, Elana Rudavsky and Avi Fischer, who visit on occasional weekends with their dog Fin.

As for cats, two black and white ones, Gemma and Whipper, live with Christian Flanders located three houses away from me. And I have a long-haired calico named Ki Ki. She came on a Christmas visit from Vineyard Haven for a 10-day stay last year and has never left.

Back on Music street, Tom and Eileen Maley have an eight-year-old cat with a Latvian name, and Sig Van Raan has two indoor cats, Diego and Kahlo, about which he’s written a book.

On the Panhandle, a shrimp-devouring Maine coon cat, Suzette, belongs to Richard Knabel while the George Hartmans have a striped gray tiger, Willie.

And though he lived farther away on Arnie Fischer’s Flat Point Farm, Brigitte Cornand’s golden Andre was a favorite neighborhood pet of mine. His home is now in France with his owner. He spends most of his time in a Paris apartment overlooking the Canal St. Marti, but goes to southwestern France for summer holidays. Perhaps, he occasionally remembers being rescued from a treetop above Tisbury Great Pond by artist Rez Williams.

But a pet duck? Who would have one? Had I had more time, I would have stopped to tell Bonnie about the long black snake I had surprised slithering downstairs in the house where she now summers. But that was long ago when her mother in law Stella, the sculptor, lived there. It may have been that Stella was incorporating it into a sculpture.

I figured I had to hurry, though, for the duck’s sake. I wanted to be sure that it got home before the dog arrived. I wondered, though, if I found its home how I would ever talk it into safely going there. There might be roads to cross. I vaguely remembered a policeman stopping traffic to help a duck family cross the street to the Boston Garden in Make Way for the Ducklings. I envisioned having to ask West Tisbury Police Lieut. Skipper Manter, who lives sort of nearby, to come out and hold up his hand to slow down cars and help a duck.

Happily, at the first stop on my quest, I discovered that the duck was, indeed, a pet and lived just a house away from me. It belongs to Jason Flanders and Leah Pachico.

The duck’s name is Andy and he is a Swedish Blue. I shouldn’t worry about him, his owners said. He always comes home.

That wasn’t the case, however, the night he went to the Waitzkin’s house. He was careful to make a getaway before the dog arrived. He fled, however, to my backyard. Most of his night out on the town was spent quacking under my bedroom window. Could the quacking that kept me up have attracted some traveling wild creature? If so, it definitely was one that didn’t fancy duck, even a blue-blooded Swedish duck, for Andy had made it home by himself before morning, I learned.

If he wants to come back, as long as it’s all right with Ki Ki, I wouldn’t mind Andy’s nibbling on my grass with the wild turkeys occasionally. But he has to cut down on his middle of the night quacks!