My Yellow Lab Floyd

He shows me the way

A boy in a dog suit

On a scent

Innocent

His marble-sized eyes

Soft brown nougats

Warm Black Crow centers

Anchored in opposing tear drops

At rest

Lying sideways

Between the weight of the world

And a profound sense of loss

He has seen it all

And regrets most of it

Eyes rimmed as if with kohl

It’s a look, a look that cannot be denied

You want to give him everything

You will give him anything,

Anything that will make his tongue come out

And swipe his snout

Or make him sweep the floor with his tail

Call his name

Tell him he’s good

Ask him if he wants food

Ask him if he wants a ride

Tell him Mommy’s coming

Tell him anyone’s coming

For God’s sake just say hello

As Quixote upon seeing a windmill,

He tilts his head

He pumps an eyebrow

He’s ready to follow you

To the ends of the earth or the driveway,

Whichever comes first.

“Mommy, why is that doggie so sad?”

The little girl pumps her mother’s hand,

Her finger wags at Floyd

“He can’t help it,” I say in a sing-song way.

“His eyes are shaped like sadness.

His brows slope down,

Like a seesaw always down.

He always looks this way,

Even when he’s happy

And he’s always happy.

Isn’t that right, Floyd?”

Tilt

Pump

Lick

Wag

Giggle

The little girl runs over and hugs Floyd,

Squeezing his scruff with arms of grace in training.

He looks at me as if to say,

“Is this the ends of the earth or the driveway?”

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Appeal for Dog Unity

I need to point out some contradictions that exist on the Island regarding dogs. A letter to the editor on July 19 about dogs on the beach generalized dog owners as “idiots” and “irresponsible.” This I take issue with as I would never act in the way the Walkers describe their beach and dog situation. Right underneath this exhortation is a sensitive story written by Peter Robb about his love for his dog, Lucca, and the kind loving act of adopting dogs. Quite a contrast.

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Vineyard Inside Out: Vineyard Dogs and Their Owners Stay True to Spirit of Island Life
CK Wolfson

There are some persisting myths about the Vineyard — such as the notion that this is an easy place to ride a bicycle, that all Islanders know a ketch from a yawl, grow their own tomatoes, think nothing of picking up hitchhikers or picking off ticks, and most important, own at the very least one dog. Maybe two.
And that last one is the truest. Island dogs are omnipresent — and that doesn’t include the little pups that get carried around in summer purses like fluffy accessories.

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Dogs Lead the Way to Our Better Selves
Peter B. Robb

Here comes another dog story but who doesn’t love dogs? I want to tell you about Lucca who died in early June. She was a Siberian Husky that we adopted on a cold, snowy Super Bowl Sunday back in 2010. We were never sure of her actual birthday so we celebrated before the football game.

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Dog Owners and Pilots Pose Conundrums For Management of Land Bank Preserve
Chris Burrell

With all the worries plaguing aviators these days, the thing
that's got Trade Winds airport manager Joe Costa all worked up is
dog droppings - on the runway and taxi lane.

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Dog Saves Man in Cold Harbor Rescue
Jim Hickey

An Island man who fell into the Edgartown harbor was saved from
drowning on Sunday by a pair of unlikely heroes: a patron at the Wharf
Pub who had stepped outside for a smoke, and a determined four-year-old
Bouvier des Flandres named Maui.

Bouvier des Flandres is a breed of Belgian retrievers known for
their intelligence and for protecting their masters, two attributes
displayed aptly by Maui Sunday when he played a pivotal role in saving
the life of his owner, Leonard Fogg of Edgartown.

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An Old Friend Recalled
Dorothy West

Editors’ note: The following essay written by longtime Oak Bluffs columnist Dorothy West first appeared in the Vineyard Gazette on August 9, 1985.

By DOROTHY WEST

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Bad Luck for Hot Dogs: County To Enforce Ban at State Beach
Remy Tumin

Beachgoers whisking their dogs onto Joseph Sylvia State Beach for a quick spin hoping no one notices may want to think twice this summer — the Dukes County commissioners are calling for a volunteer-based patrol program to help enforce the no-dogs policy.

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Call Off the Dogs from Out of Town
Peter Brannen

Out-of-towners leave your dogs at home, the West Tisbury parks and recreation committee has decided, at least if you are going to Lambert’s Cove Beach with your pooch.

On Wednesday the committee agreed to restrict dog privileges to town residents, amid increasing complaints from beachgoers who have watched sunset picnics blemished by uncontrolled canines and unretrieved dog droppings.

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Olive, Won’t You Please Come Home
Sarah Durham Wilson

She’s the talk of the Island. They’re musing about her in the coffee line at Alley’s and she is the subject of after-class rumblings at the Yoga Barn. Passengers discuss her on the ferry. Your sister heard about her at a bar — in Brooklyn. Lately it is hard to find someone who is not involved, at least conversationally, in the search for Olive, the missing black Lab.

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