verge (vʉrj)
the edge, brink, or margin (of something): also used figuratively the verge of the forest, on the verge of hysteria

to tend or incline (to or toward)
to be in the process of change or transition into something else; pass gradually (into) dawn verging into daylight

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Dogs of Provincetown

I spent the weekend in Provincetown recently.  If you've ever been there, you know the thrill of standing at the very tippy edge of Massachusetts.  I love that awareness.  All the rest of Massachusetts is that-a-way while the entire Atlantic is this-a-way. Such a thrill. It's also the tippy edge of all kinds of other things and you have to be the kind of person who enjoys living on the edge to fully appreciate its juxtaposition.  I love its outrageousness as much as I love its paradoxical non-chalance.  And if you're looking for tolerance and freedom, then go to P-town.  It's what the Pilgrims had in mind, I'm sure.

I went to cheer on Genilson who was to swim the Harbor for charity.  It was a chilly morning with a drizzle that felt more like late October than mid-September.  Genilson jumped into his wet-suit and very cheerfully said goodbye as he hopped the ferry to the lighthouse starting point.  [Genilson is perfect].  The rest of us huddled together on the beach trying to stay warm and dry, although not really succeeding at either.  While we very, very, very anxiously waited, a crowd grew (see foot note).  Not just a people crowd, but a dog crowd.  Big ones, little ones, short ones, tall ones.  Dogs with hoodies, dogs with bandanas, dogs in tote bags, dogs in buggies.  There were dogs who had no interest in the drumming or festivities and took naps, and there were others who barked in stern protest anytime anyone got a little too excited (speaking of Maeve...).  There was a Golden who stood in tail-deep water to cheer the racers as they made their way to shore.  Back and forth he went, greeting each swimmer with a high five and a wag of the tail.

There was one dog who stole the show and that was a small dachshund who showed everyone, including the swimmers, what determination is all about.  This little might-mite was going to show Massachusetts what erosion protection is supposed to look like, if it took him forever to do it.  'Big Digger' had found a rock that was half the size of his body on the water's edge and he knew that if he could get it moved to just the right spot, he could begin to redirect the damaging tides that routinely threaten Commercial Street.  Hell, not just Commercial street, but the entire Cape and probably the North and South Shores as well.  This little guy dug without rest for the entire morning.  The more he dug, the more the rock travelled.  Up the beach, down the beach, inlets here, inlets there.  Dams go up, dams come down. The rock gets buried, the rock gets lifted. Trenches to the east, trenches to the west.  Bite the rock, lick the rock, wrap it in sand, rinse it of sand.  Such a multi-layered project. While to laypeople like us it wasn't quite clear where exactly he was trying to direct this rock, what was clear was that he had a very detailed plan and method.  We become so engrossed in this project that we nearly missed Genilson as he hauled himself onto shore.  Fortunately, the Golden waved him in and we hustled to the finish line to welcome him home.  We were awfully glad to see him and to hear of his very cold and jellyfish-laden journey.

As the day went on, we met all kinds of dog-folk.  There were the tourist dogs who mostly stared and took pictures of the resident dogs, there were the shop-keeper dogs who lay on the floor and looked warily at you as they silently tick off the days until the season ends. There were the bull dogs with boas and pit-bulls with lipstick who chortled as we went by.  But my favorites were the two dogs on Conant Street who dance, laugh, and swim, and make the tippy edge seem so effortless and safe.

Think:  high seas, great white sharks, jellyfish, rip tides, Genilson non-chalantly not training for this....) No kidding.  Thus very x 3.


  1. I love the journeys your writing takes us on.

  2. i especially appreciate that from you, the Reigning Dawg of Blog, imho.