01 Nov 2011

Nantucket Dogs

Nantucket dogs

Nantucket isn’t just for 2-legged tourists and residents. Animals of all kinds love the wide variety of pet-friendly activities, temperate climate and numerous places to explore. Dogs in particular seem to delight in their Nantucket lifestyle. It’s not unusual to see Jack lying alongside a Main Street bench while his master slips into one of the retail shops. Annie struts through ‘Sconset Village sporting her Nantucket themed leash and the latest doggy fashions. Henry and Charlie’s favorite activity is riding in the car with their dad (our Principal Broker Jeff Lee). Jeff tells us he can barely get the car in park before Henry nudges him out so he can captain the driver’s seat. Charlie (the submissive one) is content to poke his head out the back window and greet passersby.

Nantucket Dogs are not only welcome on the island, they are center stage in virtually every major Nantucket event. At the recent Halloween parade, there were puppy pumpkins, witches and at least one princess. At the Fourth of July celebration pups vie for “most patriotic” and during Daffodil weekend there are as many bright yellow doggy bonnets as there are human ones. Dogs can be spotted on sailboats in the harbor, frolicking in the waves at Surfside or chasing their canine buddies on the patio at Cisco Brewery.

Our own dog Coco is the ultimate Nantucket pooch. Prior to moving to the island year-round, all we had to say was “Coco, do you want to go to Nantucket?” to send her running to her dog carrier. Eventually we resorted to spelling Nantucket which she quickly translated. Ultimately all we needed to do was show her the stuffed island-shaped toy and she would race to the door. Like all of us, just the idea of heading to Nantucket put her over the moon. Now that she’s a full time Nantucket dog, she thinks she owns the island. Coco loves riding along to the gas station where they always have a treat for her. She romps around our yard chasing bunnies until she’s exhausted and then she chases them some more. She makes daily visits to her friend Lily, the Scottish Terrior next door. Lily is friendly in return. If we leave our back screen door open she walks right in, munches some of Coco’s food and depending on her mood, grabs one of the pet toys and takes it to her own lawn for a few days. It’s the Nantucket way – share and share alike.

Every now and then an island visitor is taken aback by the joyful enthusiasm of the island canines. Just this summer, Jeff Lee was walking Henry and Charlie toward the ‘Sconset lighthouse when a morning jogger came over the hill. The dogs ran over to greet the new friend who apparently was not as delighted to see them. He responded by getting down on all fours; growling and barking at them in his most ominous voice. Jeff recounts the 2 dogs stopped dead in their tracks, cocked their heads and Jeff was almost certain he heard Henry whisper to Charlie “This guy must not be from here.” They shrugged and bounded on their way. We can’t all be dog lovers.

If you have a family dog who would love the opportunity to chase a frisbee on the beach, take a nature walk at Sanford Farm or simply spend a few days relaxing on an oceanside deck, why not make plans now to visit the island? We are already booking up for 2012 and many of our homes are pet friendly. Come enjoy the dog days of Nantucket.


Shellie Dunlap

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