Skip to main content

New England Trip. Boston and the North Shore. September 2009.

I have been away for several days, kinda neglected to post on recent developments in animal welfare. My wife and I spent a great three-day weekend up in Boston and the coastal towns north of the city. We had a great time exploring the area along Route 1 and Route 1a. It has been thirty years since I was at Newburyport, and the only thing that I can recall from that visit was the maritime museum on Water Street. Well, it's still there and mostly just the way I remembered it. But this time, I walked around it and found this yard where my Fidelma could play and sit in the sun. Newburyport is very dog-friendly. The wharf is full of dogwalkers, and the stores don't object to bringing your dog in. It was just wonderful to sit on the pier and watch the sailboats go by on a bright and sunny day with no clouds in the sky. Fidelma quickly became the star of the wharf where many people complimented her for being " so cute. " She, typically, responded by showing her teeth and snapping at their fingers.

Further down the road is Rowley where a weekend flea market begins at 8am and closes around 2pm. It's called Todd's Farm Flea Market, and they tout themselves as a New England tradition. There must have been 200 vendors there, and they sold mostly antiques unlike some flea markets where stationary and hardware junk make up most of the merchandize. Best of all, dogs are welcome! This is a pleasant change from the flea markets we frequent, namely Stormville in New York, Elephant Trunk in Connecticut and Golden Nugget in Lambertville NJ, where dogs are not allowed. Yep, a lot of dogs were present at Todd's Farm but no poop on the grounds. It tells us that some organizers are just being mean to people and their pets.

Salem was a nice stop as well. Again, it has been three decades since my last visit. The famed custom house is still there and undergoing some restoration work. This is where Nathaniel Hawthorne worked for a while, and where he conceived his idea for what was to become the much celebrated novel, The Scarlet Letter. Out on the wharf, we came upon a lady with two greyhounds. While talking to her, a man came strolling by with two Italian greyhounds in tow. What are the chances of that happening? Anyway, Fidelma tried to intimidate all four and succeeded.

These coastal, sea-going, historic towns and others like them are all within an hour's drive north of Boston. We checked into a hotel in Boston's theatre district for two nights, and managed to sneak in the little girl unnoticed.


Popular posts from this blog

Northern New Jersey. Dog for Adoption. Simba. Pomeranian.

Here's a dog I want you to meet, Simba. He's an energetic little fellow who literally leaps in joy when it's time for a walk. I mean, Simba leaps vertically like he's on a pogo stick. He's very amusing. Simba was rescued from a pound down in West Virginia, and he's now with us in northern New Jersey. I love small dogs, and he's become my most recent favorite. Simba certainly qualifies as a lap dog. Last Sunday, after walking him, we sat in our patio area at the shelter and I gave him tummy rubs and back massages while he laid like a pillow on my lap. I've been told that Simba doesn't like having a collar put around his neck, and so he wears a harness instead. Interestingly, Simba is microchipped. So, he belonged to someone who cared for him. He's a good boy and only two years old. All predict that Simba will get adopted quickly, like most toy dogs do.

Bloomingdale Animal Shelter Society

UPDATE: Adopted by the Small Animal Rescue of Princeton, NJ

Poem. Captivity, Longing. Cruelty. Misery. Free the Animals.

Thumbing through some Robert Frost poems, I was led to this one by Maya Angelou . I don't know if Frost ever had an influence on Angelou, but certainly any American poet living today would be familiar with Frost's work. Frost and Whitman are my favorite poets, and the romantic poets ( Keats, Byron, and Shelley ) I can't bear. I find their work dense, abstruse and impenetrable. It's just a matter of taste and connectivity. I am no expert on verse, but I will accept the opinion of those who are. They warn us that Frost's poetry is deceivingly simple. If we were to try our hand at it, to put complicated emotions into simple verse, we would be tied up in knots.

Anyway, Angelou's poem below, Caged Bird, touches on the plaintive cries, the longing for better things, that captive individuals must go through. You can apply the core meaning or sentiment of this poem to any situation involving imprisonment or captivity, human or animal. Think of the dog in a dank, dark ba…

Hiking. Protection Against Snake Bites. Gaiters.

You might wonder what on Earth are these? They are called, "gaiters," and fashion has nothing to do with them. Gaiters act like shin guards against briars and other thorny plants, worn by those who work outdoors like forestry rangers, ranchers, and farmers. Gaiters come in different styles and material, but they normally protect the ankles up to the knees.

This pair provides protection against snake bites. New material called SuperFabric makes protection possible without putting on the usual thick, cumbersome gaiters with polycarbonate sheets embedded in them. This pair is flexible and light, made by Whitewater. I got this pair from

I believe that such protection is necessary for hikers considering that rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths are not rare along the trails, and they can be difficult to spot on the ground. I am willing to accept the prevailing theory that snakes, like most wild animals, will avoid hikers if given enough tim…