Last Thursday I drove into Keene from Jaffrey get a few things at the food co-op. My two dogs, standard poodles, accompanied me, as always. Charley’s the black one, Swagger’s the blond.

I was foolish and as I was putting my bags in the back, they both jumped out and took off. The odors of Keene are alluring to a Jaffrey dog. They ignored my calls, so I enlisted the willing help of a woman there named (if I remember) Ellen, and she and I went after them. I found Charley about ten minutes later and put him back in the car, but Swagger was off somewhere. Thereupon the saga involving a great number of people — some of whom had seen him trotting down Main Street. I won’t go into the details, but about 45 minutes later, I found him on Lower Main Street.

So many people helped me who I wanted to thank and never got a chance: several women, including Ellen, in the co-op parking lot; and the young man who told me he’d seen Swagger over by Localburger, headed down Main; Deb at Horse & Buggy; the state trooper down on 101 who took all my information and called it in from his car into the Keene police; the man who offered me a ride when I spotted Swagger about six car lengths ahead and was running on foot after him back up Main Street (I’m 74, by the way, so running isn’t all that easy); and the couple who, I didn’t realize at the time, must have been driving very slowly behind Swagger as he made his way back up Lower Main — this is during rush hour. They managed to keep traffic slow, I finally caught up, and then they gave me and Swagger a ride in their car back to mine.

I wanted to thank everyone who helped and especially those who I couldn’t thank at the time. We’re living through a period of wide disagreement on a national level, and all too often unnecessarily unpleasant comments are made to each other. But this experience demonstrated to me that my neighbors are still as neighborly as I have always found them to be. I think we agree on more than we disagree, and this was an occasion that showed that.


831 Mountain Road