I maybe Top Dog at Birchwood Inn, but, alas, I’m not the only dog. Piper, an 11-year-old “Blab,” a beagle and black lab mix, used to visit for short periods of time with Ellen’s son Peter. But four years ago, Piper arrived for what appears to be for good. Reminds me of “The Man Who Came to Dinner.”
Piper does know her place. She knows not to touch my tennis balls, which is okay with her because she prefers trees! Most dogs like to chew on sticks, but Piper chews on trees. Really! The bigger the branch the better. When she finds one in the garden, she tries to bring it to the inn, but she invariably hits a sign post along the way. Picture a beagle-size dog with a 10-foot branch in her mouth. Hilarious!
Piper also loves to chew on my old toys. At breakfast time, she often has the whole menagerie out in the dining room. Watch out for the stuffed elephant!
Piper, moreover, has wanderlust and has been found all over Lenox. We do try to keep her at the inn, but age hasn’t slowed her down. Open the door, and there she goes. We’ve had calls from Kennedy Park, where she loves to hike; from Belvoir Terrace, a girls’ arts camp nearby; Lenox Coffee; and Lenox Library. Everyone knows Piper! She makes sure of that. Last summer she made her acting debut, streaking across the stage of an outdoor production at Shakespeare and Company. No stage fright for her! (Only despair for Ellen!)
Piper has several favorite haunts. She loves the expansive lawn at St. Ann’s Church. It’s great for rolling on her back, to the amusement of passers-by. And in nice weather, she loves to frequent Haven, a local breakfast/lunch restaurant. She sits at one of the outdoor tables and waits for someone to sit down to talk with her. She claims she doesn’t eat anything, but what are those telltale bits of sugar on her whiskers?
And everyone except Ed, who lives across the street, loves Piper. Go figure!
[Photo to come when we figure out how to download it]