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Marty Howls Holiday Blues

deer hunting season on Nantucket
Staying safe during hunting season on Nantucket

Last year I recall feeling a calm sense of anticipation as the holidays approached. I enjoyed seeing the Christmas decorations go up around the house and feeling the winter chill on my fur when we went for our walks in the woods. This year, however, I think I have come down with a case of the holiday blues. I have been anxious and agitated and just out of sorts.

It all started when I overate on Thanksgiving and upset my stomach. Then the Christmas Stroll crowds crashed in like gangbusters. Then suddenly I found myself sitting on Santa’s lap at the annual NSHA Pet Photos With Santa Event and the big guy was drilling me on what I want him to get me this year.

It is not too surprising I have been a little edgy given that the Christmas season literally starts off with a bang. A gun shot to be more precise. Shot gun season runs from December 2 until December 14 this year. In past years, I wore my orange and kept an eye. The hunters and I seemed to steer clear of each other.

This year they seem to be staked out at every corner. My mom and I took a drive down Red Barn Road in Madaket and there five or six hunters lined up along the road like sentinels dressed in their camo and orange vests and their shot guns in hand. Then this week we were walking one of our usual trails off of Old South Road and we came upon some footprints in the snow. Sure enough, further down the trail, there was a young hunter standing in the middle of the path looking a little lost.

I’m not saying I don’t appreciate the hunters culling the herd a bit. I can only chase so many deer. Plus, I love the snacks they leave behind, even though they make me really sick. I just don’t remember there being such a strong presence.

Speaking of presence, how about that Stroll crown. Huh? I have heard people talk about when Christmas Stroll was a local event and people sipped cider on Main Street and finished up their Christmas shopping. But now it is the place to be. It’s like the Fourth of July in December. Every boat is packed, every inn is filled and the sidewalks are flooded with visitors. It’s great for the retailers who are clearing out their inventory for next season, but for those of us still that have finally recovered from summer it is pretty overwhelming.

Despite my sour mood, my mom insisted we go have my picture taken with Santa, so she can send out her Christmas cards. With all this excitement, I had not even pondered what I wanted for Christmas. So when scurried up next to Santa and he asked me what I wanted to Christmas, I just cocked my head and stared at him like an idiot. Way to go, Marty!

All I want to Christmas this year is some flipping PEACE AND QUIET!

Fortunately, I may get my wish. Stroll is over. Most of town seems to be closed up until April. Best of all, shotgun season wraps up on December 14. (Still walk with caution. Primitive Arm, a.k.a. musket season, runs until December 31.)

So I think I’ll do a few downward facing dogs and patiently await the New Year.


J Dawg, who voices the paws-on-the-ground perspective of island life, is created by Janet Forest, owner of Nantucket Pet Sitter, which you can follow on Facebook, too.