Highway Haiku # 3
If there is one thing
I just can not tolerate
Behind the steering wheel – and that, in case you were wondering, is where all our chapter-starting haikus were written – I am a different man.
I am smarter. I am slightly better looking. I am more likable. I get along much better with me. I get a feeling, even as I’m obeying speed limits, that there are no limits. The brain clicks in a way it doesn’t when I’m sitting at a desk, in a cubicle. When I’m in a moving car, alone or, better yet with a dog — as opposed to someone I’m required to impress — I get something that approaches confidence.
On the outskirts of confidence, I feel capable of almost anything. Poetry? Sure I can do that. Singing? No problem. Invincibility? Even though it’s probably when we’re at our absolute most vincible – barreling down a highway — driving a car is when I come closest to feeling that way.
Driving occupies a certain percentage of my brain – including, I think, that section where self-doubt and self-consciousness are manufactured – and, in so doing, unleashes the rest, allowing it to rethink old ideas and entertain new ones. It might be the calming cadence that pavement cracks provide. Or maybe it’s the mere motion, the sense that, even if I don’t know where I’m going, I’m headed somewhere. Perhaps it’s just feeling unshackled, unmanipulated and unjudged. It’s empowering, and makes me think I’m in total control.
Of course, I am not.
As John Steinbeck pointed out, you don’t take a trip; a trip takes you: It’s “an entity different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless.”
To think you’re in sole control, of either trip or dog, is to be fooling yourself, which is one trademark of humans – fooling ourselves. Another trademark, maybe even an instinct, is our seeming need – even while not quite having mastered controlling ourselves — to control anything else we have the remotest chance of controlling. We’re a bossy assed species that prefers our expectations to be met, preferably immediately, by pressing down a little harder on the accelerator, or pushing a button, or popping a pill, or clicking a mouse.
Flawed as we are, we somehow came to be in charge – to have dominion, or so at least we think, over all the other animals, and stewardship of the planet as well. Perhaps that was God’s work, perhaps it was dumb luck. In any event, for better or worse, given our opposable thumbs, our upright posture, our vocabulary, the invention of weapons and our bossy-assedness, we came to dictate.
And there’s no species – actually, subspecies is the correct term – that we’ve dictated over more than canines.
Other animals face crueler fates, like ending up on dinner plates. Others are more oppressed, more exploited and more confined. But no species has seen its members more shaped, stretched and manipulated. Through selective breeding – seizing on mutations and seeking novelty – we’ve turned the wolf into everything from a Chihuahua to a Great Dane. Were the same tinkering applied to us, with the same results, some of us would be 15 times taller than others.
Assuming we have carte blanche, more concerned with what is pleasing to our eyes than what is good for their health, we’ve turned many breeds into caricatures. And what do we ask in return for all our meddling? Merely undying loyalty, an even temperament and speedy responses to our often silly commands. From what other animal do we demand “obedience?”
Some of it – the leashes, licensing and vaccinations, the spaying and neutering, the need to constantly remind them who’s in charge – is necessary, at this point. But, again, that was our doing. Every dog problem is a human-caused problem, except maybe fleas. We’re the ones who took a wild animal, turned it into something new, and began working to make it 100 percent predictable.
With dogs, we set parameters, enforce rules and pull rank. We teach them useless tricks, bedeck them in silly clothes, try to make them more like us, and attempt to train, contain or breed out the last ounces of spirit and independence. There’s still a miniscule bit of wolf within. But humans (a species that hasn’t entirely vanquished the ape within) aren’t done with dog yet. The day could still come when the domestication of dog becomes “complete,” and they respond to our every command, our every whim, as predictably as a remote control robot.
Sometimes it seems that’s the direction society is going in — with dogs, trips and life – stamping out any uncertainty, ensuring uniformity and no surprises; prescribing the flow rather than going with it, demanding that all will conform to our expectations, that all will conform, period.
One can’t help but note, traveling across the U.S. – at least those parts of it easily accessible from interstate highways – that conformity reigns. Whether you’re after fast food, slightly slower food, a place to sleep or gas up, one interstate exit is pretty much a carbon copy of every other one, as if there were kennel-club-like breed standards to ensure they all look the same …
The Exit should have a long and curving ramp that terminates at its intersection with a four-lane road, alongside which are easily distinguishable Starbucks, Wendy’s and Taco Bells. The Exit has a stop and go gait, a friendly appearance and a welcoming personality. It should contain at least one large home improvement store, three service stations, a shopping and/or strip mall with ample parking and no less than two bank branches. The Exit is highly dependable by nature, and good with children.
Once we humans come up with something, the first thing we like to do is give it a name – such as the “Dandy Dinmont Terrier.” The second thing is to lay down some rules. The Dandy Dinmont, for example, should have “large soulful eyes,” a “fluffy head of hair,” and “a tail shaped like a scimitar,” according to American Kennel Club standards.
And once some humans lay down rules, other humans tend to unquestioningly follow them — even when they lack rhyme or reason, even if they’re serving only to hold up a house of cards.
Take haiku, a type of verse I’d always enjoyed making fun of more than actually writing. It’s a very rule-laden form, its prescribed standards insisting on a five-syllable line, followed by a seven-syllable one, followed by another five-syllable one – with no rhyming allowed.
In composing my road poetry, I obeyed the syllable edict, and the near-stifling challenge of it got me through countless miles of boring interstate highway. Interstate highways tending to make me feel rebellious, I didn’t always adhere to the rule that the lines should not rhyme. To me, that added some joy to the form’s otherwise bleak rhythm.
Ace and I had mostly avoided interstates as we headed north, for the precise purpose of side-stepping the mind-numbing, cookie-cutter sameness that was gaining a foothold even as Steinbeck and Charley circumnavigated America 50 years earlier.
“Let’s take food as we have found it,” he wrote. “It is more than possible that in the cities we have passed through, traffic-harried, there are good and distinguished restaurants with menus of delight. But in the eating places along the roads the food has been clean, tasteless, colorless, and of a complete sameness. It is almost as though the customers had no interest in what they ate as long as it had no character to embarrass them…”
Fifty years later, when it comes to road food – and more – America has only grown more homogenized, even amid its increasing ethnic diversity. Expect the usual suspects at every exit, with signs pointing the way to the nationally-known franchise of your choice. A town’s soul is a little harder to find. No signs point to it, and chances are it’s disappearing anyway. The character of a town, what makes it unique, has become harder for someone just passing through to pinpoint. And, as of last time I checked, there’s no app for that. All you can do is explore, or maybe ask …Local color? Try the Applebee’s.
Given all that, it was a thrill to land, after veering off Steinbeck’s route and heading east, in Provincetown, Mass., one of the dog-friendliest towns in America, one of the gay-friendliest, and one that, located on the wispy, windblown tip of Cape Cod, has avoided the pitfalls of becoming Anywhere, USA.
Knowing little else about the place, except that it was connected to pilgrims, Ace and I pulled into Provincetown the day after it was honored as “the dog-friendliest town in America.” The distinction is bestowed annually by Dog Fancy magazine, based on factors like a city’s amount of open space, dog parks, dog-related events, veterinarians and pet stores and services, and on local ordinances that support and protect pets.
Dogs are everywhere in Provincetown, but what struck me first about the place was the number of same sex couples holding hands. In addition to the vast numbers of gay tourists it attracts, Provincetown has the highest concentration of gay residents in the U.S. — 163.1 per 1000 couples, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
The census numbers – though the “.1” is a little confusing — explain why you see a lot of gay couples holding hands in Provincetown. But they don’t explain why a seeming majority of hand-holders are of the same sex. At first I thought it was just me being more likely to notice it. So I began a non-scientific and unofficial, day-long tally, making notches on the back of my notebook under the headings SSHH (Same Sex Hand Holders) and OSHH (Opposite Sex Hand Holders). By my count, same sex couples were almost twice as likely to be holding hands.
It could be that gays just get out more, skewing the sample. It could be the influx of gay tourists that accounts for it, and the fact that, being in a place where they can, judgment-free, comfortably intertwine their fingers, they make the most of it. Or it could be simply that gays and lesbians are, for reasons worthy of further investigation, more inclined to hold hands.
That I was seeing a different America than John Steinbeck did wasn’t something that just dawned on me then – but this was a standout example, one that, like electing a black man president, showed we’d made progress since 1960 in something other than technology, pharmaceuticals and finding wars to get into. That dog-friendliness and gay-friendliness are still relegated to pockets shows we’re not all the way there, but, stagnant as it sometimes seems, slow as it seems to move, America has grown up a bit in the past 50 years.
It should be recognized here that Provincetown is, arguably, the birthplace of American democracy. It was here that pilgrims first landed in 1620, not Plymouth Rock, 50 miles to the east. They’d go there later. While the rock gets all the glory, it was on the point of Cape Cod that pilgrims first set foot on American soil, and here as well that the Mayflower Compact was signed. Fleeing persecution for their religious beliefs, seeking more freedom, the first thing they did – wouldn’t you just know it — was come up with list of rules, deeming them necessary after some disputes aboard ship. Locals commemorated that piece of history more than 100 years ago by erecting the Pilgrim Monument, at almost 253 feet the tallest all-granite structure in the United States.
Sitting on a bench with Ace and guzzling a steamy bowl of to-go clam chowder, I wondered as I looked up at it whether it was irony or poetic justice — a place founded by a group of pious, freedom-seeking, rule-spouting pilgrims evolving into one so open-minded and accepting, one not caught up in dictating behavior, except when it comes to parking.
I began to think there might be a connection between being both the gay-friendliest and dog-friendliest town in America.
I gave myself two days to figure that one out, but the quick answer is yes.
My dog may be larger than life, but I am not.
I do not possess a commanding presence, and I don’t really want one. Heads don’t turn when I step into a room. The room does not “light up” when I enter; it undergoes no discernable change at all. I am quiet, prone to mumbling if I say anything, and tend to sink into the woodwork.
As a child, I read somewhere that the meek were going to inherit the earth, and – even though I didn’t necessarily want the responsibility that would come with that — I made the mistake of believing it. As an adult, and a newspaper reporter, I found that quietly blending in generally put you in a position to gather more information, and that I much preferred observing to being observed.
It is too late to change now – to become a swashbuckling type, to talk overly loud, shake hands overly firmly, or to show I can survive in the wild with a pocketknife and a roll of duct tape. I’d take a credit card, one with some room to charge still left on it, over those any day. For three decades, I let my work — words on a page – do most of my speaking. Not knowing to what dangerous places it might lead, I never made it a practice to call attention to myself. If everyone is watching you, more will see it when you trip.
Now my dog now does that for me – both trips me and calls attention to me. He’s a head-turner, without even trying, by virtue of the impressive figure he cuts and the mystery over what breed or breeds he might be. I, secretly, enjoy the attention he receives. Even more secretly, part of me is envious of it. But, in truth, he’s not swashbuckling, either.
While Ace did manage to survive on his own in his childhood, while I’m sure he would more than hold his own in a fight, while he is, by virtue of his size, intimidating to those who don’t immediately see the sweet guy inside, he is, at his core, as wimpy as I am. Either it’s a trait we’ve always shared or, given the tendency of dog and human companions to become more alike over the years, my wimpitude has magically rubbed off on him. And it is almost like magic.
Say I’d see a scary bug that had infiltrated my home – back when I had a home. Even before I jumped up to get something to swat it with (usually an unfinished New York Times crossword puzzle), even before I physically reacted at all, generally with a quick intake of breath and a speeded up heartbeat, Ace would sense my alarm. His eyes would bulge, and he’d get up and start nervously looking around. Then, seeing me with a rolled up newspaper – though he has never been swatted with one, at least by me – he’d slink off to the bedroom, leaving me to fend for myself.
Ace had only been on one camping trip in his life, in the mountains of North Carolina, during which he was a nervous wreck, at least at night. He was startled by every little sound, and would seek out the solace of a sleeping bag, even if it was already occupied. A grown-up person and a 130 pound dog, I learned, cannot fit in your average sleeping bag.
Still, figuring our four months on the road had made us, if not rugged outdoors types, at least a little more grizzled, I decided it was time to give camping another try.
While there was plenty of dog-friendly lodging available in Provincetown, most of it was out of my price range. After visiting the beach, I drove back to the Dune’s Edge campground, which I’d seen on the way into town. Confirming its dog friendliness, I forked over $60 for two nights of camping.
Unloading my rooftop carrier, I pulled out the tent, spread it on the ground and tried to recall how I last set it up, three years ago. It didn’t come back to me, so I assembled the long rods, laid them atop the flattened fabric of the tent, and took another break while pondering what the next step might be. I stuck the rods through some slots in the fabric and stepped back again. Still uncertain whether I was doing it right, I hollered over at a nearby campsite, one of whose occupants came over to serve, first as an assistant, then, sensing my ineptitude, as supervisor.
With help, it all went up easily, and I drove some metal stakes in the ground to assure it would stay that way amid the high winds that blow along the cape.
I went off to hunt for dinner, hitting a gourmet-type grocery and picking up salmon dip, bread, cheddar cheese and salami, all of which could be enjoyed without building a fire. In my book, other than the stars above, campfires are the only reason to camp out, but they were prohibited at Dune’s Edge. Ace and I shared the meal, and I heated up some water on my propane burner for some tea. I put my cot inside the tent, and placed a blanket on the floor for Ace, telling him that it was his bed.
I’d planned to read, but the batteries were dead in both my flashlights, so I stepped outside for one last cigarette. When I returned, Ace had gotten comfortable on the cot – perhaps assuming, like me, that one could better avoid crawly bugs there. He agreed to get off only after some strong urging.
As we bedded down, he seemed spooked by everything – a car door closing, a stick being stepped on, headlights casting shadows on the tent walls. Every time a breeze made the tent’s sides flutter, he looked alarmed, which is understandable, I guess, when you’ve lived all your life within walls that don’t move.
Dozing off in the darkness with my arm flopped over the side of the cot, I felt something cold and wet pushing my hand. It was Ace’s nose, followed by his paw, which plopped itself into my hand and stayed there, at least until I, serenaded by chirping crickets, fell asleep.
By morning the tent was still up. I zipped Ace inside and went for a shower. It cost a quarter for every three minutes of spray. It was early, and I encountered no other life forms except a ferocious-looking spider in the sink. I kept my distance, moving two sinks down to brush my teeth.
Back at the tent, I unzipped it, and Ace came bounding out, running in circles, as he always does when I return, whether he has been left alone for five hours or, as in this case, five minutes. He licks my hand, takes off, returns for another lick and takes off again. It’s a recurring celebration, this gleeful behavior that dogs exhibit upon an owner’s return — one they never lose their zest for, one they never do halfway. It’s always all out.
He calmed down as I put some coffee on to brew, and positioned himself by the picnic table as I drank a couple of cups. When I opened the back of the Jeep to get his water jug and refill his bowl, he jumped in. I wasn’t ready to go, but he was. That’s just one of the many advantages of a canine travel partner – they require no preparation time. He had no clue of where we might be going, and required no explanation. He had no hair to fix, no inner turmoil about which shoes to wear. He wouldn’t get upset if I took a wrong turn. In his world, there are no wrong turns.
I decided that should be my motto, too – at least until I’d made about six of them on our way into town and ended up in a dockside $17.50 parking space.
The first thing we did that Sunday was hit one of the town beaches — all of which permit dogs and, from 6 to 9 a.m., allow them to be off leash.
Ace sniffed around for a while, then broke into full frolic mode, kicking up sand as he ran in circles, stopping every now and then to crouch into a play stance and bite into the sand. He tested the water briefly, deciding running around on dry land was more fun, especially if I was chasing him.
We play this game — a variation on bullfighting – and perhaps it horrifies onlookers. I double up his leash, making sure the clip part is in my hand, and act like I’m going to give him a whipping. I even say, as I slowly walk towards him, “You’re gonna get a whippin’ … You better watch out … ” When I do that he runs toward me, veering to the side at the last possible moment, and I gently swat his behind with the leash when he goes by. Then he circles and comes back again. I’ve been gored a few times, by his claws, because sometimes he’ll jump up on me as he passes by.
For 50 of my 57 years, I’ve had at least one dog – starting with Tippy, a gift for my 5th birthday. He was a purebred collie – purebreds, as America approached 1960, being all the rage. Purebreds were status symbols, a way to show you, and not just your dog, were of good breeding. Throughout most of the history of dogs, possessing a purebred, as meaningless as the term might be, showed you had some class.
That seemed important to my parents, and to John Steinbeck.
Steinbeck got Charley from a breeder in France. The poodle was born and raised in Bercy, on the outskirts of Paris, before Steinbeck had him shipped to Long Island. Around that same time, down the road in Huntington, I got Tippy, a regal but wandering beast – 100 percent collie and 100 percent vacilando.
We’ll let John Steinbeck explain: “In Spanish there is a word for which I can’t find a counterword in English. It is the verb vacilar, present participle vacilando. It does not mean vacillating at all. If one is vacilando, he is going somewhere, but doesn’t greatly care whether or not he gets there, although he has direction.”
Tippy was a rambling dog, he lived outside, as most dogs did back then, with no fence to contain him. He was prone to taking off and exploring both the immediate neighborhood and beyond. On one such journey, after we’d moved to Houston, he never came back, apparently eating some poison along the way.
Someone found his body and buried him in the woods. My little brother and I, upon learning that, unburied him, at least enough to confirm it was him, and said our goodbyes. More dogs would follow – all loved, but none, until Ace, quite the dog Tippy was.
Steinbeck too had a succession of dogs, burying his next to last, Charley, somewhere in that yard back in Sag Harbor, in a grave I’d failed to find. I’d double checked my notes after that, to make sure I was right about the grave being under a willow tree. Eventually, I found the reference I was looking for, contained in a letter Steinbeck had written Aug. 13, 1963 in response to a fan, though that was not his practice.
“When Charley died we planted a willow tree over him; sentimental, but who isn’t? Then I had to go to town and when I came back someone had planted flowers all around the tree. I don’t know who did it. I don’t want to know.”
The fan, from North Carolina, had sent Steinbeck some of his poetry, and suggested that, for his next dog, he consider a Boston terrier. Steinbeck was still debating that choice, but it was clear he’d choose another purebred.
“I haven’t got another dog yet,” he wrote. “I am torn between a white English bull terrier and my first loves which were Airedales. I will want a very young dog to raise and train with care so that independence survives obedience.” As for the suggestion of a Boston terrier, Steinbeck wrote “it’s a “fine dog with a great deal of humor. What has happened to the breed is what I detest. They are small, pop-eyed, asthmatic, with weak stomachs and an inability to find their way home.”
Indeed, even then, our tinkering with dogs — our breeding of closely related dogs to create more predictable, look-a-like, conforming purebreds, to give them the look we determined they should have — was leading to breed-specific health issues. The problem, directly attributable to limiting the gene pool in our quest for canine purity, has only grown in the five decades since.
America was awakening to many things in the 1960s, but the dangers of inbreeding and line breeding, and the incalculable joys of mutts, weren’t among them. Most Americans bought the American Kennel Club line, and continued to hold a preference for the pedigreed. Perhaps there’s another connection, or irony, there — between us being a country of mongrels and the importance we’ve traditionally placed on purebreds.
It’s human nature, I suppose, to want to fit in and stand out at the same time. John Steinbeck’s family name was originally Grossteinbeck — German cubed — until a grandfather decided two syllables were quite enough. I sometimes wish my forefathers had joined in that trend. We strive to blend in while keeping a hold on our heritage, just as we strive to be Everyman while also showing we have some class – often doing so through the automobile make we purchase, the neighborhood we live in, the purebred dog breed we choose, or by pointing out any impressive blooms on our family trees.
As a species, we’re still too stuck on “status” – whether it stems from having a dog descended from a Westminster champion, or a relative who arrived on the Mayflower.
Ace and I got to enjoy two full days of Provincetown’s “Pet Appreciation Week.”
After visiting the beach, we stopped at the Governor Bradford, a restaurant named after the man who wrote the Mayflower Compact. It, like most restaurants with patios in Provincetown, allows dogs. After a breakfast of eggs and home fries — interrupted five times by people asking, “What kind of dog is that?” — we hit the pier, where Ace seemed fascinated by the old fishing boats, probably because of the scents they harbored.
Seeing a charter boat employee showing a group of children some starfish, Ace tugged me that way, perhaps expecting treats were being dispensed. When the starfish was held out to him, he didn’t gobble it down, as I suspected he might, but instead delicately sniffed it, as if aware it might be a life form.
In the afternoon we watched a dog parade downtown, seeing fat people with tiny dogs, tiny people with fat dogs, small dogs being toted in the baskets of scooters, immaculately groomed people with immaculately groomed dogs, purebred-looking people with mutts, muttly-looking people with purebreds, and virtually every other combination you could possibly think of.
From there, we headed to Pilgrim Bark Park, a dog park that’s spacious, tidy, free and open to everyone. It’s generally rated among the top in the nation. In the afternoon we attended a dog event, with agility contests and other doggie games, sponsored by the Carrie A. Seamen Animal Shelter. Seamen was a Boston lawyer for 20 years who settled in Provincetown and in 1971 helped to found the Provincetown Animal Shelter. Upon her death, she bequeathed money to establish a new, no-kill animal shelter.
A town that shows respect for dogs – and not killing them is one good way to do that – is a town worth living in, and worth visiting, a place that’s likely to be not just compassionate, but smart. Being dog friendly, or gay friendly, makes sound economic sense. Provincetown realized at least half of that more than 30 years ago, forming the Provincetown Business Guild (PBG) to promote gay tourism. Now, in addition to being the best-known gay summer resort on the East Coast, it’s becoming known as a highly dog-friendly one, too.
The friendliness isn’t solely based on economic gain. In Provincetown, at least, it runs deeper — when it comes to dogs, gays, and the environment. I think the common denominators are respect and tolerance.
In the 1890s, Provincetown was a booming fishing and whaling center, with a small population of writers and artists. When a storm in 1898 severely damaged the fishing industry, members of the town’s art community picked up the slack, taking over many of the abandoned buildings. Not that they can all be painted with the same brush, but artists, as a rule, tend to have open minds. They’re less likely to immediately reject new ideas, more likely to question old worn out ones. They don’t insist that there is only one right way, and usually don’t force their beliefs on you, only their artwork. Every town needs some artists, though having too many results in becoming Santa Fe, which we’ll get to later. Provincetown, by the time the 20th Century arrived, was developing a reputation as a haven for artists, writers, creative types and hoping-to-be creative types. By the 1970’s another influx – of artists, of hippies, of gays, of retirees – took place.
Provincetown, it struck me, is a lot like Ace – a mellow mix of breeds and types, in his case four. He’s evidence that establishing strident lines, enforcing purity, and insisting on sameness is stifling, possibly harmful and boring, like macaroni without cheese, like clam-less chowder. He’s a testament to the joys of overlapping. He’s proof that we need the mix.
Our second night of camping was a mix of cold and wet.
Back at the tent, weary from our day of doggie activities, Ace and I went straight to sleep, until about 2 a.m. when I, at least, was awakened by a gentle rain falling on the tent, then a not-so-gentle rain, then splashes of water landing on my face from above.
By morning, everything, including us, was soaked. I skipped making my morning coffee and headed straight for the warmth of a restaurant. Ace was content to stay in the dry car. When the rain started to let up, we returned to the campsite, and I managed to get everything packed away — soggy tent, soggy blankets, soggy sleeping bag, soggy cot, soggy dog. While reloading my fishing rods into the rooftop carrier, I poked a hole in the allegedly heavy duty bag, ensuring that the insides would only get wetter.
Before leaving town, we drove out to Race Point, part of the Cape Cod National Seashore — 40 miles of pristine shoreline, marshes, dunes, cranberry bogs and ponds.
“A man may stand there and put all America behind him,” Henry David Thoreau once said of the spot we stood in. The rain had turned to a gentle mist, more subtle but just as soaking, and Ace went into frolic mode again. I wasn’t in the mood for the whipping game. Instead, I took what was intended to be one last quick glance out into the water, only to see something staring back — a seal.
When a seal gives you the honor of staring at you, you stare back — even if you’d rather be under a dry blanket with a bowl of hot soup. So, getting only wetter and sandier, we lingered a few minutes longer, until the seal’s popped-up head submerged and he disappeared.
With the whole country at my back, I turned around, immediately realizing the obvious other side of the Thoreau equation. Even while trudging back to the car, through the sand, in the rain, my outlook became brighter, more possibility-laden, more dog-like.
The whole country – crazy, mixed up and imminently sniffworthy — was ahead.
Breed: Landseer Newfoundland
Age: 19 months
Encountered: Along the pier in Provincetown, Mass.
Backstory: We ran into Finley (and a couple of hundred other dogs) during our weekend in Provincetown. He was lounging on the pier, sitting with his owner next to one of many artist kiosk’s that, along with whale watching charters, line the dock. Finley’s owner says, like most Newfoundlands, Finley loves the water — whether he’s playing in the surf, swimming or on a boat. Finley — lucky dog — lives in Provincetown year-round.