Haisley's Tails That Bind
Very Important Pets keep their humans connected.
by Mary Louise O'Connell
Published in August, 2019
Tucked in the northwest corner of Ann Arbor, the Haisley Elementary neighborhood runs from the older homes centered around Maryfield-Wildwood Park north across Arborview to mid-century ranches and the tree-lined streets around the Wellington Playground and Miller Nature Area.
The parks and nature area make natural places for neighbors to meet. And some of our most beloved neighbors have four legs. Leading their owners on the daily rounds these VIPs (Very Important Pets) keep their humans connected. Neighbors gather at the park on Maryfield and Westwood, where the playground sprouts new babies every year and the basketball court, when not in use for 3-on-3, makes a great parking lot for scooters, mini-cars and push toys. Toddlers start on the climber and graduate to hanging out on the picnic tables on summer nights.
If you walk along N. Revena on a right turn from Huron you'll meet Olive, Freckles, Murph, and Birdie. All get along well. Freckles is known for her ability to heel. Olive, however is a very chic and discriminating tri-color pit bull. She chooses her friends carefully and it seems only Sadie, who lives on Dexter, gets the privilege of walking with her. And there's Buddy, a big black and white husky known for his slow amble.
Even in the frozen winter months, dogs get their families out walking. On the corner of Mark Hannah, neighbor dogs gather to send their charges onto the school bus. Charlie, another good-natured golden retriever, welcomes everyone. Firecracker walks her little boy. She's a puppy and, everyone agrees, a handful. Manchego, a shih tzu, is highly intelligent but also highly opinionated. Trip is obsessed with squirrels but is as low-key as they come with humans. He will amble up and lean against any waiting shin.
Eddie is the oldest gentleman in the neighborhood at eighty-seven dog-years old--thirteen in human years. Although almost blind, this noble hound can still navigate by nose.
Across beautifully treed Linwood lives well-bred and well-mannered Stanley, surely the
closest to a show talent we have. Long-legged and beautiful posture puts the lie to assumptions about Doberman pinschers. He greets everyone with good cheer.
Max is up early and walks with his coffee-toting owner. With a deep bark, Max is a good alarm system. Emma on Harbrooke can be seen in plaid when the weather gets cold. Sneakers and Zelda live along Doty Ave. and Daphne is known as the Queen of Penncraft Court.
It's not all dogs here in the northwest corner of Ann Arbor, but we like to think that if we love our dogs, we have room in our hearts for you, too, if you happen to wander our way.
[Originally published in August, 2019.]
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