Vani Court’s New Buddy

Alert “06880” reader Jonathan Greenfield loves Westport. These days, he loves it just a little bit more. He writes:

The residents of Vani Court exemplify the absolute best in neighborly values. They truly reflect all that’s wonderful in Westport.

That quiet street off South Compo — which still consists of many post-war Capes built for returning veterans in the 1940s — is where my rescue dog Buddy Holly ended up 2 days in a row after he pushed his way past my daughter, and through an open door.

My 9-year-old son gave chase. I grabbed a leash and ran to the car, as my 4-year-old daughter pointed the way.

I tried to obey the South Compo speed limit, but panic set in. My son and dog were nowhere to be found.

Buddy, at the beach.

We often include Vani Court on our daily walks. Maybe Buddy was there!

As I turned onto the road, I saw a commotion.

My son arrived out of nowhere — on a bike, which he’d gone home to retrieve. I got out of my car, and learned that 2 drivers had seen my son running along the road. They offered him a ride, to help. He declined, saying he could not get in a stranger’s car!

At the same time, residents on  Vani Court had come outside with their own dogs and treats, hoping to nab Buddy. He darted from one dog to the next, having a great time.

Tim Luciano came close to nabbing him. James McLaughlin tried to lure Buddy into his backyard.

The chase became exhausting. But when Jesse Daignault appeared with his dog Milo, Buddy took interest. With lightning fast hands, Jesse grabbed Buddy’s collar.

Victory! Jonathan Greenfield with Buddy, on Vani Court.

But Buddy was just getting started.

The next day — just as my youngest was leaving for preschool — Buddy pushed her aside. He was ready for another adventure.

This time I took a different approach. I followed him calmly, so I wouldn’t chase him away. He headed back to Vani Court.

Dan and Kelly Merton were out with their golden retrievers. Like a magnet, Buddy went to them. Another mini-circus developed.

Eventually Buddy headed back to our house. He wouldn’t come in though. My wife followed him back to Vani Court.

Soon, I got a text from my wife. Iris said, “Got him!” Melissa Wilson had come out with her dog. She and James McLaughlin lured Buddy into her backyard.

As soon as I got home, I called an invisible fence company. I’m also setting up dates to continue Buddy’s training, so he can run with us and be safely off leash.

We are extremely thankful for everyone who helped. Vani Court is such a special place.

It’s not just the charm of the postwar Capes. It’s the people. They so easily express what it’s like to be neighbors. Thank you!

Buddy, back home with Zach Greenfield.

12 responses to “Vani Court’s New Buddy

  1. Nice story about a great neighborhood.
    With a breed (mixed though it be) like Buddy’s, it’s very likely that a”Canine Fence” will not work…exuberance wins out over the shock…trouble then is, he will not return because the fence works both ways and exuberance is gone. Be sensible in testing the fence even after “fence training” provided by the installer.

  2. Matthew Mandell

    All this dog talk… great talk. I have a wonderful place to bring dogs.
    The Third Annual Westport Dog Festival, Sunday May 20.

    Competitions, demonstrations, presentations, obstacle course and many many vendors.

  3. Bette Popovich-Kaplan

    Buddy looks like my rescue, Maya. She’s a coon hound mix and is always on the look out for anything with four legs. My husband and I live in the Mountains of Sullivan County, four miles from the field where the 1969 Woodstock Festival took place. Our wonderful Maya keeps the Black Bears away. We haven’t even seen one since she joined our family. She has a fenced-in running yard and a fenced-in play yard; a back deck and plenty of rugs inside our cabin. She prefers sitting on the sofa with my husband … watching TV. She’s a joy to have around. — Bette Popovich-Kaplan, SHS ’65.

  4. Bill Boyd (Staples '66)

    Glad he’s back! …Unless you’re running FAR away from cars it’s never safe to run with ones dog off lead…. Good luck with the continued training!

  5. Stephanie Bass

    I don’t even like dogs and love this story.

  6. Love the dog stories and love Vani Court. When we moved to Bridge St., Vani Court was a regular bike ride destination — spent many summer evenings cycling up to Vani Court and many summer days on the way to Longshore and Compo on my bike detouring for a a quick spin on Vani Court. Those were the days when kids could go anywhere and feel safe. I loved the adorable homes. Safe quiet street to ride bikes. Buddy seems to want dog company. You should set up a dog playgroup!

  7. Sal liccione

    It’s a great street and wonderfully peaple that live on all the streets there

  8. Ms. Bass, you’re a fool not to like dogs but courageous for admitting to such.

  9. Joyce Barnhart

    A happy ending for a handsome dog. How nice that there are so many helpful, caring people on the street.
    I agree with Daniel Katz and Bill Boyd; you cannot depend on an invisible fence or on any dog off a leash. All it takes is one squirrel and your dog can be gone. We had a dog who followed a squirrel going from tree to tree in Winslow Park, crossing North Compo with us in hot pursuit. And I’ve heard many stories of dogs who are so excited by something, often a squirrel, on the other side of their electric fence that they run right through despite the shock. Then they sit, whining, on the wrong side of the fence – if they come back. Also, if Buddy isn’t fixed, get it done immediately!

  10. Jennifer Rankine

    Great photos & nice story 🙂

  11. Elizabeth Thibault

    We moved to Vani Court 15 years ago, and have found it full of treasures, especially our neighbors. We even have an original resident who has been here for over 70 years, and she is an absolute gem. (Maybe you could profile her some day, Dan!) The street may be changing a bit, with bigger new houses going up, but the people absolutely make it.

  12. Richard Fogel

    nice storry