Friday, December 30, 2011

A Sad Day for Lambertville's Dogs

A neighbor of mine, Mary P. Martin, died this week. A quiet woman with white hair and large, beautiful eyes, she was the dog treat lady. Her front stoop always held a bag of dog treats; every dog in town would tug at the lead to get to Mary's. How happily they frisked. On those rare occasions when the treats ran out Mary would post a note, sorry, no treats today, come back tomorrow.

I always thought it remarkable that Mary would volunteer daily treats for all the dogs in town, rather like holding Halloween for all the children every night. I always wondered whether anyone else contributed to her stash of treats. She lived alone, very bravely. She wore a brace on her leg and had trouble walking. She told me she had MS, or lupus, something grim. I used to see her walking downtown, hanging onto railings and parking meters for balance. I asked her if she needed a hand once and she said, no, she would just take her time.

On Monday a friend invited me to go walking with a bunch of other women and all their dogs. We did not go past Mary's but north into the woods and back again along the canal. Although it was pleasant, I thought it would have been even more fun if I had treats to offer the dogs. All the ladies were passing treats around. So as soon as I got to the supermarket I bought a box of dog treats for next time.

I don't know how long Mary was in the hospital. The day I bought the box of Liva-Snaps was the day after she died, as it happened. I had no idea. Someone was still putting treats out on her doorstep. Maybe I'll go put my dog treats on her doorstep. I don't have a dog of my own; I don't need dog treats. Maybe everyone in town will continue to see that Mary's doorstep is perpetually stocked with treats, the Mary P. Martin memorial dog treat station.

Hope the next tenant likes dogs.

Kate Gallison


  1. While I was reading this, a huge pigeon flew into the space between my window and the little railing that guards the window. I was glued to my chair, but he did manage to get himself out! How animals of all kinds come into our lives in unusual ways... says something for the new year, I think. We do share the same plot of earth. tjs

  2. Later . . . The dog treats are piling up on Mary's doorstep. Her landlords (the couple next door) are trying to figure out how to handle the deluge.

  3. Kate, if you need help, contact our mutual CHW friend, Aurora Ferrero, who is a great dog lover in Summit, NJ. web She is connected to all the dog animal groups... tjs

  4. Kate, that was a beautiful tribute to our friend "Biscuit Mary." Thank you!