“There’s something terribly sad about watching the patio umbrellas come down,” said Little Edie wistfully as some of the last of the seasonal workers cleared furniture from a nearby patio.
“Summer has faded, and the lookie-loos are gone, but I still want to play,” she said.
Little Edie is a rescued Yorkiepoo. She’s four years old but has the personality of a middle-aged former socialite living with her mother in a dilapidated mansion infested with raccoons.
That’s not a true depiction of her rather more ordinary life as a Provincetown dog — but it’s how I’d describe her.
She claims to be something of a recluse, preferring to stay inside her condo with her human companion, John D’Addario, who by the way writes for the Independent and whom she frequently refers to as Mother Darling. But I see her out and about.
Little Edie was rescued and adopted in New Orleans. She has spent just under a year here, though to hear her talk about Provincetown you’d think she’d spent decades in town.
With D’Addario otherwise occupied, Little Edie and I found ourselves sitting on the deck behind the Independent’s offices, our paws and feet in the sand, staring out at the darkening bay. We admitted to a feeling of seasonal ennui.
“Mother Darling doesn’t mind the cold like I do,” said Little Edie. “I’d much rather be in Montevideo or St. Tropez. That’s where we used to winter when father played polo. That was before he ran off with an Italian greyhound.”
I later checked these statements with D’Addario. He told me that he and Little Edie would soon be leaving Provincetown to winter in Louisiana with Edie’s two other fathers, neither of whom has run off with an Italian greyhound nor played polo.
I had to ask about her thoroughly chic ensemble. She was wearing a coat that seemed to have been made from a reusable Stop & Shop bag — one of the good ones that look like burlap.
“This is the right costume for the day,” said Little Edie. “I wrap it around my body until the two ends meet on the underside, and then I tie it together with a piece of rope that came from a buoy that washed ashore. If it warms up, I can always turn the coat into a cape.”
Little Edie’s voice dropped to a conspiratorial whisper. “Mother wanted me to come out in a pink onesie with a picture of Dina Martina on the back. We had quite a fight.”
But my favorite part of her getup was the paper napkin with the Lobster Pot logo on it that she wore tied around her head as a scarf. “I had to start wearing scarves when all of my hair fell out,” she said. “It happened just after Jack Kennedy died.”
We sat in silence until two French bulldogs passed by.
“The French bulldogs on the Outer Cape are very reactionary,” said Edie. “Especially in places like East Eastham. Even the foxes have forgotten their manners. It wasn’t like that before, not when all the Kennedys were nearby.”
A quick Google search on “The Kennedys in Eastham” returned zero answers. Also, East Eastham isn’t a thing.
But Edie was on a tear: “They can get you for wearing a yellow raincoat with a blue leash on a Tuesday,” railed Edie. “They can get you for just about anything there. I mean, did you know that? It’s a mean, nasty Republican town.”
We walked over to the broken Provincetown Theater sign sticking up out of the sand like the Statue of Liberty does at the end of Planet of the Apes. Edie sniffed it before continuing.
“Mother Darling and I once had a little show we’d perform on Bourbon Street in New Orleans,” she told me. “I’d jump through little hoops for change. ‘The Incredible Jumping Yorkiepoo’ — that was my, what do you call it? My sobriquet.
“We’d take the change to Essentials and buy lotto tickets and pâté.”
Wait a minute. Didn’t she say their act was in New Orleans? But I don’t like to correct animals. The important thing is to listen to their emotions, which are always honest.
Little Edie must have sensed my confusion. After a moment she said, “It’s very difficult keeping the line between the past and the present.”
We hear John calling for Edie from inside the office.
“Coming, Mother Darling.” Edie adjusted her costume and turned to go. “I think it’s time for our afternoon can of pâté.”