Saturday, May 21, 2005

Sewanee Dogs

This is a "Sewanee" dog. He is well-fed, and has an owner as indicated by his collar and tags, but he is still a "Sewanee" dog.

Sewanee, Tennessee is twenty miles from nowhere. Actually, it is about 45 minutes from Chattanooga, about an hour and a half from Nashville and about an hour from Huntsville, Alabama. It is on the western edge of the Great Smoky Mountains. Sewanee, the town, is located on top of a mountain here and is the home, excuse me, "Domain" of the University of the South(also known as Sewanee). The stats page on the internet says that the population is 2,361 but I don't know if that is with or without the 1600 or so students. Any way you look at it, it's small, tiny, itty bitty. When I took Nyssa to college there, I tried to find the "town". The best we could come up with was the end of University Drive where there was a small bank, electric company, coffee/sandwich shop, and a restaurant that we were warned not to eat at. The Piggly Wiggly was up the road about 4 miles and closed at 5pm on weekdays. But this was really the neighboring town of Monteagle and not really Sewanee's grocery store. Of more relevance to college students, Sewanee is 25 miles from the nearest Walmart. You get the is remote, isolated, beautiful, but one of those places of which you can say,"You don't have to go through it to get anywhere."

Back to the Sewanee dogs. Because this is such a small place, the local pets are allowed to run free; I assume it is as long as they are tagged or maybe because there is no animal control office. There are eight or nine dogs who visit the campus consistently. They can be seen sleeping under stone benches beneath tall ancient trees, or in a corner beneath the gothic arches of a walkway. They may be following any number of students as they criss-cross the campus and have been know to show up inside the courtyard of the dorms. They are friendly, well-fed (at home and by the students), and have lovely places to roam. They even receive mention during orientation and have their own section in the university handbook.

This is one of the Sewanee dogs. I went to pick Nyssa up and he was making the rounds. She doesn't know his name; the students don't know any of their names, they just call them "puppy". He was in the Courts Hall central open courtyard, visiting one of the dorm rooms. I saw him next outside the dining hall with a group of three students and here he is relaxing in front of the library. He went on later to follow a professor as he walked across the street to class. They seem happy to be this free, yet secure in the fact that home is so close. I guess it must be good to have this dog's life; yes, it must be good to be a "Sewanee" dog.

Be sure to submit your stories and pictures of dogs you know to Carnival of the Dogs, hosted by Mickey's Musings, and visit on Sundays.
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