My dad grew up on a Maine potato and dairy farm and had a Saint Bernard. Duke was a gentle natured dog, not anything resembling Stephen King’s Cujo movie of an animal of the same breed that gets rabies and wreaks havoc on a Maine town. Duke was big, but not usually aggressive. My dad had never seen him reprimanded for any barn yard infraction growing up. Until one day.
A German sheperd, a neighbors dog use to come in to the dooryard and tease Duke. Nipping at him but not just in a playful way.
(Disclaimer: My family had several German sheperd dogs growing up and like the breed.)
Never learned the name of this visiting dog that stirred up trouble but over time it became more and more aggressive. Duke taking it all calmly as it happened and to the point that the family, field hands wondered how much he would stand for.
One day the German sheperd a third the size of Duke had the Saint Bernard backed in to a tight corner between a barn and connecting, angled machine shed. Everything changed as if a switch was thrown. Duke reared up, practically ripped the throat out of the German Sheperd.
It took three men to seperate the dogs even though the German Sheperd was trying to get away.
I’ve thought about that story, situation and wondered how it applies to people, to areas of over population. Maine is a place of elbow room, we don’t lock doors. Folks respect each other’s property, opinions, feelings. But if we were “in a corner”, our personal space invaded day in and out, with a twist of traffic, noise, crime, and continuous hurry hurry, well, the mild mannered help you out nature would change.
In my job I hear the line over and over in emails, communications on the phone or in person with Maine real estate buyers coming home to Maine.
“I just want to get away from all those people”.
It’s not being anti-social. More of an attitude of “what now” with neighbors too close, on top of each other down country and bothering others without trying. While the relocating, retiring moving to Maine people can, they just want to be able to wake up, have a day without drama of you did this, you should not have done that. The tension when you live between a rock and a hard place day in, day out takes it toll. Made them irritable, jumpy, not their true selves. Maine, whole different way of life here.