After visiting The Mount, I returned back to the Rookwood Inn Bed & Breakfast to drop off my camera, before heading into the town of Lenox for some shopping. I stopped at my room--a 3rd floor confection (with a turret!!) called the Revel's Retreat--and as I descended the main staircase into the main entry, my eyes went from the many Victorian antiques directly to a wagging sentry near the front door.
"Who is this beautiful, happy pup?!" I asked, delighted.
"This is the innkeeper dog, Reo."
"Because he dances on the sand?" I asked, not only because I am a bit of a wisecracking jerk (please see my Twitter feed, where I let this part of my personality run wild), but also because if one gets to make a Duran-Duran reference, in real life, and with purpose, an angel gets his/her wings (this is a scientific fact, and I urge you to consult your nearest encyclopedia or rocket scientist).
Amy, a woman who serves Lenox in multiple capacities--as keeper of the incomparably serene and restful Rookwood Inn; as Justice of the Peace to all loves wishing to honor their romance in marriage--sat down with me to talk about this beautiful pooch, and share his story.
Name: Oreo, Reo for short
How did you meet?
The year Amy's daughter was 13, her summer camp received a visit from the upstate New York SPCA. . .and Amy got a frantic, pleading phone call about a little black and white pup. At camp visiting day, Oreo became an official part of the family. (The combination of human and canine cuteness was obviously too strong to resist!)
Why that name?
Amy's daughter thought the puppy's coloring looked like an Oreo. (Yeah. There was no way something that cute could ever go unloved!)
How long have you been together?
Oreo's been with the family since his puppy days--a long and loving 13 years.
What would readers not know, just by looking?
"We call him 'the dog bell,'" said Amy. "When a new guest pulls up, he'll bark like mad. But, as soon as he knows you, he won't bark."
Oreo wasn't a really "barky" dog, it's true. . .but you know what they say about "the quiet ones"? Seems to be true for this pooch. Perhaps because of his name, and the deep, dark chocolatey cookies binding the creme center, Oreo is a fiend for chocolate, a stealthy rogue who uses his natural intelligence (he's incredibly bright) to seek chocolate, whenever possible. Amy shared two incredible stories of his chocolate-assassin powers:
When he was a year, maybe a year-and-a-half old, a friend of Amy's daughter stayed with the family. The girl's suitcase--zipped and in a room with a closed door in an upper floor--contained a one-pound bag of chocolate. When the humans arrived home, the door was open. The bag was unzipped. "And the chocolate was DECIMATED!" Amy recalled. "Oh, and it was on the couch downstairs."
True to form, as the years passed, Oreo's talents and obsession with chocolate led him to greater capers. Once, he even plundered Amy's own stash, a very expensive, decadent bar Amy secured in her zipped purse. Unsurprisingly, the zipper could not bar this canine's cacao consumption: "The bar was PERFECTLY UNWRAPPED, but the chocolate itself was gone."
Honestly, if Oreo ever ate my chocolate, I couldn't fault him. Every creature has its guilty pleasures, and few come wrapped in a package so handsome and kind as the innkeeper dog at the beautiful Rookwood Inn.