~ Sandy Mackenzie
Ahh….. his field trips. Of course his favorite day of the week was Monday –  Contra Dance night.  He would sit in the field and wait for the dancers to begin arriving, hoping that his true love “Winnie” would be among them (Betsy Street’s dog).  Yes!  He spied her and off he went to entice her -not to dance- but to go off with him for the night to the most beautiful farms in the Monadnock Region.  Of course, they first stopped to swim in the Coughlin’s pond near their pretty gardens.  Then, off they went for the night.  Betsy and I would call each other to confirm that they were together and who would do pick-up. I recall going to the most exquisite farm in Marlborough early one morning and I think Betsy had a pick up in Roxbury.   Emmett and Winnie would be properly contrite and would crash for the day…..
 Perhaps Emmett’s most famous adventure occurred the night before an Old Home Day……… Again, he was vigilant about perusing the Village and he often greeted any Monadnock-Sunapee hikers.  He enjoyed showing them exactly where the trail was., This particular time he led a father and son, laden with hiking paraphernalia, out of the Village.  According to their recount he stayed with them for several miles and once they realized he was pretty far from his home (and not going back) they had no cell service………. The morning of Old Home Day I got a call from the town clerk of Washington and drove to retrieve him.   He had very much enjoyed the campout, warm fire, and delicious food the hikers had provided.  Old Home Day games were in full force upon his return and Bud French over the loudspeaker asked everyone to welcome Emmett back from Washington.


By |2021-12-07T18:17:21-05:00December 7, 2021|Articles, Profiles|10 Comments


  1. Candyce December 8, 2021 at 8:48 am - Reply

    Such a beautiful tribute to our beloved “Mayor”. He would often greet the children arriving at the church every morning before Village. I’m sure he enjoyed those mornings of pats and hugs as much a did the kids.

  2. Elaine Giacomo December 8, 2021 at 10:10 am - Reply

    Happy Trails, Emmett. You will be missed.

  3. David Bower December 8, 2021 at 11:27 am - Reply

    It was some years ago I was driving thru Harrsiville with someone, who I can’t remember. We came to the intersection of the Nelson road and Main Street and their was Emmett stopping traffic and sniffing each car. The person with me said “Oh that’s Emmett.” I pulled up beside him and open the back door, he promptly climbed in and settled into the back seat. With a nod of his head and his body language, I new, he expected us to take him home to Nelson. We stopped in front of his house and let him out, “You sure that was Emmett?”, I said, “I think so,” said the someone I was with.

  4. Alouette Iselin December 8, 2021 at 11:31 am - Reply

    Emmett, the happy wanderer. He walked with me many times, and I sometimes called his family to rescue him, and I sometimes just had faith he would find his way back. Definitely an ambassador.

  5. Val December 8, 2021 at 11:37 am - Reply

    I’ll miss walking our Nelson roads and finding a stray stuffed animal in the brush, it was always a comfort to know that Emmett had passed this way. I’m sure that (dog) Bert misses his buddy at Sarah & Andy’s. Emmett was truly the “mayor” thank you for sharing a lovely tribute.

  6. Linda+Singer December 8, 2021 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Just beautiful!

  7. Sara Sandberg December 8, 2021 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    When we were house-hunting on-line, before we ever set foot in Nelson, Emmett was visible in a number of the pictures of “our” house (now Sarah & Andy’s house). When we came to look at the house with the real estate agent, Emmett was there throughout the proceedings. He was the first of the many interesting and wonderful personalities that we met in Nelson. Rest well, dear Emmett!

  8. Kip Mackenzie December 8, 2021 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    As one of Emmet’s official “Chiefs of Staff” I just want to set the record straight to make sure there is no misunderstanding. First of all, he was “blessed” with the combined nose of a Basset and a Beagle, the stubbornness of the Basset (notorious for the breed), the orthopedic challenges of the Basset where front legs face East and West and the body axis aligned to the North. This directional mismatch was no impediment any more than the frozen leg sustained “in the road”. Importantly his “being in the road” was not the result of any negligence on the part of his Staff. Rather it was his unerring “nose” that could find the direction to where he could be of most service- discovering those citizens who had the most generous dispositions, those children who had not eaten all of their school lunch and who feared the inevitable parental question: “why didn’t you eat all your lunch?” He found purpose by offering his hard-to-miss ears to anyone who needed a good scratch. He found meaningful engagement in the activities of the town by shaking with delight and panting with excitement and frequently emptying his bladder all the while whining over the explosions of the Fourth of July and New Years. What a patriot, What a party animal!
    Indeed even our best efforts to limit his influence was met with escapism: with a well practiced droopy sad-eye look and a theatrically exaggerated limp he was halfway out the door following his nose.
    Needless to say we take no responsibility for his actions.
    Staff Mackenzie

  9. Brenna Kucinski December 9, 2021 at 10:31 am - Reply

    Fabulous story! He was one of the first “novelties” to me and my husband on our arrival to Nelson. What a wonderful ambassador to such a wonderful community!

  10. Betsy Street December 19, 2021 at 11:08 am - Reply

    Winnie NEVER left our property… unless Emmett showed up at the door. She was a few years older than Emmett and arrived home utterly exhausted by their long treks. One summer night I simply left the back door open and when I came downstairs the next morning Winnie and Emmett were both sound asleep on the kitchen floor.

Leave A Comment


Go to Top