Last fall I sleuthed into the provenance of an antique dog sculpture that has stood sentry in the front garden of a home near Harvard Square for well over half a century, possibly longer. (The Unsolved Mystery of the Ash Street Dog) The elderly owner of the house died this spring, and when I saw a For Sale sign go up recently in the yard, my first thought was, of course, what will happen to the dog?
As a former real estate agent, I knew there was a good chance the sculpture might be excluded from the sale, despite its historic and sentimental connection with the property. My hunch was right. Today I learned that in the coming weeks, the dog will be taking leave of his post on the corner of Ash and Mount Auburn Streets for the first time since at least 1945, bound for parts unknown.
It makes me sad to think the property’s new owners won’t have the chance to preserve a bit of neighborhood history by giving the dog pride of place in front of their house, which having been largely untouched since the 1950s will doubtless undergo a top-to-bottom renovation upon changing hands. With the recent closing of the Church Street theater and with the beloved Casablanca restaurant shutting down at the end of the month, Harvard Square is losing its landmarks faster than you can shake a stick. Perhaps it’s a good thing the dog won’t be around to see any more changes.