There are a lot of stories about foxes. Foxes and Hounds, foxes in winter, Fox in Socks, foxes and falling leaves. Then, there is this dog. She boldly goes where no fox has gone before. Meet the Red Fox on 92nd Street, known around here as “Penny” the Fox.
Penny may look like a normal, adorable red fox, but she (I’m guessing she is a she) is really a sneaky shoe thief. She walks miles and miles around the resort and nearby condominiums looking for her precious loot before taking her haul back home to her den in the sand dune at The Princess Royale Oceanfront Resort on 92nd Street.
Guests of the resort would claim that their shoes would go missing after placing them on the dune crossing before taking a quick stroll on the beach. Others would place mismatched shoes lined up along the fence line, with hopes guests would claim their belongings. No one suspected this fox had a foot fetish until the day I took a walk on the beach in front of the Princess Royale.
While there, I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but Penny, the red fox, stole my shoes while I was making a phone call. A Cole Haan Argento Metallic Leather Nantucket Loafer, if you’re interested.
The General Manager of the resort had no idea how dumb I felt when he stared at me from the dunes, while I was aimlessly searching for where I thought I had left my shoes. In an act of kindness, the General Manager looked through the resort’s security camera footage while I went back to the dune to look for my missing shoes one more time.
To our surprise, he spotted this sneaky ninja swiping my loafers and running into the dune to hide her newfound treasure. Not only did Penny swipe my loafers, we also found many mismatched flip flops and sneakers, and a Wiffle ball in and around her den.
While it may seem odd to see foxes in a city like Ocean City in the summertime, it is actually not uncommon. Fox families have been seen playing on the dunes of 134th Street, outside of The Dunes Manor on 28th Street, 83rd Street and now most recently on 92nd Street. I’m sure if you look closely in the dunes where foxes breed you will find not only shoes, but paper, plastic, balls or anything leather.
Fox cubs love to play and foxy parents love to bring their children “toys” so they can learn valuable life skills. Through play, cubs learn important behavioral patterns for later in life, like how to fight, mate and hunt. This play enables the fox cubs to become familiar with its body as well as learning to live with its fellow foxes. And when the foxes mature, they still enjoy bringing their new found treasures home.
Penny is one smart, devious and frankly adorable thieving fox. Next time I take a walk on the beach, I’ll remember to take my shoes with me, or leave them in the car. For more information on this beautiful Maryland mammal, check out the latest info from Maryland DNR.