Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day 33 Dog days

All day I've been thinking about how much I miss my dog, Oscar. Everywhere I looked I saw dogs. Dog barks seem to fill the air. One little puppy named Jody, 10 months old, strained at the leash to get to me. His patient owner let me pat him.

There's a gorgeous German Shepherd and a sappy Yellow Lab that used to come running up to the gate to bark at me when I passed their house on the way to Calimera. I guess they're used to me now because although they still bark, they do it from the comfort of wherever they happen to be standing -- or lying. They don't run up to the gate now even if I stand there and call to them.

I haven't seen the nearly-blind old woman, Assunta, and her Dachshund, Topia, for quite a while now. I guess our walking schedules just haven't meshed.

Lots of the neighbours have dogs here. That surprised me a bit. I had supposed, I suppose, that country people wouldn't be as sentimental as we North Americans about pets. My thinking, however, has been coloured by my relatives back home, most of who wouldn't countenance or dog or cat hair inside their homes.

I got so desperate for a friendly dog that I went looking for the two strays that hang around Danilo's bar.  So while Barbara and Shay went chasing after the horse-drawn carriage clopping through town to take pictures, I looked for some doggie love.

Elio said these two dogs are not strays. Rather, they belong to the entire town. If I heard right, they're named Turbo and Laboro. Elio said there have been times these two creatures were the only attendees at some of his early poetry readings in Piazza Palmieri's courtyard. Attentive and cultured creatures, he said.

I like Turbo best. He's a fuzzy-faced grey thing that sometimes follows me around. He lets me pat him on the head. But when I went looking for him today, he was nowhere to be found. 

It was getting dark. I went to my room and opened the big old doors that face the street. Behind the doors sits a screen that moves up and down. The blinds, oddly enough, are on the outside of the house, behind the screen. I had just bent down to push the screen up so as to shut the blinds when who should I see go by but Turbo and Laboro.

I called him and he came right over and stuck his head between the wrought iron bars that guard against people stepping into the room when the door is open. Laboro was right behind him. I had a little package of bread sticks, and fed it to them.

Turbo let me pat his head one more time before the pair of them trotted off.



Oscar and Daisy (in back)

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