Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Doggone It

Giverny, France

"The only creatures that are evolved enough
to convey pure love are infants and dogs."
~ Johnny Depp

St. Michael School... Columbus, Ohio... 1985

"Mrs. Cutler, I'm a little concerned about Jason," Mrs. Smith, our son's first grade teacher said to me during a conference she called.  

"What seems to be the problem this time?" I asked her knowing that it would be a doozy.  Old-school Mrs. Smith was not challenging enough for Jason and was always telling me he needed more work to keep him busy while the rest of the class finished theirs.  The fact that she was teacher was lost on the old lady, and we butted heads pretty often.

"I asked the children to write about their families over the weekend, and Jason wrote about his brother, Corky," she spit at me.  I stared at her and raised my eyebrows.  "Jason," she continued in her snarky voice, "thinks his dog is his brother."

"And you have a problem with that?" I shook my head.  "Our dogs, while they are not human, are a part of our family. I don't see a problem with Jason's considering Corky a brother, so I doubt very highly that you should worry about it, either."  The meeting ended pretty quickly after that, and I don't remember that she called me into the school again after that.

Rouen, France (Attila)

Europe... 2013
Mrs. Smith had no chance of winning that argument.  Anyone who knows me at all knows I love dogs, and if I see one when I'm out somewhere, I usually head right to the dog.

This trip has been hard for me because we're so far away from both Jason and Riley. I've met and hugged a lot of dogs over the last two months, but I've not hugged any  30-something young men because they're not my son and I doubt they'd be a open to hugs from a strange American woman as the dogs are.

Paris, France

"Dog alert!" While they were in Spoleto, our friend, Bob, would let me know if he saw a dog I didn't see. 

Mike also keeps an eye out for furry buddies if I'm focused on something else.  For example, last night we were walking back from dinner, and he tugged my arm.

"Look at the dog," he said to me.

"What dog?"  I was looking down a dark alley.

"In front of the church. He just ran after a Frisbee," my dear husband informed me. "He's a..."

"Wire-fox Terrier!" I yelled.  I love any dog, but terriers are special to me.  I started walking towards the dog, and he ran over to me and nuzzled my leg.  "He likes me already." 

"He likes your gelato," the spoil sport said.  

Spoleto, Italy  (Bacon.... Pronouned "Beck-Own)

The owner called the dog, but he would not go back to her.  I grabbed his Frisbee from where he had dropped it on my foot, and threw it towards her.  He caught it, brought it back to me, dropped it on my foot again, and started jumping up on me.

"He wants that gelato," Mike said again.  I picked up the Frisbee and walked to the owner.

"I love dogs, and I have a similar dog," I told her.  "What's his name?"

"R-2," she told me. "What kind is yours?"

I had no idea how to say it in Italian, so I just said, "Welsh Terrier."  I think she understood.  "His name is Riley."

"He wants your cone," she told me.  

Geez, people.  Let me walk under the false notion that the dog is not a food-crazed fanatic like a chunky Welsh Terrier who is waiting for me at home.

Spoleto, Italy (He "worked" at the tabbachi.)

So, back to the dogs we've met.  I have dozens of photos of dogs that I've taken since we've been in Europe. ("She takes more photos of dogs than of me," my husband lies.)  I love that dogs are so welcome everywhere here.  Author Amy Tan happens to be in Paris with her dog right now, and she recently posted that she took hers into a well-known restaurant with her.  Wee see them in cafes, stores, pizzerias, even botegas and groceries.  Walking your dog and bringing it into buildings with you is the norm here, at least in France and Italy.

Perugia, Italy  (She worked in a souvenir shop.)

So, I thought I'd share a few of my favorites tonight since I'm still a bit under-the-weather.  I hope you don't mind.

Rocca Calascio, Italy

Sulmona, Italy

Pettorano sul Gizio, Italy (Max)

Bologna, Italy (Ugo)

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