Sunday, September 7, 2014

Basta, Vito. Basta!

Vito, the bassotto.

"Dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms,
one of them's making a poop, and the other one's carrying it for him, 
who would you assume is in charge?"
~Jerry Seinfeld

I was trying to take a "selfie" in Piazza d'Nettuno this afternoon when I heard a woman scolding someone.

"No, Vito. Enough," she said. "No, Vito. No." I wondered who Vito was and what he was doing to the poor woman in such a public place. I snapped my photo and looked in the direction from whence came the voice.  A portly dachshund was lying on the pavement to the dismay the tiny woman on the other end of his leash (photo above).

"Vito, get up," she implored.  He ignored. I started laughing and couldn't stop.  "Vito, enough. Let's go." Vito was having none of it.  She tugged on his leash, but he just stayed put.  I walked over to her.

"He's tired," I laughed.

"He's not tired," she sighed. "He's hardheaded.  He likes to stay in the piazza and watch people.. He can't do that at home."  I looked at Vito, and sure enough, he was watching people. I patted him on the head.

"How old is he?" I asked.
Vito is *not* going home.

"Five," she replied, "but he's one in the head."  We both started laughing.

"My mother had a, how do you say it? Dachshund?"

"Bassotto," she told me.  "Was her bassotto hardheaded, too?"

I nodded.  "Aren't all dogs? My dog, Riley, certainly is."

"How old is Ri-lay?" she asked me.

"Five, also," I laughed, "and also one in the head."

"Do you live here? Where are you from?" I told her that I was from Las Vegas, that I was here for six weeks, and that my grandparents were from Abruzzo. "But you chose Bologna?" I explained why I chose Bologna and mentioned language school and such.  

I could tell she was happy to hear that I liked her birthplace. "And, the Bolognese are different from people in other larger cities," she said. "They are friendly."

"Yes, and there are a lot of dogs and not a lot of tourists," I added.  She laughed.

Vito is one strong little dude.

"We are more of a university town. People who come here are interested in education, I think." She thought a moment. "And people here love dogs. Dogs are all over the center."

"Does Vito have dog friends?" I asked her.

"Vito is friends with everyone," she assured me, "people and dogs. He has even been on TV."  Audra—we'd introduced ourselves—explained that a news station had been doing a story in the piazza some time back and saw Vito.  "He flopped over on his back, and they recorded him and put him on the news. It went to his head. I think he wants to be on TV again and is always looking when we come here."

We talked about 15-20 minutes during which time Vito just watched the worlds of Nettuno and Maggiore go by.

"It's been such a pleasure talking to you," I told her as we said our good-byes. "And I think Vito appreciated being able to watch people a little longer."  We shook hands, and I patted Vito on the head.  "Ciao, Audra,  Ciao, Vito.  Time to go home now"

"Ciao, Cristina. It was a pleasure," she said and started to walk away.  Vito had other ideas and resisted (second photo above). "No, Vito. No. Enough. Enough."  She looked at me. I started laughing again and walked back over to her.

"Come on, Vito," I urged him.  "Let's go." We walked about 10 steps, and Vito stopped and plopped down again.  Audra again tried to get him to move, and Vito just rolled over on his back.

"Vito, enough. Let's go." Audra pulled his leash, and Vito just turned his head the other way (photo above). I could not stop laughing. "Vito! Enough. Let's go." Vito was having none of it.

Audra has to carry Vito home.

I apologized for laughing and started to walk away.

"Vito! Enough. Let's go." Audra was anxious to get home.  Vito wasn't. "Mamma mia, VIto. Enough."  I glanced over one last time and saw Audra stoop to pick up Vito.  I watched as she carried him across the piazza. Vito is a little hefty, though, so she had to put him down again. As soon as she did, he dropped to his stomach.

I'm not sure how far away she lives from Piazza Maggiore, but it's been about 4 hours since I saw them. I hope they've made it home by now. At the rate Vito was moving, it could have taken all day.

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