Best TRUE Shaggy Dog Story

Best TRUE Shaggy Dog Story
Italy is known for stray cats, but we saw only a few this trip. There were, however, dogs aplenty.

Waiting for the hydrofoil to take us from Sorrento to Naples we had an early morning snack at an outside café and people-watched. Three dogs in particular caught our attention. Dog #1, was a big old, bronze-colored retriever. He positioned himself in the middle of the sidewalk in front of the coffee bar. Anyone who wanted to enter had to step over him or walk around. (Notice the items for sale at the turisto shop next door.)

Dog #2 was a small female cocker mix with bad hips that we had seen the day before. She came over to great us but wanted nothing to do with the sweet roll we offered her.

We didn’t get a picture of Dog #3, who figures prominently in this story. She was a white and buff cocker spaniel with a pink nose at the end of a leash. Her lady was checking out the goods at the turisto shop next to the coffee bar while she was checking out Dog #1. Her person was quite preoccupied with the sale table.

The big excitement came when Dog #1 got up, stretched, did the “doggie handshake” with Dog #3 and, to make sure everybody knew he was top dog, relieved himself on the display of scarves outside the turisto shop! He and Dog #2 took off and when the owner of the shop came out to add more merchandise, poor Dog #3, got the rap for it.

The shop owner accused the lady holding onto the other end of the leash, who was totally oblivious as to what just happened. She said she didn’t think her dog did anything but wasn’t sure so she’d make good on the scarves anyway. We had seen the whole thing, so I went over and told them that Dog #1 was the culprit.

I was thanked profusely by both parties, and yet the shop owner and the dog owner continued their animated discussion, each restating their former position while acknowledging the guilt of Dog #1. As a cultural observer I just couldn’t understand what more could possibly be said on the subject, but I guess they needed to hash it out some more. I got several waves of thanks from my new best friends, and the shop owner cleaned up the mess by pouring cleaner over the scarves and into the puddle of pee on the pavement. All fixed.

NOTE TO SELF: Never purchase merchandise displayed outside that hangs within 18” of the ground—especially if the pavement is wet.