STANLEY J. DOG VISITS VENICE

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We go to Venice on the train to visit Michelle Lovric (www.michellelovric.com), who writes books about Venice.

2- Michelle takes us to the Campo dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo to visit the Scuola Grande di San Marco. In a large room, with an ornate Renaissance ceiling, humans can look at primitive surgical equipment, including saws for amputations and slim picks for poking in eyes. The word “butcher” surfaces and I am interested in the place for twenty seconds. The humans go inside, I am content to sit in the sun in the piazza and meet dog friends and listen to their Venetian owners natter away with She Who Must Be Obeyed.

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Michelle asks if I would like to examine a dying bat crumpled against the wall of a narrow alley. I decline. I wait patiently while she takes a photo of it. Have you ever noticed how humans are attracted to every disgusting thing they find on the pavement?

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Saturday we go to the fish market and buy plates of fried fish and glasses of wine. We take our vittles to the quayside and sit on the stone pavement to eat our lunch. Seagulls swoop overhead. One drops something into Michelle’s plate. Every molecule in Michelle’s body seems to draw tight and shimmer for a moment. She offers the remainder of her fried squid to me. I love al fresco dining.

We go to Bacaro da Fiore, a crowded little osteria. I am fed meatballs and cooed over by the waiters. I lie down and they and their patrons are careful to step over me. People start telling She Who Must be Obeyed the names of their dogs: Franco, Dick, Zeus, Camilla. I fall asleep.

 

“Let’s get a picture of Stanley in front of Ca Dario, the most haunted house in Venice,” says Michelle. They hoist me up on the parapet of a tiny bridge and dance around trying to frame their shots. German tourists approach and I detect the enticing aroma of granola bars. She Who Must Be Obeyed loosens her grip on my hindquarters and I leap forward off the parapet and into the path of the tourists. “Dogs are very sensitive,” says Michelle. “He no doubt felt the ghostly vibrations.”

 

6aThey are cooing and coaxing and offering doggie treats to get me to pose with Michelle’s new book, The True and Splendid History of the Harristown Sisters. I don’t like having my picture taken. I don’t like the sound the camera makes and I don’t like that bright light that sometimes stings my eyes. When I hear the camera’s opening tune my usually elegantly floppy ears press back against my head and my round eyes take on a haunted look. It is a very good book and I am sure I would enjoy it if I read books….but….this picture taking business…. She Who Must Be Obeyed pulls me into her lap and whispers sweet things into the back of my neck and massages my spine. I will not be so easily seduced into compliance.

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I come upstairs after my nap. The humans are talking about Aldus Manutius (Aldo Manuzio), the re-inventor of the semi-colon. He married well and unfortunately passed away shortly before perfecting the hemi-demi-semi colon. I go to each person in the balcony room and let them know that treats would not go amiss but they keep on talking about punctuation. I curl up under the table and go to sleep. I dream of meatballs.

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We go into an antiques shop on the Zattere. The owner, a man with long hair who is losing the battle with middle-age, gives me a dirty look. Michelle points at a small canon. “It would be perfect for the balcony,” she says. Is she joking? I can never tell with humans. I spend a millisecond worrying about the brides in their gondolas who glide by Michelle’s balcony on the Grand Canal, and the young men in dinner jackets who whiz past in motor boats. Dogs and cats are in no danger because she unabashedly likes them. Here are some pictures of fine floating dogs she took from The Balcony.

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“Stanley is a real Venetian dog,” they all say.
“Stanley is a real Venetian dog,” they all say.
Stanley J. Seadog
Stanley J. Seadog

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We go home to Verona on the train
We go home to Verona on the train