The Girl That Got Away! How I Spent April Fool’s Day!
April 2, 2014 by admin
Dateline: April 1, 2014, Ciudad Vieja, Montevideo, Uruguay
Come on, Everybody, sing along!
B. I. N. G. O! B. I. N. G. O! B. I. N. G. O! BINGO WAS HIS NAME, OH!
Now, sing it this way:
T. O. B. E. Y! T. O. B. E. Y! T. O. B. E. Y! TOBEY WAS HIS NAME, OH! I got a dog, and a dog got me! I got a dog and a dog got me! I got a dog and a dog got me! Tobey is his name, oh!
For no foolish reason, I stayed inside the hostel on this glorious Indian Summer day, trying to dig myself out from under a lot of backed-up writing projects. At around sunset, I thought I’d better catch some air, so I headed up the pedestrian-only Sarandi Boulevard in Montevideo’s Old Town. Only a block along on my walk, I noticed an ancient, timeless drama being carried out, smack-dab in public.
SHE was resistant. HE was insistent. And the poor woman at the other end of the only leash was trying to get her hefty, reddish-blond Golden Retriever out of the intersection. Not ‘gonna happen, as long as that fresh, young, sailor-on-a-holiday, black and white Terrior was humping and bumping her back legs…..and I don’t mean in the Tango! That gal was not standing up for nobody, nowhere, nohow!
I sent a sympathetic glance to the woman to see how I could help. She explained in great detail in Spanish; but switched to English when I proved too dumb to register her story. Her sweet-faced dog was sick and they had walked (a considerable distance) to the vet to get two horribly swollen, heat-emitting ear infections treated. This dog had tagged along, romancing and dancing for about eight blocks. She was sure that the resulting ear odor that only dogs can smell, advertised that her girl was in heat. Though, she was not, and from the looks of her age, would never be again.
Romeo was not buying that excuse, for sure! I took to stamping my foot at him, commanding in all my English phrases for such a situation as this: “Shoo! Git! Go Home! No! Leave Her Alone!” He understood the gestures, if not the words, but simply didn’t care. He wanted what he wanted, when he wanted it; and no polka-dot-skirted woman was going to come along and tell him otherwise!
I tested his spirituality by grabbing hold of his collar. If he was a bad dog, he would bite me. If a good dog, he would not. He didn’t! Now, we knew he meant well; but he also, meant that little thing. I did try to pick him up but the chunky, wriggling boy was only a few seconds in my arms before he was off to his sweetheart’s outstretched paws. Yeah, they were outstretched so she could flatten her unavailable body tight to the pavement! She had the DO NOT ENTER sign flashing for all to see. ‘Cept he wasn’t even noticing. Another woman stopped and got on her cell phone. I thought to call the gendarmes to help me take this doggie home, where he belonged. But, she said no. The cops didn’t get involved in canine love affairs and walked on by.
Sweetie’s whole demeanor shouted her wholehearted disgust of this last-straw situation! She was literally sick and tired of this whole affair and she knew she still had many a mile to hobble home and how can she do it with such a rude rapist on the loose?!
“Give me a break, everybody! I need my bed and I need it now! What gives YOU, Young Pup, the idea that I’m a streetwalker, anyway? I’ve outrun better lads than you, and I will again. Just now, I’m re-tired! Re-ally, re-ally tired! Scat!…before I call a cat!“
That last insult hit him where the sun don’t shine, and I was able to grab his collar and hold real tight, gesturing for the woman to get her darling up the street and home. I’d drag him the block down to the hostel and lock him in to give them time to escape. The ladies hied it up the hill and I started up the greatest back massage and deep shoulder-scratchings, which I knew would get his mind off the other business. I wonder why it didn’t work? Most dogs are suckers for it. However, Passionate here, gave one good twist and took his collars off, hieing it up that slight hill, as well; lost love, his only destination.
Well, Buddy! You’ve met your match! I don’t discourage easily, either! Up I went, waving the double, tagless collar in my hand. How could he have gotten out-of-sight so fast?
Sure enough! There’s the beleaguered duo and the pest…..with two of my hostel friends gathered ’round; now trying desperately to save our heroine’s virginity! We laughed and squealed in outright amazement that any three would-be rescuers would all be from the same hostel clan. Luciana from Brazil, and Adriana of Colombia, have been my friends for days. Okay, now, we put our heads together. “How about a taxi?” There was serious doubt that the furry one would be allowed inside. The belle-of-the-ball’s Mama was also worried for the sake of Fresh Boy there. He might get lost in their part of town and how would he find his way home? But, she knew the general neighborhood that claimed him and showed us how to get there.
The winning formula proved to be thus: Adriana removed her genuine leather belt and made a choke collar, cinched fairly tight. We all pulled and jollied him along. He pretended to cooperate; taking a genuine minute to greet me like an old backscratching friend, missing in action since he’d last pulled this stunt. Then, a honeying up to Leash-holder, Luciana, and swish/feint and he was free and up the hill again. Virginity-Defender plopped right down again; getting right sick and tired of all the action!
Now, he had three unbeatable oddballs after him and he could barely breathe by the time we got him under control again. He was a real good loser, after all. We dragged him into the hostel and showed him off, laughing with our triumph. Diego knew this dog and told us right where to take him. A store, sure enough, right beside the Vet’s.
Picture-taking time, during which I got my face licked really sweet and good. “I’m yours forever, baby! That’s all it takes!”
Then, off we went again. Who needs dog-tags in such a friendly nation? The old lady spotted him first. “Tobey! Where you been, this time?” I caught the gist through the Spanish. He had a cute little doghouse in there, right beside a huge picture of Jesus with a bleeding heart! Very homey, indeed!
I’m going to go see him every day! I’ve needed a dog to love for such a long time and it’s so much better, when it’s somebody else’s! It appears that me and Tobey look at life exactly the same way!
“If it’s any comfort to you, Honey! Just know I love you! Forget about her! Women, right? I give better back scratches, I’ll bet! Who was it that saved you from yourself…let alone the cops…and walked you home, and all? Hey! You forgot to say goodbye. Just crawled into your doghouse and went to sleep. I’m gonna get you a doggie bone, tomorrow, that’s what I’m gonna do!”
So, the rescuer’s a little round the bend these days? You don’t know how much you miss having a dog until you don’t have one…. and then, you get a little chance to Mama one again..and, you’re done! You’re right back where you started before you were a World Walker. Maybe, one day…. when I’m old….. in the meantime:
OH, I’VE GOT A DOG AND A DOG’S GOT ME….AND TOBEY IS HIS NAME! I’VE GOT A DOG AND A DOG’S GOT ME…..AND TOBEY IS HIS NAME! I’VE GOT A DOG AND A DOG’S GOT ME …. AND TOBEY IS HIS NAME-OH!