I really love dogs. I’d love to have a dog of my own. I imagine him or her–I have no preference for gender or breed– lying by my feet as I write, gazing lovingly at me, hanging on to my every word. Maybe I’d call it Booboo. Booboo is a name I give other people’s dogs, usually because I can’t remember their real names and also because I just like calling dogs Booboo. What I can’t imagine is how I’d incorporate a Booboo of my own into my nomadic lifestyle.
Instead, I tend to fall in love with other people’s dogs, the dogs I meet on my travels. When I first arrived in France, I was quite taken with a black Lab called Fenzi. For a while, I had a picture of us both on my Facebook page. He could be a bit aloof, I put it down to him being French. Ari, my friend Melissa’s dog has a sweet little face that always reminded me of a teddy bear. I think he liked me at one time, but then I moved to a distant village and he probably forgot about me. Some dogs are just bounders. Pepo of Montpeyroux for instance. One day as I returned from the boulangerie, he came running down the road to meet me. I thought he liked me, but found out he was only after my baguette. He’d eaten half of it before I realised.
Last week, I left Port Angeles and bid adieu to Lucy, the sweetest and hairiest dog in the world, and Baby with her elegantly folded front paws. Lucy once had two sisters, Kenna –definitely a Booboo, and Ally who was less so.
At the moment, I’m in Walnut Creek, CA –Casa Fishermeyer, aka my friends Kit and Jerry’s place. When I used to live in Port Angeles, they were always my half way stop on twice a year visits down to Southern California. I have fond memories of Henry, their aristocratic looking Standard Poodle who seemed too dignified to be called Booboo. I loved him, especially as he grew older and more sedate. As a youngster, he was quite rambunctious, jumping on sofas and coffee tables. His predecessor is Rory, an energetic bundle of fluff who prances around with a mauve washcloth in his jaws. Rory also jumps on sofas and coffee tables but since Rory is roughly the size of a cat and Henry was the size of a small pony, Rory’s furniture jumping is less disconcerting.
After Henry departed, it took me a while to warm up to his successor, but Rory has his wiley ways. Mornings, I creep downstairs. Jerry is in his office,
Kit still asleep. I pad, soundlessly it seems, over to the couch to read the news on my iPad and Rory, just as silently, appears at my feet. He looks up at me, I look down at him. It’s intense. Who will break eye contact first? The slightest change in my facial expression will prompt him to jump up on my lap– or go off in search of affection elsewhere. Usually it’s the former, he’s quite hard to resist. Rory is definitely a Booboo.
But our time together is coming to an end, I must move on. Down to Long Beach and Winston and another little fluffy charmer, Ciccio, who I can only think of as Booboo. And in August, I’ll be back in France in my new village where I’ve already met Fred, the brown and white spaniel who lives downstairs. I hope he won’t mind if I call him . . .