Things Italian Men Of A Certain Age Have Said To Me About My Dog

Not for nothing did a very handsome man recently pronounce Bon-Bon a “chick magnet,” but the demographic he most reliably sweeps the boards with are older Italian men who spend a lot of time in their front yards. They can’t get enough of him. Their eyes start from their spheres like stars, they put down their garbage bags, their garden hoses, their paper cups of coffee, and turn away from masculine friends of many years in order to get closer to something small and beautiful and unknowable, and then they tell me about themselves.

“You gonna go get her clean after this? That’s good, her paws are gonna get wet from the rain last night. But don’t give her too many baths. She could get sick.”

“Quanto costa? Quanto costa? [Inaudible due to I don’t speak Italian] She is good.”

“You know, I used to have all big dogs, all male dogs. Boxers, mastiffs. Then I got a dog for my son and his kids, from a woman who gave me a good deal, cos I used to get all my boxers from her, and he lives in Connecticut, and one day he calls me and says, I can’t deal with this right now, the kids are so little, I come home from work and the house is a mess, can you come by and take her for a little while so I can get myself straightened out, so I said sure. She was a little Yorkie puppy named Lily, and we never gave her back, my wife and I wouldn’t even go to bed until she was ready to go to bed. I’ll never have a male dog again. Got her at four months, had her until she was eighteen years old.”

“Is he a Pomeranian? What am I looking at? How big is he? My sister keeps a Pomeranian, but she’s too scared to let it outside. But he doesn’t look scared at all. Don’t take him to that vet down the street.”

“[Inaudible due to headphones] Meet the little thing that’s going to run your life!”

“Where’s the floof? Where’s the little guy? Oh, don’t take him to that vet, she’s terrible, she…she’s always telling you things that might go wrong because of the breed, what might happen, problems with their knees or…who wants to know? If something goes wrong, it’ll go wrong, but why would you say that to me?”

“What is it? What….what is it?”