Recently in Florence, Italy as I was rushing like a crazy person to a meeting, I came across this goofy dog on the sidewalk. I didn’t see anyone with her, so of course I had to stop because I thought she was lost (although I had no idea what I was going to do about it). After I stood there for a minute or so, she laid down and flopped open, what a ham! Then I realized (doh!) I was right in front of the fancy Lord Bau dog boutique. So I guess her job was to work the sidewalk, model stuff and look charming to lure people inside. Yes. I went in. But that got me thinking: if a women’s boutique did the same thing…sending out a sweet young thing to wiggle and work the sidewalk. Um, no. I guess then it would seem more like a strip club (or worse). Yep, dogs get away with everything.
“Boh!” is what the owner of our agriturismo replied when I asked what was the name of their resident dog. I didn’t think she meant “Bo” or “Beau”, just because of the way she said it: hands on her hips, a shrug, raised eyebrows and “Boh!” like she was spitting something. So I asked her what it meant exactly and it’s one of those sound-words, for lack of a better term, that means “I don’t know.” She wasn’t saying she didn’t know, she was saying his name is “Boh” and what it means is “I don’t know.”
Okay, I got it. And as the week went on, it was apparent the name fit him pretty well. But then, maybe not. One day during breakfast he pushed his way into our room, jumped on our bed and rolled around for a while (on top of my white t-shirt). Another time he borrowed my husband’s Costa del Mar sunglasses for a while and we eventually found them near his doghouse. Luckily they were inside their bullet-proof case and now the teeth marks it bears serves as a hilarious reminder.
Once after a long day of walking around Volterra, we returned to find Boh lounging poolside on a chaise (so much work to do, finding mischief among the guests, hanging around the kitchen, etc.). After a few minutes the resident one-eyed orange cat showed up and Boh just wasn’t having it, giving him the cold shoulder in stages.
If you’d like to visit Boh (or the one-eyed orange cat), I must warn you to bring pants with an elastic waistband. Dinners at the agriturismo are served at a long table family-style where the food doesn’t stop coming, and they don’t take no for an answer (I’m not kidding). The owners are nice, they make their own products there (no, you don’t have to help) like olive oil, saffron, cheese and wine. So if you’re looking for one of those friendly places where you end up meeting a lot of great people from all over the world (the three wild girls from Poland who live in Canada, the mother and daughter from Hawaii, the water polo player and his medical student girlfriend from Milan, the Australian couple with the woman who worked on Happy Feet, you get the idea), this is one of them.
And of course there’s Boh. But I’m convinced he’s a lot smarter than he’s letting on.