There is one person* who is truly grateful to be back home in Rome and that’s Trevor-the-dog. Sure, what to the rest of us would appear (justifiably so) as mini-obstacle courses as you walk down the sidewalk, and pock-marked palazzi stained by jet streams of spray, for a dog, it’s pure heaven.
After spending 2 months in the USA, Trevor is determined to make sure his scent is left on every curb, car tire, tree and tree stump far and wide. America may have a love affair with dogs, but you’d never know it – canines are truly to be seen and not smelled.
In the USA, there are approximately 77.5 million dogs; that’s nearly 30% of the population and with 39% of U.S. households owning at least one dog.
But, you’d never know it. People walk their dogs, but, the dogs are not allowed off a leash, so they can’t roam the huge park – it’s like inviting a dehydrated person to a pool and then not letting them jump right in.
In the city, every tree is fenced in so no peeing allowed. While in the suburbs, dogs can’t pee on trees or in yards, even if said yard contains a hydrant. People would rap on the windows if they so much saw my dog sniffing the grass on their lawn. I personally think Trevor spent two whole months ‘holding it’. Not only that, I still cannot tell how it is that large dogs in the suburbs get to run – it’s simply not permitted. We are probably modifying their genetic makeup with this practice; soon we’ll have the dog equivalent of penguins.
Trevor’s elation of his newfound freedom of being allowed into restaurants, bars and stores is truly palpable. What a treat! He gets to eat the crumbs left by the croissant & cappuccino eaters and beg for more. Many people may find this practice barbaric, but I still attest that dogs are as dirty as the bottom of your shoes; although that’s not to say that I’d want an Olde English Sheepdog drooling on my dining table.
And so, you’d pass people – in cities or in the burbs – talk about your dogs, admire them, but never allowing them to leave their mark, so to speak, even if it was on the trunk of an old oak tree. It was like a fashion runway of pets; dogs here and there, making their turn and taking off; not a single one stopping to smell the newly baptized roses.
They couldn't: they were as dry as a dog bone.
*term used loosely