Here’s a phrase you don’t hear too often anymore: Village Idiot. The words have been popping into my head ever since we got a new dog. The household was rather quiet all summer after the passing of our 11 year old boxer bitch. She was a grand old dame named Dorothy who was prissy in every sense of the word. She believed herself to be empress of all she surveyed. What with her own ruffled pillow to sleep on in the den, her feet barely touched the floor all winter long. It was just too uncomfortable for someone of her stature.
Dorothy had very good manners, took commands in English and French. She was clean and fastidious in all her endeavors. We put her to sleep when it appeared there was no help for the sudden on-set of symptoms that went unidentified but continued to weaken her. She passed quietly after we said our good-byes. I believe she is resting in heaven and many others wait on her as we did on this plane.
To be sure, her passing left the house a little too quiet. Then, a rash of burglaries in the neighborhood left me feeling unsettled without a dog to put up the pretense of protection. I was not comforted by my spouses efforts. My darling husband offered to be ever at the ready with a shot gun from the gun cabinet. The problem with that scenario was that he was wielding the damn thing while he ran around in the nude. A naked fat man with a gun and hair sticking up is not a fearsome sight. It is ludicrous. The before-bed routine found him strategically planning the right lighting in case the burglars broke in, with the locks in the house alternately locked or open to confuse them. He thought he was Robert Ludlum. I thought he would likely kill us by some mistaken maneuver. To make matters worse, I kept thinking about some scene from an old Army movie where the inductees are made to stand at attention in the rain while they repeated “This is my rifle and this is my gun.” You’ll guess which was which. I laughed hysterically every night when my husband secured the premises.
I knew we had to get a dog! Even if it was only to keep ourselves from dying of embarrassment. So we contacted our old friends at Minnesota Boxer Rescue. Initially, several dogs we were interested in had been taken. Then one day, we both fixed on a photo of a 2 1/2 year old brindle boxer male. He had a tilted head that begged to be kissed and appeared quite handsome. Good thing he is handsome, or he might not get forgiven for much of what he does. He would single-handedly revive the term village idiot.
His formal name is Bruno. He came with it, sometimes he answered to it so we kept it. However, his official title is village idiot. During the first two weeks we had him, he managed to take two fence posts out of my fence to see if he could chase a cat in the next yard. He chewed on several door knobs and left large gaping dents. He found a way to stand on hind legs and chew on window blinds in the laundry room. Walked into screen doors, ran into walls. When the dog shakes his hand and the ears flap back and forth, my husband describes this as the dog slapping himself with his own ears. This from a man who sees no problem walking around naked with a shotgun in semi-darkness. I love my husband, but he is not the face, or body, of homeland security.
And I love this dog. He has many problems. His back legs are too long and the back right hip socket just doesn’t work well. This will have to be addressed at some point but in the meantime, he jumps as high as any terrier when he’s happy to see someone. He loves to go on walks despite the leg problems. He would just as soon be off leash and on the run, but he just doesn’t know the command for “Come” yet. He likes to open the front door and take himself for a run sometimes. As stated, he won’t come when he’s called but he’ll be damned if he’ll miss a car ride. So we get the car out, back it out of the driveway and he’s on point for an open door that’s just for him. All of these things are not too unusual. In the days, hopefully years to come, there will be more stories of antics dumb and dumber. But of all the antics so far, no one can figure out why he eats sheet rock off the walls. Now you know why we call him “The Village Idiot.”