An Absolutely True Dog Story


Nerone has always made sure that we knew that he WAS NOT the SAINTED SIENA, who moved over with us, even though from appearances they could have been brother and sister.  He would not like to know that they share many characteristics.  They both liked/like to roll in the grass.  They both liked/like to lay on their backs on the bed or couch.  They both liked/like eating dinner at a certain time.  And they both liked/like going to bed around 10 each evening. 

When Siena lived on her own on the ground floor of our house in Virginia she would start a little before 10 letting me know that ‘if that other dog (Hawthorn, whom she could not stand, so he lived upstairs with us) was going to be traipsing through her space to use the yard he needed to do that so she could get her beauty sleep.  After all, she got early each morning with Ben, while Hawthorn lolled around upstairs’….and on and on.  Now at 10, Nerone comes in and starts grabbing at my shoe trying to get me to take him out.  (When Nerone wants something he does a ‘Lassie’ impression, tugging at my shoe, “Come QUICK!  Timmy fell down the well”  But it can mean, my water bowl is empty, my food bowl is empty, I can’t get in the bedroom or I neeeeeed to go out.  It takes some sleuthing to figure out.  For the most part that is his main way of communicating with us.

The other night, Nerone had gone for a nap in the bedroom to wait until I would agree to take him out.  Ben and I were in the living room watching The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.  Colbert was doing a ‘great swami’ sketch reminiscent of ones that Johnny Carson used to do.  Colbert said something along the lines of “I hereby decree that dogs will be known as cats and cats will be known as dogs and they won’t know the difference.”  Well, if Nerone had been shot out of a cannon from the bedroom he couldn’t have arrived any faster.  He was standing between the two of us, looking from Ben to me to Ben to me, his head on a swivel.  “What is this that you are watching?  Say it’s not so!”  It took quite a while to calm him down and to explain  that it was a joke.  I felt like Leonard trying to explain sarcasm to Sheldon.  Nerone still had that ‘ohhhh, I don’t know look in his eye.’ 

Since then he has been waking us up (and probably our neighbor Ida too) with this call of the wild wolf howl even though he remains sound asleep.  Or if he doesn’t howl, in the middle of the night he is climbing into bed with us.  So did Stephen Colbert give our dog nightmares?

march april 2015 024

One of his non-nightmare poses…, not a care in the world.



  1. Rita

    Hello, I’ve been reading your lovely stories from Italy for some years now. All have been at times serious, sweet and very informative. This one though, beat them all. It had me laughing outloud. Thank you! It was a much need moment of mirth

  2. Hi Rita, Thank you reading and commenting. Nerone is quite a character and keeps us on our toes for sure.

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