The first impulse was to go with Desdemona. Otello and Desdemona – but it was too long and impossible to shorten in a pretty way. Besides, the ending to that story is a bit grim.

Sitting in the back of the car, the still unnamed dog was quietly surveying her surroundings. Ottie, for his part, was also a bit unsure. All I know is that he sighed a sigh of relief when we finally left the boxer rescue kennel where he originally came from four years ago. Was he wondering why he found himself back there after all this time? A few dogs that could match our needs or, rather Ottie’s, were brought out, all in different states of “disrepair”. Knowing that behind the wall about 100 dogs were waiting to be adopted and that many of them, the oldest or the sickest, never will, is heartbreaking and looking at these pretty animals being paraded in front of us makes you resent all those unknown owners who abandoned, neglected or just couldn’t hold on to their pets. In the end, only one could come home to be with Ottie even though I have often thought of turning my home into an animal sanctuary, a bit like Brigitte Bardot. There is still hope I can become an old lady surrounded by needy dogs…

We finally settled on Portia who was Lucy according to her tag and who began her life with a name we will never know. What we know is that she was rescued from a city kennel and looks a bit worse for wear. Her brindle coat is severely mangy, she is extremely underweight but, at two years old, she still wiggles her stumpy tail in appreciation of my presence and follows Ottie around looking for his approval. After two hours at home, she started behaving as if she had always lived here, falling asleep on her allotted bed and snoring as loudly as a drunken sailor, begging for food while I am cooking and jumping on the couch despite being booted off at least a dozen times already. Just like a child testing her boundaries.

Portia has brought with her a renewed sense of purpose – there are things to do to make her better, to make her feel safe and loved. Ottie is now the “man of the house” with a female, other than me, to look after and who will look up to him for direction and boundaries. I have a strong belief that rescued dogs instinctively know their lives have been changed and a bond of eternal gratitude is formed that cannot be betrayed. If only I could bring home all 100 of them – wait, isn’t there a movie in there somewhere?


1 Comment

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One response to “THE BOXER OF VENICE

  1. silvia

    To Portia:
    Welcome darling in the Ottie’s family! 🙂
    You don’t know me yet – soon enough you will – but pls trust me when I say that all the sufferings you went through in your brief life are destined to become an old memory. From now on years of happiness and tenderness are in front of you and you deserve every second of them.

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