They have a dog too and know what it’s like

Author: Tereza Vrbová and Ludek Štastný
Location: Prague
We heard this story in a pub from Bóda, a barfly, on Friday, June 30.
Bóda seems to have no family name. He is between thirty and eighty, and looks like an unsuccessful imitator of Lou Reed who decided to drown his sorrows in beer. We don’t know whether Bóda works, but he must have enough money to be able to come to his pub every night. He sits there together with Aranka, a three-year-old German shepherd bitch.
We know Bóda mainly thanks to Aranka and our Dan, a German shepherd who fancies her a lot, despite his age. We don’t usually say much to Bod’a, but this time we sat down next to him: we thought he would have some good stories. And we were right:
"This happened some three years ago,” Bóda said, drinking his beer and fondling Aranka. “I had Bojar then. He was also a German shepherd. I lived in a block of flats and walked him every day in the forest. The shortest way to get there was past a little house inhabited by Gypsies.
I preferred another route because I felt anxious whenever I walked by this house.
One warm spring day I went to walk Bojar in the forest. I let him run around, and after a while he disappeared.I thought he was chasing a hare. He often did this and always came back to me. But not that day.
I called and called and he didn’t come. So I went home alone.
I phoned a couple of friends, and we went to search for Bojar. But there was no trace of him. I became really worried. I couldn’t sleep for thinking about where Bojar could be, so I began writing small announcements with his description and my phone number. At six o’clock in the morning I started to hang them near a supermarket.
I took a day off and waited for a phone call. There were two and each time I picked up the phone after the first ring. But each time it was a friend telling me that nobody had seen Bojar.
Another call came in the late afternoon when I had begun to lose hope. The voice on the other end of the line was indistinct. But I understood that the man calling me had seen my announcement and thought that Bojar was in his garden. And he gave me his address.
When I went looking for it – get this: it was the little house near the forest.
I rang the doorbell with mixed feelings.
A stout dark man in his fifties opened the door. He was the one who had called me. He took me to the garden, and I saw Bojar watching the door handle. When I called him he ran to me wagging his tail. But then he ran to the door. He looked at me, waiting for me to open it.
The man invited me inside and we left Bojar in the garden. I found out why. In addition to three women and four children there was also a beautiful German shepherd bitch in the kitchen.
Everyone greeted me and the man explained who I was. And then they told me what had happened. It was obvious why Bojar had disappeared: the bitch was in heat. Bojar had turned up in their garden the night before and they couldn’t chase him away. They gave him some food, which he refused, and since they didn’t know his owner they waited for someone to ask about him.
Aranka – that was the bitch´s name – was so beautiful that I forgave Bojar.
I offered my new acquaintances a reward, but they refused, saying that they have a dog too and they know what it’s like when a pet gets lost.
So I dragged my defiant Bojar home.
But I bought a bottle of vodka the next day and went back with Bojar to say thank you again. The people insisted that I drink the bottle with them. And one bottle wasn’t enough. So I staggered home. To my surprise Bojar did not protest. He must have accepted the fact he would not seduce Aranka.
So I was even more surprised to hear a familiar voice on the phone a couple of weeks later. I was told to come and pick up a puppy. Obviously we had not watched Bojar and Aranka well enough. The puppy was a bitch, too, so I called her Aranka. At first I thought I could not have two German shepherds in my flat and wanted to give Aranka to somebody. But after a week I came to understand that I would keep her. And now at least I have a reminder of Bojar.”

Leave a Reply