August 1990 brought a significant transition for the family as John left home to travel to Boston where he commenced his studies at Harvard University. The leave-taking at Charles de Gaulle airport was a sorrowful one. Fortunately for us there was a diversionary plan – a trip to Germany and Austria with our good friends Geoff and Dot Havercroft, who had come from London, England to join us for the trip. Beau, of course, had his seat marked out in the car and waited eagerly for our departure.
The German trip was particularly entertaining in that it was necessary to procure a paper from the German embassy in Paris attesting to Beau’s ownership and his vaccination status. The paperwork was done and Glen went to the embassy, emerging with a duly stamped certificate to allow the noble dog to enter Germany. Despite all the advance preparations, we were not ready for the seriousness of the border guard at Oberndorf in Austria who checked and stamped the humans’ passports and then proceeded to check and stamp Beau’s papers when we came back from Germany. The dog took it all in stride, appreciative of the fact that Austrian customs was doing its best to keep the country a good place for him to visit.
Beau particularly enjoyed the Austrian restaurant circuit. He had barely entered the pizzeria (where we ate on three occasions) before the waiter arrived with “wasser fur das hund.” Beau set to drinking the liquid right away as we perused the menus. He was touched by the attentiveness of the wait staff and perplexed as to why the dog could not enjoy his rightful place in other eating establishments we visited.
Part of the Salzburg visit included a bus tour of the sites of the filming of the movie The Sound of Music in and around Salzburg. The activities for that day divided on gender lines – Eleanor, Elizabeth and Dot Havercroft took in the bus tour; Geoff, Glen and Beau strolled around town, to the local church. After a few hours, the men grew tired of tramping around.
Late in the afternoon we met the bus tour with Eleanor, Elizabeth and Dot. There were a few calls left on the tour and the driver, for some reason, offered to pick us up. He may have taken pity on us because at an earlier stop he nearly drove away without Elizabeth. It was the shouts of Eleanor that her daughter was not on the bus that averted this catastrophe.
In any case, Geoff and Glen got on with Beau. The men proceeded, in a dignified way, to find one of the empty seats remaining. Beau, spying Elizabeth at the back of the bus, raced towards her like a rocket as the other passengers looked on aghast, trying to figure out what this furry projectile hurtling past them was. Once beside Elizabeth he settled down to add to his store of canine knowledge. We never did hear Beau howl out Edelweiss, but the look of the Salzburg Festival and Baron von Trapp was often in his eyes. And all you had to do was mention apfel strudel and he was right there ready to partake.
|Word Guild Award|
|Word Guild Award|