Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Boz Dickens

Today is Charles Dickens' 200th birthday. Any excuse to post photos of Boz! Some folks think our pooch was named for Mr. Scaggs, but no. Although I like that Boz, the dirty lowdown is we named ours for Mr. Dickens, whose little brother nicknamed him Boz.

Note the similarities:
As a youngster Dickens had to fend for himself, working long hours in a shoe blacking factory. Our little Boz lived on the street before he came to us, fending for himself for we don't know how long. It might have been months. It might have been a whole afternoon. No one knows the truth except Boz, and even if he remembers he tends to exaggerate.

Either way he was an urchin of genius, as evidenced by, uh, well, I'm sure he was. And although he may never reach the heights of fame achieved by his namesake, he's a well-known dog about town and about the web.

Dickens became a distinguished writer. Boz can distinguish between a Greenie and a Milk Bone. (But why would anyone bother?)

I sometimes wonder if he ever thinks back on the days of his youth, when life was simple and fame was fleeting. I have my doubts. But he does have memories, however vague. He knows he likes big, muscular guys who smoke cigarettes and sport tattoos (previous owner?). He knows he's afraid of the hose (someone who scared him when he lived on the street?). And at this very moment, he might be reminiscing about yesterday when he suffered the terrifying ordeal of a bath and received a pig ear for being a good boy.

32 comments:

Kalei's Best Friend said...

I love 'unusual'names... My husband named our cat( who happened to be my husband's first pet- his mother wouldn't allow him to have pets as a kid) William Blake- mainly because Blake wrote poems about cats...Funny how animals take on the names we give them...Boz definitely has that swagger.

Anonymous said...

gina b:

Sweet, sweet post. Happy Birthday, Boz

Petrea Burchard said...

That brings up the question, Kalei: where did the name Kalei come from?

Thank you, Ginab. We've been celebrating his birthday June 8th, the anniversary of the day we adopted him. But it's not a bad idea to celebrate with Mr. Dickens. Why not? Two parties.

Dina said...

Happy Dickens Day. It's nice to learn all this about our boy Boz. Now that he's all washed, give him a kiss from me.

Trish said...

Nice to know the origin of the world famous Boz!

I would have to assume Boz was probably a homeboy, and either escaped or was let go for not being tough enough---if he isn't afraid of big guys with tats. The water thing---dogs are either terrified, or want to attack it. I've known labs terrified enough to pee at the sight of water coming near them. Yet we know a Frenchie who will outright DESTROY any running water source like a cat is attached somehow. Some kennel type situations just hose 'em down to try to quiet a dog down, or to clean them up. Scares the beejeezus out of the dogs, but they do it anyway.

Am glad you have given Boz a new forever home and that he obviously loves it with you two. Heck, for the equivalent of a greenie or a milkbone and a nice comfy place to plunk, I'd follow you just about anywhere too! Just take it easy with the shampoo, I'm a little sensitive in certain places, ok?

Petrea Burchard said...

Dina, I will admit I kiss Boz whether he's had a bath or not. He tolerates me.

Funny stories, Trish! Perhaps your hose hypothesis is the one--I can't imagine how they clean all those cages otherwise. They do their best with a LOT of dogs who need homes.

As for the owner, but Boz was well cared for by his homeboy. He's not afraid of anyone, loves people and was obviously never beaten. I think someone left the gate open and probably still misses him.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Kalei is my cat's name...I'm Kalei's best friend...lol... Kalei is Hawaiian for child or flower as in lei. My ex bf lives in Hawaii and we got the kitty together...she ended up being more reliable, unconditional and trustworthy...

Michael Coppess said...

Had to laugh at the third shot. Looks like ol' Boz decided to just walk right out of the picture.

Latino Heritage said...

Great, sweet ode. Love that you Boz does not have a combover - although given his demeanor he would be able to carry that off, too.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Interesting about those memories from previous owners. My friend allowed James, a german shepherd, to jump into her car as she was traveling down Vermont. She discovered, much to her horror, that James had a strong aversion to to the combination of homelessness and alcohol

Petrea Burchard said...

Kalei, I hope you've found that isn't always the way.

Michael, he's temperamental when it comes to having his picture taken.

Well, Roberta, it's his behind that's bald. He's not vain about it, though.

Interesting, PA. See, now I think Boz would like that.

Bellis said...

Now I know why Boz polishes his toes with shoeblacking.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

"this isn't always the way" do u mean as far as acquiring a pet? or my luck w/men? having her reminds me of him, but also she's a blessing.. she's my best friend.. she thinks i'm her mama. As far as men, I try to keep an open mind but from what I see, I am glad I have Kalei.

Petrea Burchard said...

He does have very attractive toes, Bellis.

I meant men, Kalei. Sometimes it's a matter of figuring out what our own pattern of choosing is and figuring out how to change it so we don't pick the creepy crappy ones anymore.

Trish said...

am suggesting the water was abuse, not hitting. Waterboarding, whether person or other being, is torture, which may be Boz' issue with it from the hose. At least you recognize it and can protect him from it. Still glad you gave him a forever home--no matter how he came to you, he's home.

And what, you don't set him up with a bottle of Thunderbird every night? ;-)

Ms M said...

Love your story about Boz Dickens. And happy anniversary/bd to Boz.

Katie said...

Looking at these delightful photos of Dickens' namesake is a great way to celebrate! I'm sure Boz is fine with two parties (and any excuse to post Boz photos is fine with me). Please sir, I want some more Milk Bones.

Bellis said...

The story and the photos go so well together. This is one of your best, P. Was Boz perhaps a dog that asked for more, and ended up in the streets? Well, he eventually got lucky, just like David Copperfield.

Petrea Burchard said...

Trish, he gets no alcohol but he is addicted to his nightly treat.

I can't even water the flowers when he's outside in the yard with me. He knows I'm not going to spray him, but if he sees me touch the hose he gets up and goes into the house.

Thank you so much, Ms. M.

You picked it, Katie. We thought first of Oliver or Dodger because they're street kids, but neither name fit.

I'm so glad you like the post, Bellis. I had fun creating it. Boz is a good muse.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Happy 200th, Charlie! Way to get a great namesake, Boz!

I like the idea of two parties!

Bises,
Genie

Susan Campisi said...

A Tale of Two Bozes

I heard on NPR this morning that Dickens' stories were first published as monthly serials. He cranked them out with hardly any edits. When the writing got published into books, very little was changed. Isn't that remarkable? They didn't mention his nickname was Boz. Now it makes perfect sense that your Boz is named after him. Your Boz is a great character, who brings a certain literary gravitas to PDP. I'm always happy to see him here. And the photos are wonderful!

alex said...

title = #winning.

in a good way. love the photos of Boz.

Petrea Burchard said...

A tale of two parties, Genie! (Susan made me think of that.)

Susan, I should also point out that it's possible Dickens pronounced it "Boze," like "nose." As John told me this morning, if he'd lived 7 years more it would have been possible to have a recording of his voice. And yes, he first wrote his stories as serials--in longhand, of course. The few edits he made were right there on the page.

Thanks, Alex!

Bellis said...

The nickname for Charles is usually Chas or Baz. So I think Boz would have been pronounced the way you do.

Petrea Burchard said...

Ah, thank you, Bellis.

NixBlog said...

Cute! (The dog not Charles Dickens ;-)
But I'm prejudiced, I'm a dog person.

Petrea Burchard said...

I'm not. Oh, no, not at all.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Great homage to Charles Dickens' 200th birthday.

Love these photos of Boz and his name. He looks a great companion!

Marjie said...

Boz is adorable. I miss our mastiff, who died in August. So I'll have some cake in honor of your Boz! (But I'm not reading any Dickens today - too wordy, and I'm feeling lazy).

Petrea Burchard said...

I saw the pics on your blog of your sweetie, Marjie. I've often wondered what Boz is mixed with. Obviously some boxer, maybe some pit bull, and a few folks have thought maybe mastiff, too. He didn't get the size but he got the shape and the disposition. They are such sweet dogs.

camissonia said...

You need no reason whatsoever to post photos of Boz. He looks like an awesome pooch. So, does he prefer greenies or milk bones?

Petrea Burchard said...

Hi camissonia!
Boz will generally eat anything (and I mean that), but if he had to choose, he would choose Greenies, paws down.