We never thought we'd find ourselves buying Maggie a yellow rain slicker, but after a day of steady rain accompanied by acqua alta, we threw our inhibitions to the scirocco winds and resolved to visit a pet shop. We rationalized our decision by noting that many dogs wear clothes in Venice, and some of the outfits that we've seen--such as fake leopardskin outfits, pajamas, and Ned-style tracksuits--have looked considerably more ridiculous than a raincoat.
For our fashion-buying expedition, we chose a tiny pet store named Memei a couple of streets away from our apartment, at the corner of the Calle delle Botteghe and the Calle Bernardo (just across a footbridge from the shop where Katherine Hepburn found a Murano glass goblet and an Italian suitor in Summertime).
Cheryl stopped in with Maggie early in the day, before the shop closed for a 3½-hour lunch break.The proprietor came around the counter, sized up Maggie with a tape measure, and rummaged through his stock of raincoats before producing three choices: a yellow slicker with a tartan lining, a hooded black raincoat decorated with a stylized animal face (a dog or a cat--it was hard to tell), and a raincoat in a print that was a bit too cutesy for a Bearded Collie. Cheryl asked the shop owner to hold the raincoat until evening, and all three of us returned later in the day for a final fitting and purchase.
The proprietor recognized Magghilina immediately, pulled the yellow raincoat from under the counter, and showed us how to put it on her. Maggie was too happy to be the object of attention to notice that she was being dressed up like a Scottish fisherman, and she was even happier when, after we'd paid 25 euros for the raincoat, the proprietor treated her to a treat. We were happy, too: When we got home after a walk in the rain, her upper body was mostly dry.
Our next step is to find her a hat--we tried Durant's nylon bucket hat, but its greyish-tan color doesn't go well with bright yellow, and in any case, Maggie insisted on tugging it off with her paws. Maybe she resented the fact that it wasn't designed and made in Italy like her stylish new impermeàbile.