The writer tells a story about a neighbor who turned out upon acquaintance to be a former senator, with a most resourceful, urbane dog:
A handsome Brittany spaniel named Sol shared the apartment with the senator and
his wife. Almost every day I passed master and dog in campo San Stefano. But sometimes the dog loved solitude and independence: he loved the Dorsoduro neighborhood. He would go off alone to Santa Maria del Giglio to take the traghetto, the ferry that crossed there, to the shores of the promised land. The gondoliers knew him and let him on board with pleasure. In the evening, Sol stood in line like the honest Venetian he is, once more boarded the traghetto gondola, and returned to the Pisani ramo ("branch" - Curator). I would hear him bark. His owners would hear him, too, and buzz the downstairs door open. Every week, the senator would ask the gondoliers how often Sol had crossed, then scrupulously pay the three-hundred-lire fare for each trip.