So you think you would like to live in Italy

This is our story, warts an' all. We have come this far since May 2004 and survived the bureaucracy, a freezing cold winter, a landslip and a diminishing money pot. Share our experiences, believe me the good ones far outweigh the bad and if you want to ask a question and we know the answer, we'll tell it like it is.

I found this little phrase in a Collins Italian Phrase Book published in 1963 ~ "passa ogni limite" pahs'sah ohn'yee lee'mee-tay which means: That's the giddy limit. Useful if there's anybody out there that quaint!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dogblog August


People with dogs are drawn to people with dogs which is how we met Maureen and Windsor at a house party in Gualdo. When the conversation gravitates towards 'our babies' and we start sharing anecdotes and photographs there's no stopping us. No risk of boredom setting in with this topic; it's our favourite. Unlike the 'Doting Mothers and their Children' party bores, doggy people don't go in for one-up-manship but marvel and coo at the antics of any dumb creature. And so we were invited to supper and to meet 'ELLA' Maureen and Windsor's 3 year old Bernese babe. And she is a babe. Whereas our boys are cumbersome and awkward and always look like rugby players after a scrum, Ella is elegant and serene and manages a pose without trying. Not that she doesn't have all the same traits as any boisterous young pup, as Maureen says, "she is an accomplished thief". Trophies include emery boards, a couple of pairs of reading glasses, workmens' tools and current favourite, gardening gloves. Nearly acquired, but sadly caught red-handed, a pair of binoculars. It's just that I see her more as a David Niven in the Pink Panther and not the typecast 'bungling thieves' more befitting Monte and Giorgio. Anyway, Ella has featured in a book "The Southern Bernese Year Book 2007/2008" so what about that for stardom! I'm wondering if there is a publication called "I Cani da Pastore Maremmano Abruzzese" which might like to feature my ever so slightly unhinged boys.

The Lady

and the Tramp

Now this could easily be one of my boys ~ Monte I think, knicknamed 'The Scruffian' ~ but it isn't. This is RAMBO. If ever there was a misnomer it was this one. RAMBO no no no. Chaplin, Scruffy, Bonzo, Scooby Do, Mutley but not RAMBO. I don't know him very well so maybe beneath the informal tie and the waistcoat lies a Baskervillian temperament but I can't see it myself. Rambo belongs to some Italian friends; he's a guard dog!!

Monte ~ our little 'Scruffian' grows more handsome by the day. He has a freckly nose ~ his kissy spot and boy does he get kissed. My husband minds that his nose is always 'rosy' from lipstick, Monte doesn't!

The boys are inseparable. They are separated, sometimes for a few short minutes if I walk them individually from the house out to their pen. If I don't return within minutes for the second one, frenzied barking and howling sets up from both quarters and there is nothing I can do to suppress it until both dogs are reunited. I've never experienced anything quite like this before but then we've never had two pups together from the same litter. I met a woman at the Vet's who told me she had rescued two hunting dogs, obviously brothers, and that they too are inseparable. And also, like our two they will run off given the chance so she came up with a cunning plan which, so far has proven to be very effective. Our situation is that the dogs have their own shed (for shed read semi furnished apartment) contained within a pen, when they are not living in the house with us. This woman, not having the benefit of a contained area has to tie the dogs up when they are outside which restricts their freedom somewhat. She is not happy about it, and I suspect, neither are the dogs. So, taking advantage of the fact that one dog will not go anywhere without the other, she ties up only one dog and allows the other the freedom of the garden and alternates them each day. Now, I'm thinking, could this work for us. I'm going to try it. Success or disaster? Find out next month.

Blacky has become 'one of the boys' and has moved into the new apartment and pen with Monte and Giorgio. He has the benefit of a cat hatch cut into the door of the pen so he can come and go as he pleases. He favours Giorgio and has to sleep next to him. Either one will always have one paw reaching over the other. What's that all about ~ adoration, domination, protection? Whatever, we couldn't have a more amicable trio.

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