My Presidential campaign has been consuming most of my time lately. But the hard work is paying off. My polls show support growing every day. I now have about 600 twitter followers and the number keeps increasing. I think my message is reverberating with women and dog owners and cat owners and goat owners and anyone who loves animals. So, if I could capture the vote of all animal lovers, I could certainly capture the White House. After all, the current occupant doesn't even have a dog. I still don't understand how someone who doesn't like dogs got elected.
As part of my campaign, I have been making a campaign promise a day. Since so many of you apparently are not twitter literate, I thought I would share some of the latest with you. I keep encouraging all of my friends and supporters to put their Four feet forward to save life, the universe, and everything. Right now, we really need to help save the rain forest and Greenland if we are all going to continue to survive on this earth. (Personally, I think we need to save Greenland from the real estate lust of the current White House inhabitant. Is he for real?) Here are a few of my campaign promises from the past week.
Campaign Promise of the Day: I promise to lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, and bring lots of smiles. Now what other candidate can make these promises? Anyone? Join my campaign to save the planet and all creatures great and small. Dino for President 2020. 4 Feet Forward
Campaign Promise of the Day: I promise my Presidency will be all about wagging tails not wagging tongues. Let's bring happiness back to the world. Four feet forward for a happier world. Dino 2020
Campaign Promise Today: We've been using the same calendar for too long. It's time for a change. I propose the new 2020 Dog Days Calendar. We'll add dog days and not just in the summer. There will be no work for man or four legged friends on dog days. Vote Dino for dog days
Campaign Promise of the Day: I promise to keep four feet on the ground for greater stability, my head in the clouds for greater creativity and problem solving, and to maintain a moral compass. Four feet forward to save all creatures great and small and the earth. Dino
Campaign Promise of the Day: When I'm President I will protect those who can't protect themselves like our four footed friends who have no voice. If we ran the world it would be safer, saner and more honest. Also there would be more licks, hugs, and belly rubs. Dino 2020
I have been getting a lot of experience at diplomacy and foreign relations recently. The other night we were seated outside at a restaurant next to a table full of people from Germany. They had a friendly dog along with them, and we became friends just hanging out together. The two leggeds talked a lot of politics, and the general consensus was that the US needs a new leader. But one gentleman was happy because he said we haven't entered into any new wars. Well, not yet, but look at all of the new nuclear weapons testing going on. Pretty scary. I also met some people from the Netherlands the night before at my friend Alessia's restaurant. Maree tried to sell them our house, but they weren't buying.
We did, however, have a couple come to see the house this past week, and they liked it. But they are considering some others as well. Wish us luck. Maybe we can sell this house soon!!! While they were visiting the house, we had to leave because otherwise I would be barking and jumping up and down the whole time they were trying to see the house. So we drove down the hill to a bar (really coffee shop). I got to hang out on the stage. But I don't think it was my cup of tea. It smelled like coffee, and there were no other dogs there. Here is a photo of me at the bar.
My German doctor neighbor is here now. This is the first time he has been here since I arrived in October. I don't like all of the activity down the road at that house. My vocal cords are getting a lot of exercise now that he is here and I do a lot of jumping up an down too. I'm not sure that this is really the best tactic for developing a foreign policy. I think I have to consider a kinder, gentler approach.
Well, there have been no encounters with the bureaucracy here recently. And we are all happy about that. But there have been a couple of close encounters with trees. Yesterday morning when I went outside in my yard, there were a whole lot of leaves and branches. And when I looked up, I noticed that a very, very large branch had snapped on one of our ancient mulberry trees, and it was just hanging down in the yard. This is the second huge branch that has come down in my yard in about a month. I am getting worried about those trees. They are very tasty so I want to make sure they survive. I also don't want one to fall down on my head. Our gardener will come and take away the big broken branch. But we need to get the trees all cut back. They have grown too big and heavy now to support the weight. Oh, they look so beautiful. It will be sad to cut them back.
That is about all of the news from here. Looks like a week of cooler weather, and I am so happy about that. Hope you enjoy some good weather too.
Wishing all of my friends a good week and hoping you will all put your four feet forward to save all creatures great and small.
Dino, candidate for President 2020
Hello from Italy where it has been hot and very frustrating. It was 100 degrees last week and we have had lots of days in the mid to upper 90s. The last few days were good, but the heat has returned. Enough already. Days like today I don't appreciate this fur coat. And I really miss a house with central air conditioning. So I am hoping that no more strange people or cars pass by on our street today. Because when they do, I have to run outside and jump up and down and bark and bark, and then I run along the fence and bark, and it is just too hot to do that. But it's my job, and like the pony express I must do my job in the wind and the rain and the sleet and the hail and the heat too. But I think I'm going to have a heat stroke if I keep this up. I guess I better just stay inside with my new toy.
On the days when the weather has been good, we have been to lots of festas. Last night was the Verdicchio festival in Staffolo, a small hill town not far away and Jim and Maree tasted a couple of sparkling verdicchio wines. On Thursday was the big holiday of the summer here, Ferragosto, the assumption of Mary. We went to our friend Alessia's restaurant where we had a five course luncheon out on the patio. It was perfect weather for a change, and I had my first ever taste of proscuitto - just a very little taste.
While the heat has been frustrating, that is not what has created the greatest frustration in my house recently. It is the Italian bureaucracy. A week ago, Maree and Jim finally got their permessi di soggiorno (green cards). First of all, it took almost 8 months. Secondly, when the website said the cards were ready, it also said to wait for an SMS saying when and where to pick them up. Well, in Maree's case, the website had said hers was ready for 3 to 4 weeks, and there was never an SMS. Jim's was not ready yet, so she thought maybe she had to wait until Jim's was also ready before they would send the SMS, and she wanted to avoid making two trips to the police station. So, Maree continued to wait for Jim's to be ready. Well, finally, Jim's was ready, but two more weeks went by and there was no SMS. By this time, Maree had been patient long enough, so she decided that they must go once again to the police station to check on their cards. I think this made the fourth time they went there to inquire dragging me along with them, and every trip is always a pain because we are told we are there on the wrong day or we have to wait in line forever and there are never any other dogs to play with. It's actually a quite boring and inhospitable place. Except for the little boy I met on this trip. He just kept giving me his hand to lick and laughing. He was pretty cute and entertaining.
Anyway, this time, we went on the right day, apparently, as no one came and told us to leave and come back on another day. We took a number, and when our turn finally arrived, Maree went to the window and told the woman behind the glass why they were there. The clerk looked through the box of permessos and found them for Jim and Maree just sitting there doing nothing. But, the clerk said she could not release the cards without a copy of the old permesso. Well, those had long ago expired, and so they had been confiscated by the same police station when our finger prints were taken eight months prior. The woman, it seems, failed to believe that we did not have them and that their staff had taken them from us. She kept insisting that this did not happen. After several minutes of repeatedly stating that we did not have our old cards, she finally conceded that she could give us the new ones. Of course, she had to take more finger prints first. This took many tries because neither Jim nor Maree seem to have very readable prints anymore. But, eventually, she released the new permessi di soggiorno. When Jim looked at his, it was good for 9 more months until May of 2020. Maree looked at her card and it was good until October 17, 2019 - two months. In the past, both of their permessos have always expired on the same day. After all, they were submitted on the same day. Obviously, Maree was not happy. So, she went back to the clerk behind the window and asked, "Why is mine only good for two months?"
"I don't know said the clerk. It was done in Ancona. I can't do anything about it."
"So do I have to start reapplying now since it is only good for two months?" Maree asked.
"No," she said, "Reapply two months after it has expired in December, 2019."
Well, how many things do you find problematic with this entire scenario? Let me not count the ways. This process last time we did it took 5 weeks from start to finish.
Of course, this was not the only recent encounter with the bureaucratic systems in Italy, that led to frustration. Last Thursday, Jim and I accompanied Maree to a doctor's appointment at the hospital in Ancona where she was going for a checkup. The doctor's office had called to make the appointment. Maree and Jim put me in a stroller hoping that they could take me into the hospital because it was definitely too hot to wait in the car. Well, I got as far as the reception area, but even in the stroller I couldn't go any further. That was probably okay. I was embarrassed to be seen in a stroller anyway.
Italy is known for having one of the top health care systems in the world. Well, maybe the care is good, but the processes are non-existent. When we arrived at the hospital, the receptionist told Maree to take elevator 7 to the second floor. Once there, she followed the sign to the department. At the end of the hall was a very large, sparsely decorated, un-airconditioned waiting room filled with people, but no one to check in with. So, when a person came out of the back room and called a name, Maree approached her and said she was there to see the doctor. The woman pointed to the room and said to wait.
After an hour, Maree asked the person next to her what time her appointment was. "11:30," she said. Well, that was the same time as Maree's, so she started to wonder if everyone there had the same appointment time and if just like at the police station where you theoretically have an appointment time, there is actually no such thing. You just show up and wait and wait. Here there was not even a machine with a number to take. Okay. well more time was passing. After 75 minutes of waiting it was lunch time and no one was coming out to take any more people into the back for their appointments, and there were only three people remaining in the waiting room. The place had pretty much cleared out. So Maree, not a patient person under any circumstances, left. What a waste of time. Oh, how she misses Kaiser. Fortunately, my experiences at the vets have been much better than this.
Okay, now that I have done all of Jim and Maree's complaining about Italy, I have some good news. My Presidential campaign is going well. I keep picking up votes and have selected any number of cabinet positions like Chief Happiness Officer, Chief Inspiration Officer, Chief Do the Right Thing Officer, Chief Musician and Photographer as well as my head of Presidential security, entertainers for my inaugural, and maybe even my first lady. A President can't be single can they, and she is pretty cute? Now I have about 260 twitter followers, but I'm trying for more. I think I need a 1,000 to become President. My friend, Scooby, says when he has a 1,000 followers he can have a girlfriend. Somehow, that sounds like more fun than President. So I'm still trying for more, because maybe if I get 2000 I can be President and get a girlfriend too. So friends and family please follow me if you have a twitter account and pass this on to your friends.
I am putting my best four feet forward to help save America and the planet from the crimes of humanity. Every day things keep getting worse, and I am trying to make people aware. Here are a few of my recent tweets.
Campaign Promise of the Day: I promise to never leave my sh--- okay, poo, on the sidewalk for unsuspecting walkers. Now, all those other candidates should clean theirs up too. Let's clean up our cities, beaches, oceans. Save our planet. 4 Feet Forward for a clean environment.
42, the answer to life, the universe and everything. I don't think you can be bored at 42. But I think it is a fine time to be reflective and help me save the world. Four feet forward, Hercule. With your cunning and my personality, I think we could wrap this election up. Dino
Campaign Promise Day ? I seem to have lost track. Anyway, I promise not to rub any noses in it or to be a back biter. (Where do people get these bizarre sayings anyway???) My motto: Let's all get along and have some fun. Life is too very short. Good day all, Dino
Trump floated the idea of purchasing Greenland. My reply: Just another brick in the wall of insanity. I, on the other hand, am a very rational candidate out to save the world and all creatures great and small from the misdeeds of mankind, especially this kind of man. Vote Dino for President, 2020.
Hope you enjoy your August.
Your Pal Dino,
The Candidate with the good hair
It has been a while since I last wrote. It's a busy time here with my campaign, summer festivals, and Maree's book and other writing. She has been very busy tweeting for my campaign. I now have nearly 80 twitter followers, but I need lots more. Unfortunately, most of my friends aren't following me. SIGH!! I know it is hard to find my twitter account, so here is a link. https://twitter.com/dogdaysinitaly
Maree is starting to get comments from her beta readers on her book and Jim is giving it a second read. Hopefully this fall she will be able to publish it. It will probably be an Amazon self published book. We will let you know when it appears.
Festival season is upon us. We have been to a wine festival in Montecarotto, a Notte del Verdicchio in Cupramontana, a Crescia festival in Castelplanio, and tonight we'll attend another festa down the hill in Moie. Every weekend there are festivals celebrating foods or wines or folk music, and every festival has bands and the music carries on until the middle of the night. And on the last day of the festival there are fireworks. Italians love fireworks. I'm not sure I like the festivals. Too many cars, too many people. I only like them when there is another dog to play with. But Italians seem to be afraid to let their dogs play with other dogs. If you are a male dog, like me, they think you will attack. Right, I really look like an attack dog. Oh, well, I can't wait to get back to California and the dog park.
While it has been hot here, we have been fortunate that our hottest days have been around 93 degrees unlike Paris with 109 or even London or Germany. But of course, without air conditioning even 93 can be too hot especially when you always wear a fur coat. Our three foot thick walls do keep the house fairly cool, but after a week of heat, they absorb the heat and are no longer a good buffer. Our little standing room air conditioner does an adequate job of keeping the house from getting any warmer at least. And the days of thunder storms act to cool it down for a few days. I am not afraid of the thunder, but I do wonder what that noise is and where it comes from.
Today, I thought I would share with you some of the tweets you've been missing along with some of the accompanying photos. I don't like the camera, so it is hard to get a good photo of me. These are the best Maree could do with that obsolete blackberry. At least you can still see how cute I am and that I have the best hair of any candidate running for office and the best smile too. Enjoy my tweets, and if you are on twitter, please follow me and get your friends to follow me too.
Here I am when I was a baby. I have nothing to hide. I'm the only candidate sharing baby pics. Do you think Congress should ask all the others for baby pics? Or maybe we need the courts to decide. Dino for President. Four feet forward to save America.
Friends, I am told I am like a cat. (Is this a good thing?) I lick my paws and wash my face. A Presidential candidate needs a clean face, a clean record, and a clear conscience. Vote Dino in 2020. I'm very clean!!!
Here I am contemplating my platform and worrying about the Democrats. Why attack each other. You won't find the back biting among the Canine party. We are united and have the best interests of mankind (and womankind) at heart. We are man's (and woman's) best friend after all.
Dino's wisdom: The road of life in never straight and narrow. It is populated by blind curves, potholes and sometimes even incomprehensible road signs. But with a wealth of persistence, a little luck, a dash of magic, and a dog at your side you can realize your dreams.
Dino's wisdom: Tomorrow may be another day, but don't put off 'til tomorrow. Make every day count. Help all of your four footed pals to stop climate change. This heat is killing me. Four feet forward to save America.
Hello from my campaign headquarters. It's time for a change. My platform: A dog in every home. A chicken in every pot. A roof over every head and a bed to lay it on. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as a core value. Four feet forward to save America.
I am the only candidate focusing on preventing the zombie invasion. Dino for President. Save America from the zombies.
Hope you all have a great day. And vote for Dino. You know I am very fast and good at herding, so I will herd those members of Congress so we can get something done. Spread the word.
Dino the dog for President
I am Maree, the voice of Dino - or at least I am the one who does the typing. For more information about me and my life in Italy, you can follow me at theproseccoproject.com.