It is a new year, and I have some New Year's Resolutions. First, I am going to dig the biggest hole in the yard ever. I am well on my way to making this resolution a reality. Second, I am going for the Guinness Book of World Records for most uninterrupted times jumping up and down, up and down. I think so far I have hit about 40, but I am continuing to try to improve that number. I jump higher than the counter top on each jump. Maree has suggested that perhaps they misnamed me, and I should be named Tiger. Frankly, I am not sure I understand the reference, but apparently it has something to do with Winnie the Pooh, a bear. Maybe he is like you Snowy Bear? My final resolution was to learn how to get out of this fenced in yard. Well, I have already accomplished that one. It was somewhat by accident. I was working on my first resolution and digging a hole near the fence, and suddenly I saw an opportunity. I knew that if I just crawled on my belly I could get under there and be free. And so I tried it and sure enough, there I was in back of the house with no fence impeding my movement. Well, I was out there munching on some grass when I saw a big dog up the road. That was my mistake. I started to bark, and Maree apparently recognized that the bark was not coming from the fenced in yard. Next thing I know, she is at the gate yelling for me to come. Well, I had a decision to make. Do I go for the dog or come back into the yard. As I was trying to decide, Maree went into the house and brought out my favorite treats. Gee, at this point in time what could I do. I ran back into the yard for a treat. I still had my escape route. I grabbed the treat, devoured it, and as Maree was closing the gate, I scooted under the fence again. When she turned around, there I was in back of the house. It took her two days to figure out my escape route, and now it is blocked. But I have a plan for another one, and a new adventure, so stay tuned.
We had more snow here last week. It was only a couple of inches, but it was enough to play in for a day. I LOVE SNOW! I love the way it feels on my paws as I run through it. I love the cold taste on my tongue; and I love making tracks through the virgin snow. I like sticking my nose in it to find shoots of grass to eat. And I also like turning it yellow. Maree came out in the yard with me and threw snow balls. They were fun to chase and to eat. I ran around the yard in big circles with the snowballs in my mouth. My teeth were getting cold, so I had to finally drop them. I hope we will have more snow before the winter is up.
I told you in my last letter that we ran out of propane on New Year's Eve. Well, it took two days for the truck to come and put gas in our bombola as they call it here. So, we spent the night on New Year's day at our friends BNB. Jim and Maree were missing hot water for showers and gas for cooking. It didn't really bother me much. Jim made a fire in the fireplace and it heated the radiators, so the house was warm enough for me, but they needed showers. Just another way in which dogs are a superior species. We don't take showers every day. Just think of all the water we save and the energy we save. If humans would only follow our example there would be no water shortage in California and no energy crisis. Sometimes I think they will never learn.
Well, I seem to have gotten sidetracked here because what I really wanted to tell you is that last week on Friday, the propane ran out again. Apparently the man put very little in the tank and never returned to fill it. It happened to run out on the day it was snowing. Fortunately, Jim convinced the company to come that day to fill it. After all, it was their mistake that made it run out a second time. Actually, our contract says that they will routinely come around and check the status of the gas and automatically fill up the tank when it is getting low. Apparently, they are not doing a very good job. But at least we have heat, hot water and gas for cooking again. Hopefully this time, the tank is full.
Oh, Snowy, I found a new food for you to try. Pizza crust!!! Saturday we drove down the hill to a pizza restaurant. Fortunately, Jim made reservations because the entire restaurant was full. We had to sit in the front room which has glaring lights and funky tables. Jim was not happy because the light hurt his eyes. Once again, I was right where the servers had to walk, but I found that I was happy between two tables where I could just watch the parade of people go by. I did get in the way once when the two children at the table across the aisle wanted to give me attention. They were nice and I had fun getting pets from them. There were many large parties of people at the restaurant on this particular night. One group of people started walking past the table, and I noticed that there was something different about them. So I had to figure it out. As each person walked by, I walked close, lifted my nose in the air and took in a deep breath. I sniffed each one as they passed. I still didn't figure out what the issue was. Maybe they were aliens or something, but there was sure something about them that made me want to check them out more. The people at the table next to us were dog lovers, and asked if I was a Spitz. Maree told them that in America I am called an American Eskimo but that the breed is derived from the German Spitz. They then mentioned they have a volpino. The word translates as little fox in Italian. Apparently the American Kennel Club refuses to acknowledge the volpino because they are so similar to us - American Eskimo minis.
I kept a look out for more aliens and munched on some treats when finally the pizza arrived. I could smell it and I wanted to taste it. I decided that maybe if I made sure Jim and Maree remembered I was there that they would share. So I gently put my paws on Jim's knee. UH, OH. Jim has been suffering from gout in the knee for the past week, so that was not a good idea. I then tried my best, look at me I am sitting and being perfect routine. Well, that got Maree and she started to give me bites of pizza crust absent any of the filling unfortunately. But, I found that I really like the crisp, crunchy crust. It was browned to perfection. If you haven't already tried this delicacy, Snowy, I suggest you do. I am sure you will love it too.
Well, I better be off. There is a lot more yard for me to dig up today and more jumping to do. I hope to hear from you soon.
All the best from Italy,
Your Brother, Dino
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.