It is officially spring according to the calendar, and the weather here agrees. We have had some nice sunny days. And while the March winds persist, there are signs of spring everywhere. Some of the trees have dressed their dour brown branches with bright green leaves, and others are full of pink or white flowers. And while I am enjoying the beauty of the trees, I am much more interested in chasing the butterflies and the little lizards. Yes, lizards. They are providing me with hours of entertainment. They like to sit in the sun just outside of the front door, and I sit inside and watch them. I try to get their attention. I wag my tail, wave, and tap at the window, but they just ignore me. They are so intent on their sun bathing. Sometimes, they walk off in the direction of the yard, and I run out there hoping to meet them. But so far they have avoided me. I can see them on the other side of the fence, but I just can't seem to make my paw reach underneath far enough to get one. Some day, I think I will capture one. But then I don't know what I will do with it. After all, the fun is in the chase. I certainly don't think I would want to eat it. They don't look very appetizing. But then again, neither do the mulberry tree branches and I like them well enough.
Our weather was so nice last weekend that we went to the beach on Sunday. After Jim and Maree had lunch, we went for a long walk in the sand. I was beginning to think I might be the only dog left on earth here since I so rarely see any, but I finally found where they have all been hiding. They have all gone to the beach. There were lots of dogs: big dogs, little dogs and all sizes in between out for a Sunday stroll on the beach, and I got to say hello to most of them. I wish I could have been off of the leash to wrestle and run with them, but since I don't come when I am called, that is not going to happen any time soon. This was my second time on this beach in Senigallia, and this time I went near the water. It was such a beautiful color all sapphire blue, but I didn't go in. I think with my long coat, I am not much of a swimmer, and I should avoid the sea. But maybe one day, when it is warmer, I will dip my toes in. I am looking forward to going back to the beach again, but I still hate going in the car. The calm balm Maree bought doesn't do anything for me, but it does smell nice like lavender. She is still hoping to find something to help me relax in the car before our six hour drive to Sorrento next month.
Maree and Jim have decided to go to Senigallia for Sunday lunch every weekend between now and June, assuming the weather is nice. When June arrives, I am not allowed on the beach any more until mid-September. There wouldn't be any room on the beach for me to run around anyway. In the summer, the beaches here are wall to wall lounge chairs and umbrellas, and you can barely walk between them. Senigallia is a mile long white sand beach and it is divided into sections. Each section has a manager that provides the chairs, changing rooms, and a play area for the little kids with slides and swings. Some areas even have volley ball courts. But no one wants dogs leaving their mark on the sand during the summer, so I will have to be content just looking at it from a restaurant window once June arrives.
Last Saturday night, I met more of Jim and Maree's friends here, Euro and Patrizia. They have a house close by, but now they have another house in Lugano in Switzerland where they live most of the time. Lugano is just across the Italian border and is apparently a very Italian town. We met Euro, Patrizia, and their son Enea in a little restaurant in a town called Mergo. Jim and Maree remember Mergo because they stayed in a small bed and breakfast there when they made the offer on their house in Poggio San Marcello. We ended up being at least 30 minutes late to meet at the restaurant because I didn't want to go. So, I ran around the house under the table, in between the chair legs, around the couches and the coffee table. At one point in time Maree even crawled under the table to get me, but I am just too fast and very agile. I was having a great deal of fun, except for the fact that I knew when they caught me I would be going in the car. And it was dark and I hate the car even more in the dark. Well, eventually, they were getting rather mad at me, and they decided they would leave me at home. I have never been left home alone. I don't know if it is because they worry that I will be so upset or if they are worried I might destroy something, or maybe they think I will actually eat something that could be really bad for me. I imagine it could be all of the above. Eventually, Jim and Maree both went outside and shut the front door and locked the shutters. I heard the car engine start. I think I was getting the idea that this was not a game with them, and I started barking and jumping up and down. Finally, I let them pick me up and put my harness on. Once we got to the restaurant it was not as bad and I expected. I got some pizza crust and a lot of attention from several young children and their parents. I just hate not knowing where I will end up once I get in the car. And I don't think that recent trip to the Vet helped at all.
By the way, Jim is recovering nicely from his fall. The bruising is almost gone and the size of his hand is getting back to normal. Looks like he will be able to drive to Sorrento in April. Sigh. And Maree is always busy working on her book about Italy and buying the house here. I probably would not be such a problem if I got more attention. All I want to do is play all day. Maree would like to take me for walks, but since it is such a big issue to get my harness on, she has pretty much given up. Even though she tries to trick me, I always know when she is thinking of putting that harness on. I can read her mind, but don't tell her.
I hope you are having good dog park weather back there in California. I understand that we will be returning in October for a visit, but, hopefully, the house in Italy will sell before then and we can return for good. I am so looking forward to going to the dog park again. Say hello to all of our friends for me.
Ciao from Le Marche, Italy,
Your BFF, 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.