I think I am becoming an Italian dog. I get a lot of attention here when we go out to restaurants and other places. Everyone says I am bello. I know that means beautiful. I am also learning some other Italian words too like no, which I hear all of the time, and vieni qua, which means to come here. Even though I know what they mean, I don't often obey. I still have quite a mind of my own. I think this whole subservient position that dogs have been put in is unconscionable. It is almost like slavery and if I were in charge, I would make sure that dogs had equal rights - that's right - dogs on buses, dogs in schools, dogs in restaurants and stores. And none of this dog house thing. Why not live in the real house and sleep in a real bed? And I wouldn't discriminate based on breed or color either. We should all be treated equal - with maybe the exception of pit bulls. I am a little afraid of them. Oh, well, maybe someday I will run for office. I think I could do as well as some of those folks back in Washington now. I just don't understand how there can be a person in the White House who does not like dogs. Isn't that un-American? You know those sayings, "As American as apple pie and dogs". "A chicken in every pot and a dog in every home." HMM, I think I'll start developing my campaign now.
This week I was sick, you know the vomiting kind of sick. Maree got worried since I eat everything in the yard from branches to grass to anything that grows out there, so we went to a vet. This was a new vet that Maree and Jim had not been to before, but she was a lot closer than the vet they used to take Luca to. Well, she spoke no English, and she spoke very fast and in a sort of nervous energy way. She gave me two shots. One to stop the nausea, and the other to stop my brain from wanting to vomit, at least I think that is what she said. That shot, I could have done without. It really hurt and I am ashamed to say that I yelped like a coward, but I didn't try to bite her and I even let her pet me afterword. What can I say, I don't hold a grudge; nothing to be gained. The vet recommended that Maree and Jim throw out all of the food they are giving me and just cook for me which they do sometimes anyway. She also said no treats. NO TREATS, I thought. Is she mad? Well, apparently Maree thought she was mad too because I have still gotten some treats, and whether I will only get food cooked at home is still to be determined. The bill was only 67 euro including the two shots, medicine and the visit. I am feeling a lot better, but I want no more of the medicine that vet sent home with me. It tastes really bad. Maree will have to try to catch me if she wants to give it to me, and I know she can't do that. I still give Maree and Jim a run for their money every time they want to put my harness on to take me out. I make quite a game of it going in and out under the table, under the chairs, running around the couches. I know after a while they get tired of the game, and so eventually I let them have their way, but when I do, I hang my head and look very, very sad to make them feel guilty for doing this to me.
It's March already, and as the saying goes, "It came in like a lion". While it has been warm, in the mid-fifties and sixties, the winds have started. It blew so hard the other night that it blew the benches around the yard, and brought a lot of branches down. I don't mind the wind however. I like the feel of it as it blows my long fur. I just don't like it when it blows dirt in my eyes. Spring is in the air. The trees are starting to bloom already, and I hope the wind doesn't blow all of the flowers away. Our almond trees are full of little white flowers and there are some pink flowers in our neighbor's yard. The grass is filled with little daisies. I find them quite tasty. The warmer weather has brought out a lot of flying things too, and I love chasing after them and jumping up and batting at them with my paws to try to catch them. Maree says I play with them just like a cat. There it goes again comparing me to a cat. I still don't know whether to be insulted. One day recently, I caught this furry little flying thing on the door. I tried to bite it. I didn't like it, and I ran over to my little bed and started rubbing my nose on it. Maree wasn't sure if I got stung - apparently this little flying thing is called a bee and it has a stinger. She gave me some Benadryl just in case.
I am not the only one here who has been a little under the weather - whatever that expression means. Jim tripped and fell in the Oceano parking lot last Saturday. Oceano is a little shopping center. It wasn't his fault. The foot on this barrier jumped out and grabbed him. He injured his hand and shoulder, but as he described it, an angel came to help him replete with golden ringlets caressing her face. She made sure he did not have a concussion, but at first she thought he did because his Italian didn't sound right to her. Then she found out he was American, and it was okay. She wanted to take him to the hospital, but he refused. His hand, which was really swollen is now getting better, and he has some bruises, but I guess he is okay. Jim says he is giving up gravity for lent. Maree has had to do the driving though, which Jim doesn't like. She drives just like an Italian, and Jim is always telling her to slow down. I think she should slow down too because I am getting bounced around in the back more than when Jim drives. Jim hasn't quite figured out yet that he is just supposed to pay attention to me in the car and not Maree's driving. That is what she does when he drives and then she is not as freaked out. For me, it actually doesn't matter who is driving, I still hate the car. I am not looking forward to a six hour drive to Sorrento next month.
I had to ride in the car to Jesi a couple of times recently. That is where Maree and Jim have to go to get their Italian green card equivalent. They had an appointment at the police station back in December, and still have not heard anything, so Maree was worried and decided they had to go back to see if there was a problem. One issue was that when she looked on the web site, it said Jim's application was not on file. So, we drove the forty minutes to the Jesi police station. A few minutes after arriving, one of the people approached Maree and asked what she needed. She started to explain, and he said, that on this day it was only for people with appointments and we could come back the next day or Monday. So on Monday, we went back only to find that there was a sign saying that on Monday it was only for people with appointments. Well, this time, Maree was not going to leave without asking her question. So we waited, and finally, a woman police officer who remembers Maree and Jim from years ago, was available and we approached her window. Maree told her the problem, and she looked up Jim's application. Apparently, it was not filed under the number on the receipt we had but a different number, and it was there. She then proceeded to say that now the office in Rome is very busy and it could take four months to get the cards. In the past it took only three weeks. Well, Maree and Jim can't get their health care cards until they have the green cards, but the local doctor sees them anyway and does not charge anything. By the way, we happened to be at our friend Alessia's restaurant a week ago and there was a big party for our local doctor. He had just gotten his psychology degree. He is also a lawyer apparently. Maree says she just wishes he would get a degree in English because he does not speak any.
Well, I think that is all of the news from here, Sis. I hope you and our parents are well. I understand that Mom is pregnant again and there will be more brothers and sisters coming soon. Wow, we will be part of a very big family. Take care.
Your Italian brother,
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.