Thanks so much for your recent letter. I would have replied earlier, but Maree has been sick and I had to wait until her fingers were ready to do the typing again. I just can't seem to make these paws hit the right keys. They need to make a paw friendly keyboard I think. What is with these computer geeks anyway, are they anti-four legged friends? Is this discrimination? Anyway, now, Maree is feeling better, so I can dictate this letter to you.
With Maree sick, we haven't done much around here for a week. I have spent my time in the yard digging holes, eating twigs, leaves, grass and just about anything I can find. Digging big holes seems to be my new cure for boredom.
After several totally foggy days, the sun is finally back and it is very beautiful here. I like laying in the sunshine out on the patio and watching the world go by. Mostly what has gone by lately is the hunters. When I see them marching down the street in their orange vests, guns on their backs, I run out and bark. But they don't seem to be deterred. They just keep walking. Some of them have dogs with them, but many are alone. I hear that when they are hunting the wild boar though they travel in packs - not the dogs but the men. Well, I guess the dogs do too. I have not seen the "squadra" of hunters here yet, and I am not looking forward to all of those strangers going by my house on my little road and all those bellowing hounds that don't want to give me the time of day. I am really missing the company of some friendly canines.
The one thing I have done this week is go to the doctor with Maree. I don't know much about the way the doctor works in American since I have never gone to a people's doctor's office there, but from what I hear it is rather different. Here, the local doctor has hours in three different locations. We had a hard time finding his office on Friday night which was not located in our little town but down the hill in a place called Macine di Castelplanio. After driving up and down the street and around the train station, we finally found it. It is very easy to miss. It is in a rather nondescript storefront. There are no signs advertising that it is there It is just set in a row of little shops surrounded by a toy store and tobacchi. Inside is very spartan. There is a tiny little reception area with about 10 little plastic chairs and nothing else - no receptionist to greet you, no television, no paintings, just a couple of old magazines. People go in to see the doctor based on when they arrived. I don't think there is any such thing as a doctor's appointment. When we entered, the seats were basically full and there were a few people standing and waiting also. Maree took the one vacant seat and held my little carrier in her lap. Oh. did I forget to say that I had to go into my little carrier so I could not wander around and smell everything and everyone. I sat quietly and watched and several people asked about me and gave me pets. No one seemed to mind that there was a dog in the doctor's office, not even the doctor or his assistant.
When we entered the doctor's office, he acknowledged me and said I was cute. Fortunately, he did not try to pet me because I have a phobia of doctors. But his office did not smell like the doctor's offices I have been to before, and I thought maybe I did not need to be terrified of what might come. Besides, Jim still had not taken me out of my carrier, so I was pretty sure I was not the center of the doctor's attention. The fact that there were no other dogs there also gave me a clue. This was not my visit. Well, I guess whatever the doctor did for Maree is working, because she seems to be on the mend, and she offered to type this for me.
By Sunday, Maree felt well enough that we went out to lunch. To get to the restaurant, we had to drive past a town called Montecarrotto. Jim was acting all nervous and grumpy as we approached the town. I wasn't sure why until he turned to Maree and said something about returning to the scene of the crime. Then I remembered hearing a story once about Jim being arrested because he did not have an Italian license to drive. I deduced that this was where that incident happened. Apparently after living here for one year, his California license was no longer valid and he needed an Italian license. So, the police took him to the police station and he had to call a friend to go and drive the car back to the house. He could not use the car for 3 months as the police kept the registration documents, but it became a much longer time before he and Maree could get drivers licenses. Apparently, the driving test in Italy is very difficult and they had to take it in Italian.
It seems to be fly and ladybug season here right now. And there are still some bees. I don't think I really understand the whole bee thing. I bat at them with my paw and try to catch them just like the flies, but Maree seems to freak out and shoo them away before I can ever capture one. She also does not approve of me eating the flies. The ladybugs are too small for me to be very interested in, but I must admit that I am curious because they come in different colors here. There are even black ones with red spots. I think they are supposed to be good luck, so I better not tempt fate by trying to paw one of those.
Oh, sis, before I go, there is just one more thing to tell you. There do not seem to be a lot of good dog treats here. Maree has had to order some from Amazon.it and they come from a place called England. It could take over a week for them to arrive. In the meantime I could starve to death. I understand that we still have one package that was to be delivered on Halloween that is missing in action. You're lucky to be back in California, which I now think is dog treat heaven. I will be looking forward to coming back to visit and sharing your treats.
Putting my best paw forward.
Your big 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.