I am somewhere very different than our home in California. I hear people say Italia, which I think means Italy. But they don't talk the same way. I am having a very difficult time understanding them. By now, I can understand Ciao and vieni qua which means to come, but the rest is Greek to me. I knew I was going on a grand adventure and to someplace far away, but I did not know that it would involve flying, long rides in cars, limos, and trains. I have now ridden elevators and escalators, but I do not like crossing these thresholds. Maybe this fear goes back to some age old rite but I do not know.
The plane ride was very long. Frankly, I am not exactly sure what flying is even though I have now had two different flights. All I know is that I got into this tin can like object, sat in a little seat squished between two other little seats, and there I sat in Maree's lap for more than 8 hours. Sometimes it was a little bumpy, but mostly it was just noisy with a constant humming sound. For the most part, I did not even know we were moving, but they say we were higher than 30,000 feet in the air. I guess that is higher than the bed and I don't think I would want to jump down from there. I must admit that I did enjoy the 8 hours of cuddling a little bit, but I had cramps in my legs and I really had to pee by the time they opened the doors and let us off. Like the good dog that I am, I held it and held it. I even had to keep holding it while we got our suitcases from some thing that kept going round and round and then I had to wait to go through customs - whatever that is. No one ever asked about me even though I had lots of papers too.
When we arrived in downtown Rome, I had my second night in a hotel. I had spent one night in a hotel in Philadelphia on the way to Italy. I don't think I am too fond of hotels as I can't bark, and there are always noises outside of the door to bark at. The hotel in Rome was very old and we had a lot of windy stairs to climb to get to our room. The room was pretty little and old, but it was okay for one night and the lady at the front desk was very nice showing us how to open the front door with the key so we would not be locked out of the hotel if no one was at the front desk. Next to the hotel was a little restaurant. The man there tried to introduce me to his dog, but she tried to bite me. I did not hold this against the man who took my picture the next day before we left.
Our first afternoon in Rome, I had my first restaurant meal at a restaurant in Campi di Fiori called La Carbonnara. You know I have been to many restaurants in California, but usually all I get is some of those treats from a package and maybe some bread. This time, however, the chef cooked me a steak for my lunch or maybe it was breakfast. I am still a little confused about the time since I seem to have lost 9 hours. We were only in Rome for one night, and some of that time was spent napping since we flew all night to get there and we were all very tired and suffering from something they call jet lag.
The funny thing about Rome, was that everywhere I walked I smelled dogs. It was an olfactory heaven, and I knew the city was full of four legged friends. Every building had been marked. But I only saw two dogs during the time I was there and neither of them were friendly. As a matter of fact, they both tried to bite me. I think someone needs to teach these dogs some manners.
So far, I have not made any new friends and I have not been to any dog parks. People here don't seem to want to let their dogs say hello. Maybe all of the dogs are mean here. The people, on the other hand, all seem very nice. I have met lots of children and gotten lots of hugs and pets. I must admit that I am relishing the attention. But I still don't like it when an adult lunges at me to pet me. I'd prefer it if they would just let me approach them which I generally end up doing so I can lick their hands to see what they have been eating. Hands here do not taste like hands in California. They taste more like real food, not fast food and things from bags.
My new house has a big yard, but only part of it is fenced and I am not allowed to just run free because I don't come when called. And it is hunting season and dogs and men with guns are around. But I am having fun running around in the fenced in part. There are lots of branches and grass to eat there, and I like the mulberry leaves. I am thinking of going into the silk business.
I heard gun shots this morning and I was a little worried. I perked up my ears and started running around. Then I did a lot of barking to chase the bad guys away. It did not seem to work, however as I heard more shots about an hour later. I saw a big hunting dog running down the hill, but he ignored my invitation to play. As a matter of fact, he totally ignored me. I was rather surprised since I make friends so easily, but I guess he had more important things to tend to like finding the wild boar.
I have heard that there are wild boar around. I have never seen one and I am not sure what they are, but whenever I hear the word, it sends a chill down my spine and I know that I really don't want to meet one. They live in the woods down the hill and sometimes at night I hear this eerie calling that I think must be them. I think they are just trying to scare everyone away, or maybe they are practicing for Halloween night that is coming up soon.
Well, I think it is time for my nap as I have eaten more than my share of grass and other things in the yard. I will write to you again soon.
Your Friend, 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.