Friday, March 12, 2010

Expat Dog

I have a bit of a guest blog today.  By Vince (as told to and photographed by Doug):

A little too much attention has been given on this blog to Diana and Doug’s crazy move to Italy, and not enough to me – the guy who brings them all their happiness in life.  Me, the intrepid traveler who crawled into a little cage for 11 hours including in the belly of a Boeing 767 for 3,500 miles without losing control of my bladder.  Yeah, where they don’t serve dog biscuits OR wine.  Yeah, me, Vince.  I’m the expat dog living in Calabria, Italy and I want some recognition.

You saw some photos of me swimming in the Tyrrhenian Sea, and that’s cool.  But you need to see how I have immersed myself in this new culture. Here are some pictures of the view from my walking routes on the streets of Santa Domenica.

A picture of the entrance to my secret abandoned garden where I go for “privacy” and no one has to clean up.

Me with some prickly pear plants that are good for scratching my back.

And me sitting in the family’s new Alfa Romeo where my Mom Di thought for some reason I’d need an umbrella.  Like, listen Di, dogs aren’t afraid of a little rain, blogger babe.
I have adapted completely to Italy.  I love walking these streets with their old buildings and walls.  The one negative thing about those walls is that all the stray cats (a lot) can jump over onto the other side of a wall and I can’t chase them.  I get along great with the local dogs as we speak a common language.  The humans have to go to school every day, but we dogs already have our international signs.  Many of the local humans are nice to me too, but some are not so glad I’ve moved into town.

Our neighbor Rosario will actually scream and drop what she’s carrying when she sees me…..that scream scared me half to death.  I first met her when her family was boiling hog parts in a vat outside their house where they were making salami.  I just stuck my nose in the door to say hi and it went downhill from there with Rosario.  Her husband still likes to give my Dad wine and grappa, and he gave us some salami to try.

I’m sort of used to Hood River where everyone had a dog and I was kind of a chick magnet with women always coming up to pet me and say how cute I was.  I think that will probably happen here too by summer.  Wish me luck and lots of Italian sausage…. I think Doug is putting my glucosamine tablet inside a piece of mortadello each morning because I don’t chew my meat, I swallow and would never know there’s a pill there.  Why do I keep falling for that old trick?  Why pass up some meat?

Anyway, I’m having a blast even though the humans have been whining about the cold.  It’s been 2C/42F and raining and blowing for about two weeks and the house is 10C/60F inside, but I don’t mind.  Last night after the rain it hailed and when we went on my walk, it was déjà vu like walking in the snow of Oregon again.  Get this – they bought a new electric blanket yesterday, so today of course, the sun is out!!  Ciao i miei carne amici, Vincente

You will have to excuse me now, I'm done with blogging, time to get to work.


  1. I love "his" commens. :-) I've been following the blog for a while and really enjoy reading about your experiences. Best wishes.

  2. Hey Vince, you are going to love Italy. We took our 2 cani to Italy, and they had a blast running through the Greek/Roman ruins everywhere.

  3. I told the humans that I'd be good for their comment traffic. This ought to be worth a dog biscuit or maybe even some chicken skin. Thanks you guys, it's a dog's life for sure. Vince

  4. We told Vince he could get his recognition, but we have put up for years with people cooing at him and basically ignoring us and will draw the line here. This is our blog, Vin, now go lie down and think about how you can win over Rosario.

  5. Ha, get used to it guys. Our 2 goldens were popular wedding photo props. The Italians like to do photo shoots at park ruins and we'd be there doing the tourist thing and they would ask to borrow the cuccioli. I'd post a pic here but don't know how. Has Vince learned "Vini qua" yet?

  6. I'm sure your neighbor will warm up to you pretty soon. She will be giving you plenty of treats. Great story.

  7. Vince is just gorgeous.

  8. Ciao Vince. Sono Mogwai. Sono un gatto tigrato, ma non una randagia! I hope to live in Italy one day, I am not looking forward to the journey there, but I am looking forward to the summer sunshine. Miaow ciao, Mogwai

  9. Ciao, all my fans. Hope to get a pet or treat (preferably the latter) from you someday soon. Vincente

  10. Beautiful pictures and so funny! I'm surprised that he's acclimated to Italian culture so well. The Italian dogs, to me, seem to have a whole other cultural disposition from American dogs. Have you, by chance, seen a difference?

    Saluti da Napoli!!!

  11. Thanks, Barbara, the thing I noticed the most was that the dogs here understand traffic and are loose. Some of them probably don't even have owners. I can't really tell. Vince is in awe of them but they are nice to him.

  12. I am loving your blog! And, of course, Vince's as well. Your words make me feel like you are both doing well and are happy...what more can you ask. I really enjoy the beautiful pictures...thank you for sharing.

  13. Hi Patti Ann,
    Hope you are having fun too and part of it will be to visit here!



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