Thursday, March 24, 2005


Meet Sydney - our new family member

Our previous dog, a female pastore maremmano, died several years ago. With a baby on the way, we decided to wait for few years until the kids could enjoy a dog as well.

When my wife found a announcement on for someone giving away a 2 month old Australian Shepherd puppy, it only took me a couple of minutes on google to be convinced: Aussies are great with kids, intelligent and I guess I am more a dog person than a cat person.

Only later did I realize what I had gotten myself into. The puppy was in a place called Zocca in the hills "close" to Modena. I got up early Sunday morning to drive down to pick up the surprise for the kids. No traffic and not too much work on the road so I made good time on the way down.

I parked in front of the church and called for further instructions which went something like this: does your car have high clearance? Yes? OK. Go to the next crossing, turn left, take the small road for 2.6 km and wait there. I will come and pick you up by horse.

Yes, by horse. The last piece of road was more like a dried up river than a road, but I made it, following the owner on a horse and 3 dogs the last piece of the way (the mum is the closest dog on the left)

The trip back was, as you could expect, an adventure. The first piece on the dried up river went well as I had to drive at walking speed. But, as soon as the roads got better, I drove a little bit faster. I tried to go easy in the corners and avoid sharp accelerations but it did not help. I got the second gift of the day (the dog being the first) after a km or so. The breakfast came up and we stopped a few minutes to clean up the worst.

I had learned my lesson and went as slow as I could. We stopped every 5 minutes or so for some cuddling and to make sure we didn't have another accident. But, in one particularly long stretch without any place to stop, the last pieces of the breakfast came up as well. Luckily we were almost down on the flatland so there were no more turns. As soon as we hit the highway he fell asleep and slept most of the way home.

The kids were surprised and happy to meet the new family member which we decided to call Sydney:

Sydney stays outside most of the day and naps on the stairs when he gets tired. He still sleeps inside at night which means that I don't get a lot of sleep as I have to get up several times at night to take him outside for his business. Not much time for blogging either but that's life with a new "baby" in the house.

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