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Saturday Smiles

6 Feb

Who needs comics when truth is often funnier than fiction.

Recently, as reported in The Local.IT, an Italian newspaper, a man from the Ravenna area was summoned to the police station. Apparently, the man’s dog, a Doberman, was accused of biting a man. Now before you feel sorry for the victim, hear the rest of the story.

The dog, a guard dog, had bitten the man, a would be thief who had entered a house during the night.


The story came to light through a local vet, Fabio Pansera, who wrote about his almost-burgled client’s misfortune on Facebook on January 28th.

According to Pansera’s Facebook page,

“Yesterday a client of mine, who owns a Doberman, was summoned by the authorities because the night before, a thief tried to get into his house but was bitten by the dog,” he wrote. “He has now reported the man and wants compensation for the bite straightaway.”

Pansera then joked that maybe dog owners ought to be teaching their pets good manners – such as wagging their tails at trespassers or offering them some biscuits – because if they attack, then they could end up in serious trouble.


Journalists at L’Eco Di Bergamo followed up on the post with the vet, who confirmed the story.


L’eco di Bergamo




Remembering Paco – One Year Later

5 Sep

It’s been one year since our dog and friend Paco died peacefully in my arms. Paco never made it to Cortona, although he would have found many companions as everyone seems to have a dog!  And as Len often laments, “The dogs speak better Italian than I do!”

In memory of Paco, I am reposting what I wrote last year and adding a few pictures.


Paco had been failing this last week and letting us know it was his time to go. We were fortunate to have had him nearly 17 years, almost 119 in human years. Unlike humans, however, he never lost his puppy look. Rarely could a person pass without commenting what a darling puppy he was.

Paco was born in Marble Falls, Texas, in late 1995. A lady who worked at a Drexel Heritage furniture store found him in a field (covered in burrs) and didn’t know what to do with him. She had named him Drexel. Len and I were supposed to be playing golf, but it was pouring outside and the courses were closed. Not much else to do in Marble Falls besides golf, so we wandered into the store.

The cute little black puppy followed me around the store and we offered to take him home. Benita was not quite three and we were thinking about getting a dog anyway. Why not this one, a homeless mutt? 


We changed his name to Paco. None of us know where the name came from but it certainly fit him better than Drexel. Ironic thing is, I bought a Drexel Heritage sofa this week.

The rest is history. Paco was an easy dog and just about everyone he met couldn’t help but like him…including my Mom, who really wasn’t much of a dog person. I guess it’s just hard to resist a dog with a perpetual puppy face, a snaggle tooth, and jet black fur that felt like mink.


My friend Glenys recently told me about a book written from a dog’s perspective. The dog is nearly Paco’s age, failing and not wanting x-rays, tests, and treatments –  just wanting his beloved owner to know it’s ok to let him die peacefully with dignity.

Paco had that look in his eyes as I held his head in my hands.  It was his time…we both knew. Farewell, buddy… we’ll miss you, but we sure had a long and great run together.

Still missing you!



A Fitting Epitaph for Ciccio, the Faithful Dog

19 Feb

Ciccio, the dog who continued to “attend mass” after the death of his longtime owner and caregiver, has died from cardiac arrest. In my January 25 post, Losing a Faithful Companion, I shared the story of Ciccio, the faithful companion of Maria Lochi, who continued to search for Maria each day at church after her funeral.


With health failing, Ciccio, also known as Tommy, had been hospitalized in a local clinic.  He had become quite a celebrity, with local people making sure he was cared for. He even had his own Facebook page, which published many messages of encouragement to the dog after the death of his beloved Maria.

Farewell, Ciccio. Thank you for warming the hearts of so many and for leaving us to wonder, as my friend Pat expressed, “did he die of heart failure due to old age, or could it have been heart break due to the loss of Maria?” I guess we’ll never know, but what we do know for sure is this: he loved and was loved in return. A wonderful epitaph indeed.



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