HFH – Updated Gratuitous Puppy Pictures

Settled into their new home the HFH seem quite happy in the one chair they are allowed to be up on in the living room.

Its been a long while since I’ve posted photos, let alone any news, of the HFH. Actually its been a long time since I’ve posted anything regularly, this working for a living is interfering with my living but I keep meaning to remedy that – the posting thing I mean.

Nick and Nora have adapted fairly quickly to their new home – perhaps more readily than the humans in the family. Fortunately we found a very pet friendly building – there are two other dogs on our floor alone – plus at least 10 others in the building including a snappy schnauzer and two pugnacious pugs that even I won’t ride in the elevator with.  So far no one has complained about the odd barking or even a occasional ruckus in the hallway.

Nora has always had that thoughtful side to her
– or perhaps she is just annoyed about that flashy thing going off again!
Though here she does seem to be “at one” with herself,
almost as if she is taking her inspiration from my little Buddha.

Nora has discovered squirrels and they are the enemy! She’s also discovered and seems quite captivated by Toby the Portuguese water dog who lives across the hallway. Unfortunately her reaction to him is almost the same as her reaction to the squirrels – full hunting howl! Neither the squirrels nor Toby seem impressed by this display of interest. The former run like mad chattering excitedly and poor Toby just wants to get away from this mad little creature as fast as he can. This ear piercing howl which no doubt serves her mother well when hunting boar in Tuscany has led to several embarrassing incidents in the boarless environs of Ottawa.   One peaceful Sunday morning around 0700 just after we moved in she and I were walking along the Rideau Canal and a squirrel was sighted. The Sunday calm was shattered and the air rent with a series of high pitched bays which echoed across the water – a noisy concerned jogger stopped in his tracks, ran back and indignantly demanded to know what I was doing to that poor dog! And just last week we encountered Toby coming in from his walk early morning walk as we were leaving for ours. Its odd how an apartment hallway amplifies sound – almost every door on the floor opened and be-housecoated occupants poked their heads out to see who was being murdered! Well at least I know that I live amongst concerned neighbours.

Nicky is proud of his Italian heritage but the idea of wearing an Italia jersey doesn’t seem to appeal all that much.  We’ll see how he feels when it drops to -30c, the display of patriotism may be welcomed at that point.

Our Nicky is another story – as he always has been. He’s an extremely timid little fellow at heart and responds to people cautiously. Unfortunately that shyness turns to aggression on occasion so we have to be very careful with him in the elevator and on our walks. He looks so sweet as he trots along the Canal with that “I’m a sexy little Italian stud on the catwalk” strut of his that everyone wants to pet him. Fortunately the schools seem to be teaching kids that it is always best to ask first before petting a strange dog – it saved us some possibly sticky situations. In an attempt to avoid trouble we brought in Barkbusters and he has responded to their system remarkably well. As their Uncle Pervy said the other day – Nicky’s the perfect pack dog he actually wants to follow orders. Nora however is a little less willing to follow anything but her hunter instincts… or poor Toby. But we’re working on it and us – as the Barkbuster motto, rather snidely to my way of thinking, puts it: Dogs are great trainers of people!

Nora – ever the instigator – to Nick:  Okay we’re not suppose to be up here but its sunny, its soft and its warm.  Don’t move and old what’s-his-name won’t even notice us – we’ll just blend in.

Though I’m not looking forward to Ottawa’s famous snow days – normally from sometime in late November until sometime in late May as I recall – I’m anticipating the HFH’s reaction to their first encounter with snow. I have a feeling Nicky will look at it as an insult to his dignity and Nora will revel in it. What ever it will be I want to have the camera at hand to record the event!

20 novembre/November – I Santi Avventore, Ottavio e Solutore

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What gives with pets and toilets? What is the fascination with that white porcelain bowl and flushing water?

My friend Speck told the story last week of Smudge and the midnight pee break . And I’ve noticed how Nora delights in the swirl of water as toilets are flushed:

Admittedly unlike Smudge Nora has yet to drink out of the bowl but that could only because she can’t quite reach it … YET!

And speaking of pets, my friend and colleague Laurie sent me this picture of her kitten Pepper.

Now neither Laurie nor I approve of playing Mr Dress Up with our pets – she has four cats – but in this case Pepper is dressed like a convict in a Mack Sennett one reeler for a very good reason. After some routine surgery Pepper developed a dreadful skin condition where the fur literally peeled off. She spent almost two months at the vet’s but is back home now. However she still has a very large patch of furless skin that bothers her and she bites at it – making things worse. After turning her into a cone head for over a month Laurie thought she’d try something else: a sweater to cover the raw area. Well apparently the sweater lasted long enough to have this picture taken and within minutes it was back to the cone. Poor Pepper has been through a lot and the healing process will take a long time. But she’s a brave little thing and if love can cure her problem she is receiving an endless supply.

*Gratuitous Pet Items

21 luglio – San Lorenzo da Brindisi