Nick and Nora – The Early Years V

It looks like I may be coming to the end of the home videos from when the Hounds from Hell were mere Puppies from Purgatory. (And the world gives a collective sigh of relief.)

This is an early on that was buried deep in the archives. The deep growl is Nora that high pitched squealing is Nicky. He always did – and still does – instigate things and then play the wounded victim after the fact.

I know, I know – telling them they were “bad puppies” probably scared them for life and caused them to turn into the delinquents they are today. Well okay either that or the fact that they are dachshunds!

Nora has always been the investigative sort. It is that interest in the world around her that has led to vet bills that would put a kid through college.

The word for June 25th is:
Omnipotent /ɒmˈnɪpət(ə)nt/: [adjective]
1.1 Having unlimited power
1.2 Having great power or influence
Early 14c., “almighty, possessing infinite power,” from Old French omnipotent “almighty, all-powerful” (11c.) and directly from Latin omnipotentem “all-powerful, almighty.”
Or as Ernestine often stated of the unlimited power of the Phone Company: That’s ‘potent’ with an ‘omni’ in front of it.”

Nick and Nora – The Early Years IV

Well I know this will come as a surprise but I have more gratuitous puppy videos. I know, I know! Like Miss Bennett I “contrive to delight” you endlessly.

So without further ado I give you:

I forget where we were heading when this video was taken but the Hounds from Hell were going back to the breeders’ in Capena while we were away.

When they returned from their visit to Capena Nicky developed some tummy problems. Inquiries poured in from all over – in fact the first question normally asked was not “how was your trip” but “How’s Nicky doing?” We knew where our friends’ priorities laid.

What could be more pleasant than morning coffee on the terrace with the gentle sounds of the trams rattling in the background, the odd ambulance siren, and two battling Hounds from Hell.

The word for June 18th is:
Conflate /kənˈfleɪt/: [verb]
1. Combine (two or more sets of information, texts, ideas, etc.) into one.
2. Confuse
Late Middle English (in the sense ‘fuse or melt down metal’): from Latin conflat- ‘kindled, fused’, from the verb conflare, from con- ‘together’ + flare ‘to blow’.”
The second meaning is a new one (1973) and though Webster’s has it, Oxford is till out on the matter.

Nick and Nora – The Early Years III

And once again, like your Aunt Mildred with those holiday snaps on her iPhone of that fabulous vacation in Portugal (including several of that charming young man who just couldn’t believe she was really 61!!!!!), I have more puppy videos to delight you!

Our dear Cecilia named the two Hounds from Hell after that fabulous couple Nick and Nora Charles. If you’ve never seen The Thin Man series I can’t recommend them enough: witty dialogue, great acting by Myrna Loy and William Powell, a mystery to solve, and Asta the jack russell all thrown into the cocktail mix! And speaking of cocktails:

Nora has always been the dominant one though we’ve noticed that Nicky, after years of being bullied, is challenging the pecking order there days.

And don’t worry there are only a few more left for next week, and maybe the week after. I know both my faithful readers are waiting with baited breath.

The word for June 11th is:
Contention /kənˈtɛnʃ(ə)n/: [noun]
1. Mass noun: Heated disagreement.
2. Count noun: An assertion, especially one maintained in argument.
late 14c., contencioun, “strife, dissension, quarreling,” from Old French contencion and directly from Latin contentionem (“a vigorous struggling, a contest, a fight.” Meaning “a violent effort to obtain something” is from 1570s; meaning “that which is contended for” is from 1630s.

Nick and Nora – The Early Years – II

A Throwback Thursday

I thought I’d continue looking at the old family videos from when the Hounds from Hell were only Puppies from Purgatory back in 2009.

Nicky always was more helpful around the house:

This next one has to be my favourite video of our Nora. She may have been quiet and shy on the ride from Capena to Rome but she soon showed her true colours. She’s stubborn, wilful, and cunning, even to this day. If there is a way around anything that interferes with Nora’s progress through life it must be found.

And like any proud parent I got a few more to bore you wi share next week.

The word for June 4th is:
Purgatory /ˈpəːɡət(ə)ri/: [1. noun 2. adjective (archaic)]
1.1 (in Catholic doctrine) a place or state of suffering inhabited by the souls of sinners who are expiating their sins before going to heaven.
1.2 Mental anguish or suffering.
2. Having the quality of cleansing or purifying.
Middle English from Anglo-Norman French purgatorie or medieval Latin purgatorium, neuter (used as a noun) of late Latin purgatorius ‘purifying’, from the verb purgare.
Perhaps the last few months will serve in lieu of time spent there?

Nick and Nora – The Early Years

A Throwback Thursday

It’s hard to believe that the Hounds from Hell have been in our lives now for over 11 years. On April 24, 2009 we brought Eleanora di Capena and Fantastico Nicky home from Casa degli Orsi in Capena just outside of Rome. I sat in the back seat for the drive with a whining Nicky on my lap, his needle-like little claws catching in my alpaca sweater, and Nora wedged in the corner giving me baleful looks. Nicky still whines and Nora now wedges herself into a corner of the couch and gives us baleful looks.

While going through old videos on YouTube I came across a series that I made during their puppy years in Rome. They were in posts I put up at the time but like any old family photos they are worth a second – third, fourth or fifth – look for the wonderful memories they bring back.

Here they are that first day on Via dei Villini – April 24, 2009.

We held an online contest to name the little monsters and our friend Cecilia (Dora) who lived in West Virginia at the time, suggested the two iconic 1940s movie names. And because we were in Rome and traditions must be observed we made it all official with a proper papal announcement:

Ever since then the Hounds from Hell have regarded Cecilia as their own special godmother. And there was much excitement on Via dei Villini on May 11, 2009 the day a parcel arrived from the United States.

And they are still wearing those collars today and I would think always.

I won’t bore you with any more at the moment but like those old family photo albums and Aunt Sarah’s vacation snaps believe me there are more to come.

The word for May 28th is:
Dachshund /ˈdäksˌho͝ond,ˈdäksənd/: [noun]
A breed of dog with short-legs, a long-body and extended chest.
Late 19th century: from German, literally ‘badger dog’ from dachs “European badger” and hund “hound, dog”. The breed being originally used to dig badgers out of their setts.
Of course the definition doesn’t half cover the true meaning of dachshund – around here it is synonymous with “pain in the ass” and “love”.