The Reesie Report – Rome

Going DoDoI wish this could be a more upbeat report but we’ve just returned from taking Reese to the Emergency Veterinary Clinic near the house. We’ve left him there for some tests and observation and the best we can do is be optimistic.

He had some problems settling in, as did we all, but seemed to be coming along. He had claimed one of the gardens as his own and was vocal in challenging anyone who came into it – though the challenge was always only vocal. He was happy with his bed in our bedroom and his kennel in the kitchen hallway and loved sitting on the balcony. Within the first month he had to have some major dental things done and an ear infection seen to but he was getting more exercise than in Aylmer and seemed the better for it.

A few weeks ago he started having some incontinence problems Lord of All He Surveysand the accidents were quite frequent – much to his embarrassment as that is something he has very rarely done in the past 14 years. Then last week his old skin infection came back and he developed a series of infected cysts on the back of his head . When the Vet removed them on Thursday Laurent and I both were almost sick to our stomachs, both from what we saw and the pain it caused our poor Reese. The Vet gave us a silver solution to spray on the infection and on the lesions from the cysts and things seemed to be better.

When we got home yesterday from an excursion to the Etruscan Necropolis at Cerveteri della Banditaccia I noticed that he had licked one of the areas clean of the solution. I was a little concerned as it was clearly marked “For External Use Only” and even more so when he started behaving strangely. He was refusing to eat, pawing at his nose continually, drinking excessive amounts of water and stumbling when he walked or just refused to get up. I was concerned that I had poisoned him but we decided to wait overnight and see.
He was restless throughout the night – wandered from his bed to his kennel and back several times. This morning he was having trouble balancing on his hind legs and at that point we decided a trip to the clinic was needed. So now we sit and wait!

We’ve been asking ourselves a few questions in the last hour or so – some that we have asked before:
A rest on the balconyShould we have subjected him to the trauma of the move at his age, after all he is 14. If we hadn’t what would we have done with him? Give him away, have him put down (I don’t bloody think so!)

The problems he’s having he may well have had in Ottawa; he’s had one major back operation and difficultly with walking ever since. Though he looks like a puppy he’s an old dog – 90-odd in human years – is all this just a result of age and perhaps an immune system compromised by the stress of the move.

If he does lose control of his back legs what are we going to do? Back surgery at his age is not really an option, they do have little wheels for daschie’s, or do we judge the degree and quality of life and make a decision from there?

Honestly I think the only choice is the later and to do all we can to make sure he doesn’t suffer and make the best choice for our boy.

14 Ottobre – San Callisto I Papa

The Reese Report – Rome Edition

As previously reported Reesie arrived safe and sound, if with his ever so elegant nose a bit out of joint. He was – and occasionally still is – not happy with the state of his world.

The process of bring him into Italy was a complicated one, we had to:

  • Have a microchip implanted.
  • Have his rabies vaccination up-dated.
  • Have our Vet complete – in block letters, blue ink only, no erasures or overwrites – an EU entry form.
  • Have that form validated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (?) Vet, who did not like the way it was completed by our Vet and made us get another one.
  • Have a Vet in Montreal do a final health check 24 hours before our departure.

And entry into Italy? Well the three customs officials were in the midst of a very serious conversation so they just waved us through! Ya gotta love EU bureaucracy and the Italian response to it!

Reese amongst the laundry But it’s been a hard two weeks for him – moving from place to place, boxes all over the place, strange people, strange smells and a complete change of routine. And suddenly at 14 he has to be re-trained to apartment living. Unusually for him there have been accidents and his embarrassment has been visible. But no matter where he goes, Reese is always resourceful at finding someplace to burrow – even if it’s just a pile of dirty laundry.

9 Agosto – ss. Fermo e Rustico


Sorry that I’ve been delayed with updates but we still don’t have Internet at home – Italian bureaucracy is a wonder to behold! Example: We arrive with 7 bags, 1 kennel, 2 computers and a displeased dog – the baggage carts at the airport cost 1 Euro; Laurent has 1 Euro but we need another cart. The change machine is broken – and has been for three years I am told – and the Exchange counters are not authorized to give change for Euro bills only to exchange foreign currency! Welcome to Rome!

As to the displeased dog – Reese is still not a very happy puppy. Four homes in 1 week, boxes all over, strange people plus the journey in an elevator down three floors to pee do not make for happiness warm puppy or not. But like the rest of us I’m sure he’ll adjust.

Aside from a few problems we have had a good week – the opera Friday night, dinner with our old friend Robert and a great group of people on Saturday, a Sunday afternoon spent at Villa Ada, Sunday dinner with our friend Betty Jean and Stephen and an extremely helpful group of people at the Embassy. And its Rome.

Will try and get a more detailed update going later in the week – have lots to show and tell. Take care all.

A Room with a View

Reesie's coping skillsWe are spending our last few days in Canada in Montreal visiting Laurent’s parents, family and a few old friends. Its been a confusing few days for Reesie – three homes in one week but he does have a proven way to cope! Maybe I should learn from him – there’s been a few times this week when I would have loved to put my head in the sand and make the world go away.

We staying at the Omni Mount Royal – when it opened for the Olympics in 1976 it was Four Seasons and Laurent’s father was the manager. The doorman recognized Laurent almost immediately – he really does look like his father. We have a nice room on the 28th floor with a great view of the McGill University ghetto and the Mountain and they accept pets. This was the area Bundnie, Reesie and I lived in, of and on, for five years back in the late ’90s.

Towards the Reservoir
Our old apartment buildingI was going to try and post more photos but time is running out – we have to get to the airport with six suitcases, 1 kennel, 2 computers, 2 briefcases and, most important, one dog for the the next chapter in our big move. Only 4 hours left before take-off. Arrivederci!

On the Move

I’m a little bit late with this post – I started it as we watched the movers manhandle our things into their truck.

Boxes, everywhere boxes Our lives all packed up

July 25 – Yesterday the packers where in and much of what we own was put into boxes for shipment or bubble wrapped for storage. It’s an odd feeling seeing you life being stored away and it also makes you very aware of how much stuff you accumulate over a life time. Correction – how much needless stuff you accumulate over a life time. Ideally much of the stuff could have been sold on E-bay (like the 1836 feathered mahogany armoire) or at the Great Glebe Garage Sale (all those damned vases and knick-knacks.) However time, events and indolence put an end to those sorts of plans.

Last night we moved to our friend Don’s – a bit of a shock for poor Reese who desperately kept trying to get back into the house as we were leaving. Last night was not the most comfortable one – and not because of being in what will be the first of a few strange beds over the next few days. Both of us tossed and turned – things going over in our mind – things done, things left undone. Even Reesie gave the odd bark during the night – very strange for him.

Crew leader taking stock of the shipment
Out the front door
Up the ramp

When I moved to Ottawa everything I owned fit in a passenger van!

Moving the armoire The middle unit of the armoire starts its disastrous journey.

Today is the actually move out – so far one major incident involving the middle unit of the – wouldn’t you know it – armoire. Other than that things seem to be going smoothly. Of course the unpacking in Rome will be the proof of how well things actually did.

All the furniture has gone into long-term storage however with books, cds, kitchen things, china, clothing et al we figure the shipment weighs in at around 2200 kilos (4840 lbs) give or take a few kilos. I really should have partied more and read and listen less.

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