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Before we get to the topic in my title, a little bit of news, the two Hounds who live with us are in training. I know they are 7 years old and have been to school before, lots of trainers and lots of lessons. But you see Dachshunds are very smart, in fact a lot smarter than the average human, they know what button to push to get what they want. What do they want you ask, well it’s simple, take Fantastico Nicky, he wants a cookie and to sleep all day in bright sunshine, he is our Beach boy. As for Eleonora di Capena, AKA, Nora all she wants is to do as she pleases and run the show and get everyone to do what she wants. Tell her anything and she looks at you with this expression of You talking to me? You want me to do what? Don’t think so. If you scold her, well she puts on the sad eyes and of course you feel bad right away. She wins, now give me a cookie she says.

So when it comes to training, this time we have a fine trainer who is tough and this is boot camp. Nicky does not like it, not enough cookies, in fact he never asks me for a cookie because he knows I won’t give him one, but he gets his treats from Will who is overtly generous. Nicky is a little monkey, he will do just about anything for a cookie. Nora is coming around but we do have to repeat a lot, it’s like Oh I forgot I was suppose to do this. Am I suppose to do this all the time? Very willful and stubborn but then again this is typical Dachshund mentality.

We have had Dachshunds for 25 years now. Bundnie was a short hair, brown coffee colour, this is what Bundniya means in Egyptian Arabic, she was born in Cairo.  Then we had Reesie who was born in Chicago and was a long hair, quite beautiful and deaf. He came with us to Rome.

After Reesie died in December 2008, he was 17 years old, we had a year with no dogs at home. Then in late February 2009 we went just outside of Rome to Capena to the farm of Dr Massimo Buzzanca and his wife Tiziana Tola named La Casa degli Orsi (the house of Bears)  there we met new born Nora and Nicky, both are Wire Hair Dachshunds. http://www.ilbassottotedesco.com/chi-siamo/


Dr. Massimo Buzzanca at his farm, Capena is the area where Cicero went into exile for a few years and where the Summer Villa of Livia aka Julia Augusta, spent her retirement after the death of her husband Emperor Augustus. 

Wire Hair Dachshunds are great dogs, we have had a lot of fun with them. Nicky and Nora came back with us to our home in Rome some 6 weeks later when they were old enough to leave their mother. Dr. Buzzanca and his spouse are well known in Italy in show dog circles and in the pure bred Dachshund circles, they specialize on standard, miniature and dwarf size Wire Hair Dachshunds. Their house is full of ribbons and trophies won at numerous competitions. Nora’s Mom was a Italian National Champion Hunting dog, Nicky’s father was a Italian Champion Show dog, these character traits appear in both their personalities. This is why we say that Nicky is on the Runway of Life whereas Nora is the rough and tumble hunter of the Forest.

wirehair dachshunds.jpg

Cucciolo Bassotto Tedesco a Pelo Duro (Dachshund puppies). In Italian they are called German Basset Hounds, they are part of the Basset family.

On the day we went to Capena to fetch them, Nicky whimpered all the way to Rome. it is only a 25 minute ride but nonetheless what drama. They have been with us ever since travelling around the world.  In Rome we had a good Vet, Dr. Giorgio Porcino, we also had a trainer Lise Thomsen. It seems being more adult now, Nicky and Nora are more incline to follow the training, we hope, but then we indulged them quite a bit and they like it that way.

Today Friday 20 November we are still enjoying warm weather and bright sunshine, apparently it will be like this until early December, great news. The first Sunday in Advent is 29 November. So Will has decided to make a Plum Pudding for Christmas and will follow a recipe we like a lot, that of the Plum Pudding prepared for the table of King George V (1865-1936). So I am off to buy all the various ingredients so Will can make it. We also decided that this year for Christmas we will have roast Goose, which is much easier to prepare than turkey. Now I will have to enquire from one of the farmers in the valley around Ottawa, if they have goose.

So I went to the Bulk Barn where they sell all the ingredients needed for the Plum Pudding, I got Prunes, Currants, Raisins, Sultanas, Blanched chopped Almonds, Mixed Candied Peel, Dark Brown Sugar,a lemon, Suet which is not Lard or Crisco, that I got at the Butcher Shop, grocery stores do not sell Suet. I also needed one can of New Castle Brown Ale, all part of the recipe.


We are only 35 days away for the big day!!!! But contrary to what a lot of people say about the Holidays, I am not stressed at all. No gifts to buy, no family do to attend, I do not have crazy uncles or obnoxious relatives or in-laws. We have not done a family thing in 35 years, but I do have good memories of the old gathering when we did have them.

So I am starting to feel a little bit of the Spirit.