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Today on FB I had a reminder of 10 yrs ago, showing a photo of two little puppies about 6 weeks old.

The 26 April 2009 we drove to Capena which is 30 minutes North of Rome. It is pretty straight forward taking Via Nomentana going North from our house on Via Dei Villini and then joining the SS-4 which is the ancient Via Salaria (Salt Road) on the way we will past some interesting site like the old Rome Airport of the 1920’s Roma-Urbe and then joining the old Via Tiberina at Prima Porta and going North still until the round about second exit and Capena is just further down the road. At this point we are in the countryside and it is green and dotted with nice houses.  Our destination was the farm of Dr Massimo Buzzanca and his wife Tiziana.

Via Tiberina is a very ancient Roman road from 396 BC and don’t be surprise to see around Settebagni and Capena a lot of prostitutes all decked out sitting on a sofa by the side of the road. We would learn later that a lot of those prostitutes were in fact nuns trying to make ends meet. Many came to Italy from far away impoverished countries and the Cardinal who runs the convents for his National congregations often don’t have the money to supplement all the needs of their priests and nuns, so they get a night job. Pretty amazing because the Vatican does not help them financially. Prostitution is illegal in cities but not on the highway between towns. But I digress…

We had met them some months prior when Nicky and Nora were just a few days old. In Italy when you buy a pet they are microchipped by Law at the point of purchase and this being Italy, the government department responsible for the registration of all animals has forms to fill out and a few months down the road, you will have to go collect the formal registration etc. You cannot name your pet whatever name you choose this is Italy and Style comes into play, by Law letters are assigned to a group of days in the year and so in our case that day the letters were F and E. So Nicky was christened Fantastico Nicky and Nora, Eleonora di Capena.

Nicky and Nora are very different in character, Nicky is a week younger than Nora and he is a show dog by pedigree and family lineage. Nora is a tracking and hunting dog on her family lineage. Meaning that Nora has always been our guard dog and early warning system whereas Nicky is a beach boy loving the sunshine and going through life as if he is on a walkway with lots of paparazzi.

On the drive back, Will sat on the back seat with Nora and Nicky. Nora was nervous about leaving the farm and her relatives whereas Nicky whined non-stop in his little whiny puppy voice. We discovered quickly that we could not take them together to the Vet clinic. We could walk them together in Rome but once in Canada that became impossible.

Imagine 10 years already, how time flies.


This photo was taken in our den at home on Via dei Villini. Nicky is on the left. They do not have their signature collars yet sent to us as a gift by our friend Cecilia H.