Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Paws & Books: "Needle Makes Tracks" by Danna Ephland

Needle Makes Tracks
by Danna Ephland
Published by Dancing Girl Press

Quotes from Danna Ephland's poem "The Resemblance is Remarkable":
"Needle's dog wears progressive lenses / 
& a pink collar."
"It's not complicated she barks, every day /
on the way out the door, on the way in."

Congratulations, Danna, on your beautiful chapbook. We love it!
xo Tootsie & Renée

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sundays Are Made for Walkies

On the path along the Naviglio Grande just north of Bernate Ticino, Italy.
The Naviglio Grande is a historic artificial waterway connecting Milan
to the Ticino river and Lake Maggiore. A paved path reserved to
non-motorized users runs along its full length. Dogs must be leashed
at all times due to the intense bike and nutria traffic.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Flight Practice Begins in Earnest

Spring has sprung, so flight practice has started in earnest. Each year, I hope to fly. It takes more than hope, so each year, I practice. Each year, I fail. Each year, I try, again. This is my recent flight practice session on Monte Crocione above Lake Como, Italy.

Flight practice with cross. Very helpful.

Flight practice stall. Kind of a bummer.

What flight success might look like.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Pizzo Formico

The Pizzo Formico area in the Seriana Valley north of Bergamo, Italy is perfect for gentle family hikes...

as well as for social interaction, which is very important when you're an only child like me. Here's my new friend Gonte as he engages in a customary download of butt data with yours truly.

Apparently, my nose has more available download bandwidth, witness the fact that Gonte's download lasts longer than mine.

Birro, on the other hand, doesn't care much for butt data, especially now that I'm barking at him like my whole life depends on it.

"You want to play alpha dog?" he says, as he continues on his way. "Whatever makes you yappy!"

Am I a yappy little dog? "No, not all," Mammolo reassures me. "But you do come on a little strong when you do that dachshund thing of barking at bigger dogs just because they're bigger."

That didn't quite make sense to me, because studies have shown dachshunds have no sense of their size. I don't bark at bigger dogs because they're bigger. I bark because I think I'm just as big.

Size, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

It's Really Ten O'Clock

Nothing helps you put things into perspective as a hike in the mountains. These photos are from a hike in the Val Badia area of the Dolomites (in Italy), which we visited last August.

It is clear from the photo below that the imposing cliffs of Sas dles Diesc, whose name translates to Ten O'Clock Mountain, are roughly the same size as my nose. How's that for perspective?

Val Badia is a trilingual area where people primarily speak a language called Ladin, not to be confused with Latin. They also speak German and Italian, which is why Sas dles Diesc also has a German name (Zehner Spitze, i.e. Ten O'Clock Peak) and an Italian name (Sasso delle Dieci, i.e. Ten O'Clock Rock). In spite of the subtle naming differences, there's a general agreement across the three languages that it's really ten o'clock.

Standing below the Sas dles Diesc cliffs, I kept wondering whether language defines culture, or whether culture defines language. It's a lot for a little dog to ponder, even if her nose is (almost) as big as the cliffs above her.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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