Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Casa Orizzonti

Located in the town of Prosito in Southern Switzerland, Casa Orizzonti is an animal sanctuary that provides a permanent home for many rescue animals. Casa Orizzonti has been around for a long time, but we only discovered it online the morning after Tootsie's passing. We took it as a sign from Tootsie, and we decided to become members right away.

Last Saturday, we were lucky enough to visit them. While practicing social distancing with the humans, we got to meet the many resident creatures: pigs (Hi, Sonny!), goats (Hi, Piper!), birds, rodents, cats, and, of course, doggies!

This is Frank, who joined Casa Orizzonti in April shortly before Tootsie's passing. Frank is fifteen years old, about the same age as Tootsie.

Frank with the gift we brought him on behalf of our girl.

Frank is super-happy at his new home and has become very good friends with the other resident doggies: Joy, Rugiada, Toby, Keanu, Cindy, and Zeus. Frank loves cuddles and belly rubs. He's a free-spirited dog with an amazing amount of energy! His pug friend Joy, nicknamed Jo-Joy, keeps an eye out for him and is a calming influence in his life.

Joy and Frank

We look forward to our next visit to Casa Orizzonti so we can join Frank and his friends on their morning walk. It's going to be super special.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Always with us

Dearest Tootsie,

Thank you for being our everything. You will always be with us.

You've changed my life in ways words can't describe. Nothing will ever be the same again without you.

Tootsie checks her pee-mail in Pura, Switzerland in 2020

Back when you climbed mountains, I promised you that I would carry you as much as needed in your senior years. I kept my promise, but I had not anticipated how much you would enjoy sniffing the fresh spring air up in the forest from the comfort of my arms. You loved every minute of it, and so did I, because I got to hold you close to my heart.

Mom carrying Tootsie

Wag on, and send another shooting star across the sky to remind us you're watching over us, like you did last night.

Forever yours,
Your Dachshund Daddy

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Angel Tootsie

Dear Hearts and Kindred Spirits,

At 1:30 pm on April 20, 2020, Tootsie crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Our Tube of Fur has been the center of our family for almost nine years, ever since we were blessed enough to adopt her on July 1, 2011. We will be eternally grateful to Dr Michelle Ward for connecting Tootsie with our family back then.

Our sweet Tootsie and her special unicorn friend in November 2019

After spending the summer in the Pacific Northwest, Tootsie traveled to Switzerland with her mom for the first time in September 2011. That's when she became a Bicontinental Dachshund. She landed in Milan on September 5 and traveled to Switzerland in a rental Smart car. During a stopover in the northern Italy town of Cadrezzate, she experienced her first Eurowalk on the shores of Lake Monate, where she exercised her First Amendment rights (bestowed upon her by her country of origin) to respond to four large resident dogs who were barking like crazy at her from their fenced yard. Three days later, she started this blog. 

Our incredible Tootsie and her mom engaging in flight practice in the Swiss Alps

Tootsie has been the center of our lives ever since she joined our family. We have done our best to give her the best life possible, but she's done much more than that for us.

Our precious Tootsie exploring the Appennines in November 2011

We owe our deepest debt of gratitude to Dr Claudio Pozzi and his team at Centro Veterinario Scairolo. Emma was a deeply special friend of Tootsie's during several hospitalizations. Thanks to Dr. Pozzi's amazing, compassionate, clinical care, Tootsie was able to overcome a major health crisis in October 2017 and stay with us as long as possible.

Her physical tube of fur has left us, but she will always be with us, deep in our hearts.

Our amazing Tootsie waddling on the beach in Tuscany in November 2011

Senior Tootsie at the top of Monte Sassalto in Southern Switzerland in 2020
Fly free, Angel Tootsie. The pain from losing you is even more unbearable than we expected. Our hearts are shattered. You are our everything.

Love forever,
Mom and Dachshund Daddy

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Tootsie Tuesday!

It is Tuesday and time for Tootsie Tuesday. Grateful for every single day with our super senior. Tube of Fur knows naps matter for humans & canines alike. Find your best burrow and have a nap! 

Our favorite burrow (pictured) is our DreamSack from Dachshund Delights. Dachshund Delights is based in Ohio. In addition to pawsome handmade in the U.S.A. dog items, April and her team are currently making face masks for humans. They announced their masks and within thirty hours had over 1,500 orders! Thank you, Dachshund Delights, April, & your whole team!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Happy Birthday, William Wordsworth!

It is Tootsie Tuesday & William Wordsworth's birthday!
Renee here: I'm thinking of all those years my dad was quoting William Wordsworth, and how I didn't realize it until I got to college.
So I phoned Dad: "Hey, you've been quoting Wordsworth since I was little!"
Dad's reply: "Yup." (Tootsie's grandpa is the best!)

Friday, April 3, 2020

Our Everything

We are thinking of you, friends, during these challenging times. May your hearts be full of joy and sorrow. And naps. Tootsie is our nap champion. Tootsie is our everything. xo

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Love from Southern Switzerland

Dear Friends,

We are thinking of you all and sending love from southern Switzerland.

This morning, we had breakfast kibble with our friend, Unicorn. Our ears are flipped back in the fashion we call our bib. After breakfast, we take off our bib and restore our ears to factory settings.

We are grateful that you are doing all of the following:
  • wash your hands (sing Happy Birthday song twice)
  • maintain physical distance (six feet)
  • when you are outside, do not touch your face 
  • do not handle cash
  • if you are over 65, do not go out at all and have someone else do your grocery shopping
  • if you are young, offer to do grocery shopping and anything else your wise elders need
  • do not visit elders in person; if you visit, stay outside and wave
  • do maintain social contact with your loved ones
  • do set-up a family communication plan
  • do care for yourself and your mental health in all possible ways
  • stay home for public health and remember the public in public health
  • try to be sure that any of your actions do not lead to inadvertent accidents that would require medical attention and divert needed resources
Remember: you can be a hero by staying home.

Things here are awful and strange. The deaths in Italy are heartbreaking. (The original hot spot of COVID19 in Lombardy, Italy is one and a half hours south of us.) Life adjustments require an acknowledgement of grief for our previous lives, grief for the suffering and loss of life, and gratitude for our current lives. We balance realism and optimism. The daffodils bloomed last week, so there are brilliant yellow batches heralding spring. We both work from home. We go out to pee/poo Tootsie, or to get groceries. We keep track of our neighbors. We offer help. (Our words make it sound as if we've made these transitions gracefully; we have not!) The incredible life force Tootsie demonstrates daily is our inspiration.

We still walk Tootsie, but none of her doggy friends can sniff and say hello, so those doggy friends yip and bark from a distance. Chica, Hakim, Benji, Idéfix, Lafayette, and others miss their Tootsie--we all call Tootsie their Bisnonna, or Great Grandmother. We absolutely maintain social distance. We are blessed with a tube of fur who has never been particularly social. Back in the day, Tootsie used to stand at the side of doggy groups and bark. It was freaking embarrassing!

I want to name all of our friends! You know who you are. Take care. We will update as able.
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