Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Body of a Dancer in California!

Ever since we flew back from Switzerland, my mom has been very busy with her Body of a Dancer book tour. I have been very supportive at previous events and recently joined her for the California leg of the tour. Mom's California events were coordinated and made possible by her very special friends Kiwala and Karen.

Sometimes Mom lets me up on the table with her books. It happened in Carmel Valley, California during a special President's Day event at the Carmel Valley Business Service.

I really liked this book signing for three reasons:

1. all the people we met were lovely;

2. the owner stocks books by local authors;

3. the Carmel Valley Business Service has scheduled a special doggy photo event on March 3rd with professional photographer Peter Reynolds. (If you are in the Carmel area, call the store to reserve your time slot!)

The owner, Janet, is wonderfully supportive of creative endeavors, and my mom was thrilled to be in her store. I was, too! I loved the cards starring my fur friends!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Walking to the Zurich Airport

On a very cold morning in early February, Mom and I had to board a 7 am flight from Zurich to Amsterdam, the first leg of our trip to our American home. Mom got us up early to get ready for my pre-flight walkies, supposedly a walk around the Apart Hotel or a scamper to pay homage to the famous blue cow at the Zurich Airport Hilton just up the hill.

"If we're going to walk, why not just walk to the airport?" asked Dad.

Yes, you can actually walk to the Zurich Airport: There is a path for dogs, pedestrians, and bicyclists!

Because it was 5 degrees Fahrenheit outside, my cozy Dachshund Delights CoverUp was my only hope of making it to the airport without turning into a doggy popsicle.

The first stretch of the airport path is actually a very big sidewalk, and there was enough snow-covered dirt for me to tend to my morning constitutionals.

The path is kept free of snow and ice at all times.

There is so much signage that one would have to make a special effort to get lost.

The second stretch of the path slinks underneath the freeways...

and over to a special airport entrance...

designed for pedestrians to waltz right in, as we did.

There is also free parking for bicycles. Valet bicycle parking is available on demand for airport guests over the age of 90 traveling with their parents.

There's not much going on at Flughafen Zürich at 5:45 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

We had already checked in the night before...

so we headed straight to the departure gates.

After saying goodbye to Dad, it was time for me to withdraw to my chambers.

As we were going through security, the presence of a fellow doggy traveler made me feel reassured.

I yipped from inside my carrier, but my fellow traveler could not locate the barking source.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Verona: Shakespeare, History, and A Lot of Dogs

Located between Milan and Venice, the city of Verona is well known in the English-speaking world as the setting to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. It is a beautiful city, as Dad discovered on Valentine's Day. He was traveling by train (without me) in northern Italy and missed a connection in Verona, so he took the opportunity to venture out into the city center.

His first stop was the Roman Arena, where his grandma Clara attended the Opera Festival. Dad likes to go to places where his grandma Clara traveled because he can feel her presence.

Then he went for a stroll in the Old Town.

He walked across the Ponte di Pietra (Stone Bridge) to cross to the north shore of the Adige River.

He scampered up to Castel San Pietro (St. Peter's Castle) to enjoy the scenic view of Verona.

Castel San Pietro is a favorite destination for Mercutio, who enjoys his afternoon uphill power-walkies with his own grandma.

Dad walked back to the city center...

and met fashionable Rosaline in Piazza dei Signori (Square of the Lords).

On the advice of a fufu dog named Friar Lawrence,

Dad climbed to the top of Torre dei Lamberti (Lamberti Tower) to enjoy another great view of Verona.

After a quick detour to see Juliet's House...

it was time to head back to the station by way of the Arena...

where he met Romeo, a gorgeous weimeraner who bears a striking resemblance to my fur-brother Truffle.

Romeo promptly sent me a dog-gram,

which I shared with Truffle.

According to the Bard, one should not leave Verona...

but Dad had to, and took a photo of a Verona poopy sign on his way back to the train.

Practical note: the area outside the Porta Nuova train station is very ugly and unsafe at night. The sights are about a mile northeast of the station.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

PBU Featured Blogger!

This week I have the honor of being the Featured Blogger at Pet Blogs United (PBU). Many thanks to Oskar the schnauzer and his mom person Pam for giving me a chance to make new fur-friends in the pet blogging community. PBU is a pawesome place for pet bloggers to connect!

The Five Doggetteers were super-excited when I told them!

I welcome you to my blog, and I hope you'll keep reading. Please leave me a note, as I'd love to jump on over to read your blog, too! And please take a hop over to Pam and Oskar's blog, The Daily Oskar, because there's a little schnauzer in every one of us.

Remember my motto: Keep on wagging. It's my way of expressing gratitude. It's my way of life.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Magliaso Lakefront Walk

The lakeside community of Magliaso, Switzerland has a gorgeous lakefront walk that is heavily used by locals but completely off the tourist radar. Until the new Passeggiata between Agno and Magliaso is ready, the easiest way to get there is by Flippie.

The first stretch is a public lakeside terrace with a wall for me to sit on. The wall is just my size. There I was, soaking the mid-January warmth just two weeks before the first snow.

Suddenly, my doggy ears picked up a non-doggy sound.

I turned...

and there they were.

The whole schnaa about Swan Lake may seem romantic to you, but swans freak me out, because they think I'm a predator and they start hissing at me right away. Before they had a chance to hiss, I decided it was time to continue walking.

The trail continues away from the Magliaso terrace and right along the lakeshore, passing a sweet beach before leading into the forested area at the mouth of the Magliasina River. It was on that sweet beach that I saw them again. Not only had they followed me...

but they also had the nerve to hiss at me!

Later that day, I met my friend Barbara and told her all about the stalking swans.

Barbara said I should have barked at the swans, but I don't know about that. What do you think?

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Poopy Letter to the Editor

Last November I found this doggy sign in Canton Appenzell (northeastern Switzerland), on the trail between the town of Appenzell and Weissbad. The English translation follows below.

Letter to the Editor [Leserbrief]

"I am a little dog and walking is so healthy for me! When my master takes me on a walk, I am often very saddened and feel directly affected by what my fellow doggies, believe it or not, leave on the street. Masters and mistresses turn a blind eye and leave in no time. They don't want to see the Robidog, they'd rather go their way. If masters, mistresses, or children fail to see such poopy heaps, then they must be blind. If you're clean and fit, you just take the brown heaps with you! I will spell it out: we want clean streets and paths! The little dog wishes you keep them clean."

The Robidog is a Swiss poopy bag dispenser. Here's a picture of the standard model located right next to the Leserbrief sign:

Robidog is a Swiss company based out of Zeiningen, just east of the city of Basel. They offer a wotten waven array of poopy bag dispensers; check out their catalog!
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