Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Meraviglioso Cervino -- the Matterhorn

Another picture of the Matterhorn from the Italian side. We're so happy we saw this mountain! It was definitely worth waiting eight years.

"Cervino" is the Italian name of the mountain. The Romans called it "Mons Silvanus," then it became known as "Mont Cervin" in French. "Monte Cervino" is the Italian adaptation of the French toponym.

The Fascists changed the name of the hamlet of Breuil, located at the Matterhorn's feet on the Italian side (the south side), to Cervinia, so that it would reflect its status as the Gateway to Cervino. The Fascist name stuck, probably because the hamlet was transformed into a major tourist destination in the 1930s under the Fascist regime.

Cervinia may be the gateway to the mountain, but it is incredibly ugly, so we recommend making your home base farther down the valley, preferably away from the main highway. We loved the quiet hamlet in the Valtournenche township where we stayed.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Happy Anniversary to My Parental Units!

Dear Mom & Dachshund Daddy:

Happy Anniversary! Here's to your eleven years together, which includes seven of those years in happily-wedded bliss and five of those years in fur-based bliss with me, your tube of fur.

My furfriends always ask me how my parental units met, and I always answer: "God brought them together." No kidding! How else would two people meet across nine time zones, two continents, two languages, and one decade? So we have to make a special bark-out to the University of Notre Dame, in the United States of America, because that is where Mom & Dachshund Daddy met.

Thanks to all of you who read our blog -- for all your love & support along the way. It's an unhinged world. Let's keep our hearts loving and our paws petting.

Mommy & Dachshund Daddy in Venice, 2007. Don't they look young & innocent?
All of us with Grandpa last fall in Dolomites!


P.S. I love you, Mom & Dad.
P.P.S. I love you, too, Grandpa.

Swiss Benches

A Swiss snowboard bench.
Or is this a Swiss skateboard bench?

Usually Swiss benches are painted orange, but sometimes they are plain.

Mama Cow Warning.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Throwback Thursday!

Huge mountains. Mini doxie. Follow mom.
[photograph from 2013]

This was back when we sometimes let Tootsie walk off leash in the mountains--yikes--something we haven't done since we realized just how many marmots Tootsie might hunt.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Matterhorn & Flight Practice

The most famous Swiss mountain as seen from the Italian side.
Italians call the Matterhorn "Cervino."
It's gianormous and amazing and made our hearts go flippy flop.

P.S. Mom says I need to open my eyes during flight practice!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Our Pawdonna Project Continues

Tootsie loves to greet the Madonna. Here is Mother Mary on Montisola -- the island on Lake Iseo, Italy.

A Madonna with dachshund is a Pawdonna.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Swiss Sunday Walkies in Avers Valley, Switzerland

How did we get so lucky to live in Switzerland? The Avers Valley is 6,000 feet high and only two hours away from home. Grandpa -- next time you visit, we will take you there. (The road is not that scary.)

Here is Tootsie in Mom's arms, but she's so little she's a little hard to see.

Tootsie's flight practice continues. There is so much to keep track of when you try to take flight. Now we're working on keeping our eyes open during flight practice.

We continue to believe it is possible for dogs to fly. Closer & closer, we say.

Our Pawdonna Project Continues

Tootsie loves to greet the Madonna. Here is Mother Mary on Montisola -- the island on Lake Iseo, Italy.

A Madonna with dachshund is a Pawdonna.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Flight Practice: A Little Help from the Wind


Some days, flight practice is more frustrating than other days. But even when things are frustrating, it's imPAWtant to keep practicing. Some people might say that dogs cannot fly, but that pigs can fly. Well, if a pig can fly, I think a dog can fly.

Mom and Dad say that they will help me keep practicing. I'm so lowdown that the wind doesn't get under my ears for a good lift, so I need Mom or Dad to pick me up. That way, my ears get a bit of a lift from the wind, and flight practice is possible.

Mom says she has lots of days with her writing where she doesn't feel like it is going well at all. Well, today's flight practice was one of those days.

If you're having a day when things aren't going so well, you might just need a friend to lift you up so you can feel the wind.


Friday, July 8, 2016

Paw of Approval for Swiss Toilet Paper

Even without opposable thumbs, I can vouch for Swiss toilet paper! This is the kind I use. Can you guess why? xo Tootsie

Thursday, July 7, 2016

#TBT - The Floating Piers

We had such an incredible time on Christo's The Floating Piers. I walked on art!

P.S. Some people have worried that I might have pee'd on Christo's art. I did not! And I didn't see any other doggies pee'ing on the walkways either. A dog knows art when she walks on it. xo

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Christo's The Floating Piers: Art that Walks You Into the Present Moment

Christo's "The Floating Piers" is art that walks you into the present moment.

We had an extraordinary time at the installation on Lake Iseo. When you walk on the piers, they undulate with you -- or you undulate with them -- and the water motion has a way of making walkies even more profound than usual. And the best part? -- all the people there having so much fun.

Lots of people got stuck in long lines, but it looked like any stress from the wait disappeared once people walked on water. Thanks to Dachshund Daddy, we had a unique approach that saved us lines & stress. We hope that our post with tips about how to visit was helpful to readers.

The Floating Piers has now closed, but Christo is hard at work on two future installations. Cue the wags!

A wonderful segment on the PBS NewsHour -- by Rome-based reporter Christopher Livesay -- will give you the perfect overview. Watch it here.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Fourth of July, America

It's quiet here in Switzerland. Lots of time for reflection and reading. No fireworks!

We Americans have a good Constitution!

These are the legs of Lucy, my Gotcha-Day toy. I killed her squeaker in just ten minutes. My Gotcha-Day was July 1st, which is also Canada Day, but my parental units are so lame they didn't post a picture of me. Still they bought me Lucy, so that's nice.

The U.S.A. has certainly made some mistakes, but today, I'm thinking about how Europe would be very different if we hadn't come over to help in WW2. I worry now about Brexit. That seems like a big mistake to me. The European Union is a bureaucratic behemoth, yes, but it succeeded in keeping Europeans from slaughtering each other, as they'd been doing since the fall of the Roman Empire.

Peace to you all. May you find solace inside your heart rather than inside national borders.
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