Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Italian postscript: dogs

We saw this sign often.
But the dogs were usually inside.

While we were walking in Tuscany we passed a paddock with a flock of sheep. Just like a number of others, but in this case four "sheep" detached themselves from the flock and raced towards us barking savagely. These were Maremma sheepdogs, specially bred to live with the sheep and protect them from wolves, or Australian tourists.

As they rushed up to gate I thought we would just pass by ignoring them ("They'll never come through the gate"). Hah! Two stayed with the flock and the two others wriggled under the gate and advanced, snarling. Now my dear wife is not too good with dogs (or indeed most things that go on four legs ands are bigger than a tortoise), so she went pale and walked steadily away while I turned to face the dogs, suggesting as politely as I could that they should leave, and poking my walking stick at them. They followed us for 50m or so, then broke off went back into the paddock and rushed up to the top gate to check that we weren't planning to double back and steal a few of their charges, like true Australian swagmen.

After that we payed more attention to the "Attenti al Cane" signs and I had some difficulty in coaxing Jeannie down one road that was marked with that sign.

Getting braver.

Not too rash, now.


  1. Ha! Oh dear, poor Jeannie :(

  2. Big A have read most of your blog and it is interesting to see what you do in retirement. I see you are taking to it very well and Jean seems to be a trooper following you around. Being retired myself for 6 years now I know it is very easy to fill your days and the part about not getting paid seems to come easy for every thing you do. Just finished a two and half year term as chair of the local library expansion committee ( no pay here). We increased the size of our library from 6,000 square feet to 16,000 square feet. The building is now complete and we are looking at getting a LEED silver certification for the building. The project was 5 million and we came in on time and budget.

    Karen had been keeping blogs of our trips for the last couple of years but using different software so here is the link to them if you are interested.


    Again nice to hear from you and read a little about your life.


    Tought I'd send the eamil through your blog to see if it reaches you.