I recently returned from a trip to Italy where I spent time in Rome. One of the areas I visited while there was Trastevere where part of my novel, Not By Design, was set.
We cross the River Tiber and approach the archeological remains of rooms that were once baths made of black and white mosaics. My guidebook tells me that these were made in the first century AD. It’s hard for me to grasp that over two thousand years ago there was an entire civilization living on the ground I am standing on.
We are walking along the delightful district of Trastevere. In Trastevere one will get glimpses of the “real” Rome. Marco and I have been here many times. To eat in their famous restaurant area, go to the theatre, the cinema or just mingle with the Romans in clubs and bars. Today our mission is different. We are visiting the church Bridget reserved for our wedding.
Marco and I are holding hands as we pass by boutiques offering handcrafted wares and clothing stores with magnificent styles.
As we approach Piazza Santa Maria with its spectacular fountain I stop to take in the church in front of us. It is a stunning Medieval church. Its façade glows with its series of faded mosaics honoring the Virgin Mary. I can’t think of a more romantic setting for our wedding. Even before entering the church I know that it is perfect. Except for one thing. “I can’t believe that my father won’t be here to walk me down the aisle,” I say.
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Just practicing for when mistress gets a self-driving car.
Well, here I am on a poster. It was bound to happen with all my charisma. I am pleased and honored to announce that the library has made me their mascot for their Reading Program.
“Dogs trained to work in hospitals, nursing homes, disaster areas, and the like, their purpose to bring comfort and cheer in hopes of lightening whatever suffering humans might be going through. …(t)hey are often used to help children with emotional or learning difficulties. To improve speech and literacy skills, children in schools and libraries are being encouraged to read aloud to dogs. Excellent results have been reported, with children who read to dogs said to progress significantly better than children who read to other humans…
…If, as studies show, a dog’s nose is capable of detecting cancer, it would not be surprising if it could also detect changes caused by the relief of stress, or by the experience of mental stimulation or pleasure.”
In: The Friend by Sigrid Nunez.
I love being read to. Sometimes I fall asleep but most times I’m pretty alert. I find it rather pleasant and calming. I like it because I get to listen to stories. Most of them are about dogs, which is very considerate.
Yesterday, I was invited to an Oscar party and wore my best bow tie. Oscar parties are lots of fun. I got to eat bacon and steak and even cheese while waiting for Isle of Dogs to win as best Animated Feature film.
I wondered why there aren’t more dogs nominated for supporting roles. I thought of the dog in Roma. I had watched the film snuggled next to Mistress about a month ago and found the dog quite sympathetic.
As soon as I found out that Isle of Dogs didn’t win but Spider-Man did I made my way into the bedroom and settled in for the night. I was just too upset that there was not even a mention of the significance the dog played in Roma.
For an interesting analysis of the dog in Roma click here.
Look at me with two of my favorite people.
We go visit just when it’s snack time and they both are so kind to give me their cookies in spite of my mistress telling them not to.
She explains that it’s not good for me but they ignore her. Good for them!
Thank you for the cookies. I love you!
The equivalent to Alzheimer’s disease in dogs is called Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS). One thing I know for certain is that if ever I end up in a home because of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction I will always give part of my cookies to the dogs that visit me.
Physical and behavioural changes are similar in both Alzheimer’s and CDS. So similar, we can borrow from the extensive research that has been done in humans and lab animals to help understand what will delay the onset of senile dementia in pets. (5) Conversely, dogs are also increasingly being used as models to study the disease in humans. (11, 12, 13)
An envelope lies unopened in her office. Bakery owner and mom, Mattie, is recently divorced. Her three kids don’t understand why. Running her life in the 1980’s has proven more difficult than she imagined and was about to get more complicated.
Esther, a young widow, is trying to run a farm and raise her three children alone in the early 1940’s. How could her circumstances get any worse?
Thomas, the new county sheriff, is trying to make sense of his life. How did his life turn upside down when he was trying to do the right thing?
What I liked about this book, besides its interesting plot, is the goodness of the characters throughout. Sure, there are a few (very few) dubious, selfish characters, but for the most part the author writes about the caring and kindness of mankind. It is heartwarming and made me feel good reading it as it gave me hope in humanity. Of particular interest, was the emphasis placed on a man as hero.
Although the author’s own moral values are supported by Biblical passages the truths, honor and charity of human nature at its best are universal.
This is a good pick me up book in keeping with the nature of the author’s blog where she offers words of encouragement.