Househunter Found Hound

Silvia Messeri and her husband Chicco were still mourning their miniature Schnauzer when, on a long walk in the mountains, they ran into smelly and hungry little Bobo. The black little mixed breed had grown up in the midst of nature, way above civilisation level, never seen a car or a house. A local shepherd called him his own but, having so many, was happy to give one away. Five years have passed ever since and Bobo has grown into an elegant and distinguished city dog in Lecce, where his originally Tuscan parents moved just recently

Where did you meet?
Our story began on a walking trail in Alpe Devero. It had only been a couple of days that my husband Chicco and I had lost Kiwi, our 15 year old miniature schnauzer. You can imagine how we felt and how sad the day was. At some point a little puppy approaches us: He had major wounds on the head and under the neck. And he was smelly, hungry and full of maggots! The puppy must have figured that we had stuff to eat on us and was hoping to share our picnic lunch. Asking the people around us we couldn’t find out to whom he belonged. Someone mentioned a litter of shepherd puppies closeby and that’s where we went: to ask the shepherd if we could take Bobo home. Imagine, the little puppy was already wearing one of those high stiff collars that they use for cows! The guy gave us a long rope and the rest is history: We walked back not only the two of us but three. Again, luckily. I couldn’t have been happier.

What’s so amazing about Bobo?
Like every dog Bobo is extraordinary. So smart and sooooo good! He has an adorable perennial puppy face. One thing, however, is rather unique I’d say: Every time we meet “new” dogs he approaches the master first as if to ask his permission. Only then he’d move closer to his fellow dog. I’ve always had dogs but Bobo is the friendliest, with both humans and other animals.

How would you describe your relationship? 
We try to be together as much as possible. We even plan our holidays with him!

Do you have a secret code? 
Well, we’re using all our senses to understand each other: Sounds, looks, gestures… Can you imagine that Bobo loves hugging people that he likes?

Do you have a “key” that makes him listen no matter what? 
Bobo needs to rally people, a bit like herd dogs. If Chicco and I drift apart, all he wants to do is bring us back together and he’s a real sweetheart when he does. Sometimes, to make him move, we place ourselves at a long distance from each other and just by clapping our hands we call him first to one side and then to the other. He can’t get enough of that!

Why do you love him?
Because he belongs to the family. Because he chose us. Because we are good together. And because we are similar to each other.

What are your favourite things to do with him?
Being together and pampering each other.

Any advice you would like to share?
Getting a dog for someone who has never had one is an important decision. Consider that a dog will change your life. But change for the better! Believe me.

PS: Florence born Silvia Messeri, 55, is team leader and Real Estate Agent for Engel & Voelkers in Lecce. She arrived in Salento following her heart, attracted by the cobalt blue of the Puglian sky and the clear splendor of the stone.