Italian Lessons

Asked about their favourite dream, Michaela and Joerg from Berlin know exactly how to respond: move to the South of Italy and go swimming every day of the year! Maybe not so much for themselves but for their two furry children, Daudi and Clyde, who adore the water. A vacation in Puglia and some house hunting in the Itria Valley made things “worse”: Leaving the Adriatic coast after a month of endless beach walks with the dogs wasn’t easy, as well as getting back to their lawyer’s studios. But there’s always a next time!! Meanwhile they’re busy taking Italian lessons – “Puglia style”, of course: Their Italian teacher in Berlin is Elena Bari Tagadà, an expat from Bari   

Ciao Michaela, why don’t you tell us about you and your dogs?
Sure! My husband and I are lawyers, living in Berlin. Daudi, a 5-year-old German shepherd with long curly hair, came into my life on our 24th wedding anniversary. My husband Jörg, who was travelling a lot at the time, thought I could use some company while he was gone. He was right, 
I immediately fell madly in love with this cute little boy, who was hardly bigger than his food bowl. His name was chosen carefully: Daudi means  “the beloved” in Swahili. Just 3 months old, Daudi was hit by a car and had to get surgery. Thank God he survived! That tied us together even more, nothing can come between us.
In November 2022 another dog joined the family, Clyde, 11, a blonde shepherd mix. Clyde was my brother´s dog, originally. He had lived with my brother´s family in the south of France. After a separation my brother accepted an assignment on a cruise ship and couldn’t take Clyde with him. We offered to take him and Daudi and Clyde are now inseparable: the best buddies you can imagine! They sleep together and share food, even pass bones between each other. 

What´s so amazing about Daudi?
Daudi is incredibly energetic. He never gets tired and needs to be constantly challenged. He is super punctual and precise, a “little policeman”. He barks at everything which isn´t in order, especially at parking offenders. And he hates to be left alone. Clyde on the other hand imitates everything Daudi does. And Daudi is a great teacher! Clyde knew barely anything when he came into our house. Treats make things easier of course, they both love them!  

How would you describe your relationship?
Daudi is my personal bodyguard. He looks after me and my husband, wants to protect us from any harm. He would give his life for us, no doubt about that.

What do you know about his secret passions?
Daudi loves running free, swimming, retrieving, and digging big holes. He also loves his dog training and wants to be the best in class. He goes crazy when he sees a squirrel and tries to climb the tree on all fours. But I think the best thing ever for him is to sit between us on the couch, watch TV with us and be cuddled. Not to forget: He is a gourmet dog that loves likes asparagus, mussels, shrimps and cheese.

How do you understand each other? Do you have a secret code?
I think Daudi knows and understands everything. And he communicates just as easily what he wants or doesn’t want.

What makes him obey no matter what?
Put your shoes on and go to the entrance door.

If your dog was a person: Who would he be?
A policeman who keeps everything in order.

Why do you love him?
Because Daudi is a very special character. Not easy, very demanding, but with the purest soul.

What was the loveliest thing your dog ever did?
Some time ago my husband was sick and had to stay in bed for a while. Daudi sat next to him most of the time and tried to convince him to get up again. 

Did your dog change your relationship to other people?
Well, our friends love Daudi and he thinks that our guests only come to visit him. Other people are either afraid or admire him. 

Where do you leave him when you have to go away for a couple of days?
We have a good friend, not just a sitter, who comes to our appartement and looks after the dogs. They love him.

Is there anything that annoys you about him?
He is a hooligan when he´s on a leash.

What are your favourite things to do with him?
Go for a walk, throw his Kong into the water, cuddle him. Work and train with him on new things.

Any dreams you´d like to come true with your dog?
To live in the south of Italy near the beach because he loves swimming so much.

Is he allowed on your bed?
Yes he is, and he loves it. So does Clyde. So we have very little space left for ourselves.

Any suggestions for future dog lovers?
A dog changes your life completely. It is a great responsibility, not just for a couple of days or weeks. No, it´s for the lifetime of the dog. Sometimes 14 or 16 years! You have to be prepared to invest a lot of time, nerves and money. Your daily routine will change, holidays have to be planned differently as does the free time. But … Your dog will pay you back with his unconditional love.