Lassie Looking after Everyone

Patrizia, 36, and Mauro, 45, are well known in their hometown Fasano: Everyone has seen them passing by on their early morning walkies with Aristotele, a 3 and a half year old Scottish shepherd. There are those who remember “Lassie” and feel strong nostalgia for him, other just can’t resist the sweetness of the big furry guy who produces big smiles wherever he goes. Here’s how they’re pampering their “Aris” with cucumber icecream – Patrizia is a nutricionist, you’ll find the recipe below – and what he gives them in return

Where did you meet?
It was love at first sight when we met him together with his brothers and sisters at his breeder, who later became our friend, Erica. That sweet look and that wagging tail couldn’t help but win us over! It wasn’t easy for me (Patrizia) to decide to adopt another dog after having my sweet Labrador, Syria, with whom I had shared 17 years of my life. But Mauro knew very well that it was exactly what I needed. And in fact Aris, with his shy sweetness, won me over right away.

What’s extraordinary about Aris?
He is a dog that immediately demonstrated incredible sensitivity and sweetness! He can understand and make himself understood with a simple look. Furthermore, his ability to always be there is wonderful: discreetly, when he sees you tired; with enthusiasm, when he knows that you want to play and have fun; gently, when you’re feeling down – sitting in front of you and waiting for you to put your face on his shoulder.

What kind of relationship do you have?
We would define our relationship as an emotionally asphyxiating one: Aris is our shadow, he never loses sight of us. As a good sheepdog he treats us as if we were his flock, always making sure that everything is ok, ready to make sure that after dinner we are all on the sofa to relax a bit. He really is a 4-legged friend, who doesn’t need to talk to make us feel good. He is equipped with a biological clock: from the morning alarm, at 6 o’clock, the time of our morning walk – which incredibly becomes 8 on Saturday and Sunday, when it happily accompanies us to the bar for a coffee and to greet his bartender friends -, passing through the end of work time when, accompanied by Mauro, he comes to pick me up every evening. To then conclude his work as a shepherd at bedtime, when he calls our attention to remind us that it is time to go to sleep.

What is he most passionate about?
Aris loves being with us, wherever we go: whether it’s an excursion in the woods, a trip to the shops or a simple evening at a pizzeria, he is always happy to walk, meet people, explore new places. Even when we’re talking about distant destinations, he is always ready to jump in the car and look at the landscapes we travel through, happy to face new adventures… just like Lassie.

How do you “understand” each other?
All we need is a look, a nod, a magic word and Aris immediately understands exactly what we are asking of him.

Do you have a trick to make him do what you want?
Aris has a huge love for carrots and cucumbers! As soon as he hears the metallic noise of the “carrot peeler” he runs ready to carry out any arduous task to win his favorite snack. Yes, he really is a nutritionist’s dog! In the summer we prepare water and cucumber based ice lollies for him which he loves!

If your dog were a person – who would he be?
He would undoubtedly be a philosopher: thoughtful, dreamy, always looking for the meaning of things and careful to understand people’s moods. His name, Aristotele, is no coincidence.

Why do you love him?
We couldn’t say “why”: He is Aris, you can’t help but love him. Indeed, we are certain that without knowing him, you already love him too.

What is the funniest thing your dog has ever done?
Once, during a walk, we were stopped at the traffic light, because it was “red”. At the “green” moment I give Aris the command to cross. But he, realizing that Patrizia, distracted by something else, had not yet left, went back, literally took her by the hand, delicately grabbing her wrist, and helped her cross amidst the amused smiles of the motorists who had stopped at the stoplight.

Has your dog ever made it easier for you to interact with other people?
Absolutely yes! When we walk with Aris many people stop to greet him and cuddle him. We always tell ourselves that Aris generates happiness: people look at him and smile! There are those who can’t help but remember their youth and the TV show “Lassie”, those who simply want to cuddle him… but no one can resist him! And those who know us when they meet us alone ask us about him!

Where do you leave him if necessary?
Where we leave him?!? He comes with us – everywhere!

Is there something he or she does that particularly annoys you?
Yes, when he throws a tantrum to eat! He is not a greedy dog ​​and there are times when he refuses to eat and we always have to find a trick to convince him. The most effective method? When Ivo, our cat and playmate, tries to get close to his bowl to steal his kibble. Only at that moment Aris decides to eat.

What do you like to do together most?
We love walking together in the early morning. Every day, whether it’s winter or summer, whether it’s raining or sunny, we and Aris enjoy this moment of ours: This way the day starts off on the right foot!

Do you dream of doing something special with your dog one day?
We do: We would like to take him to Scotland, the homeland of this breed. Wouldn’t it be marvellous to explore and enjoy those wonderful landscapes with him?

Does he sleep in your bed?
Well, no, just because he never wanted to. But apart from that all spaces are at his disposal, even if he has some places that he prefers over others. He loves his pillows: one at the foot of the bed and the other near the sofa. So he can be next to us in our moments of relaxation.

Your advice for someone who would like to get a dog but can’t decide?
We also thought about it a lot before welcoming Aris, well aware that work and commitments could make everything difficult. This is because a dog is not a toy, nor a whim, but a life partner who deserves and requires constant attention and presence. The simplest example? Whether it’s Christmas or Sunday, whether it’s raining or snowing, he needs his walk and can’t be ignored! But Aris has shown us that a dog is capable of integrating perfectly and adapting to the rhythms of the family, reciprocating our commitment with unconditional love, trust and presence, something that probably no human being is capable of giving. That’s why we would recommend everyone to adopt one. The arrival of a dog at home changes your life, yes, but definitely for the better!


All You need:
– popsicle molds
– ⁠a jar of natural white yogurt (without added sugars!!)
– ⁠1 serve of fresh fruit or vegetables (apple, carrot, cucumber, 4-5 strawberries…)

We chose cucumber because Aris is fond of it, but carrots, cooked courgettes, cooked spinach, or how sugar fruits such as apples are also great.

Cut the vegetable or fruit into small pieces and pour everything into a bowl, mixing it with the plain yogurt.
Then blend everything with a mixer and place the mixture in the molds which should be placed in the freezer overnight.

Aris has no problems with plain yogurt, in fact he really likes it. But for “intolerant” dogs it is possible to replace the yogurt with plain water: the consistency will be less creamy but the taste and the refreshing effect are guaranteed

PS: For other recipes and food suggestions (for animals as well as humans) by the nutritionist Patrizia Lamberti follow on Instagram nutrizionista_lamberti.


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