Cristiana and Gaetano are parents not only of the two little boys Antonio, 5, and Arturo, 2, but also of a little Saluki named Vega (3). Elegant, independent, sophisticated. Definitely not a dog for everyone, but the perfect dog for them. They had done a lot of research – and got it right. And they obviously would never leave her alone (in fact she sleeps on their pillow). Taking her on a long trip one day is the idea. But let the “kids” grow up first…
Would you mind to introduce yourself briefly?
We are Cristiana Rollo and Gaetano Quarta, born in Lecce in 1989, Cristiana lived in Milan for ten years, graduated in Marketing and always worked in the luxury retail sector, Gaetano belongs to the Lecce coffee roasting dynasty that goes back 4 generations. We’re parents of Antonio, almost 5 years old, Arturo almost 2 years old and Vega who just turned 3.
Where did you meet?
We studied the various breeds and their their peculiarities intensely and selected the breed that we found most in line with our spirit, our lifestyle, our family. We found a cattery in Milan, started a dialogue with them, waited for a litter, selected the puppy and organized a transport with a dog taxi to Lecce.
What’s extraordinary about your dog?
Salukis are ‘children of the wind’ with an ancient genetic heritage. They are instinctive sight hunters; hunting is in their DNA. Reserved and shy, resistant to any type of training, true free spirits, in some respect more similar to the nature of felines than of a dog. The challenge is to gain their trust and respect, in an absolutely equal relationship, free from concepts such as ownership, obedience, belonging and training.
What kind of relationship do you have with her?
The same that you establish with a child during the first years of his life.
Do you know her passions?
Vega is a hunter. She is happy when she runs free reaching 70 km/h.
How do you understand each other?
Our relationship is very physical. Since she’s completely deaf to any vocal command and even to calls, we communicate through the love and sweetness of gestures, eye contact and tone of voice.
Do you have a trick to make her do what you want?
She only does what she wants! She’d never come or do anything just because we want her to, not even when we’re offering cookies.
If your dog was a person – who would she be?
Elsa Zylberstein in “Modigliani”.
Why do you love her?
We love Vega naturally and unconditionally, just like we love Antonio and Arturo.
What is the most unforgettable situation with her?
Her arrival at home one autumn evening, after a long journey from Milan to Brindisi, hidden under Gaetano’s jacket. That’s exactly where she slept for the next couple of nights, attached to Gaetano, in the living room, just the two of them.
Where do you leave her when you go away for a couple of days?
We never leave her! She always comes with us, wherever we go.
Is there something he or she does that particularly annoys you?
She nibbles on our furniture when she is hungry and we are late with her meal.
What is your favourite thing to do together?
Seeing her run free on the farm where we spend the summer and/or go for long family walks in the countryside.
Are you dreaming of doing something special with your dog one day?
We’d love to take her on a long trip. We have never left Puglia since she has joined us.
Is your dog part of the family and 100% at home?
Vega, a very sweet little girl, not at all standoffish and reserved like others of her kind, sleeps in our bed. Head on the pillow and body under the blanket. That explains everything.
Any advice you’d like to share?
Welcoming a dog into your home means letting another being into your living space, in need of care, love, attention and understanding. Approach on tiptoes and with respect, offering love. You’ll get unconditional love in return.