Mail from Italy

... is how his blog is called (in German:, talking about life and love(s) of German writer, wine connaisseur and passionate golf player Stefan Maiwald living in Grado, Italy. Stefan’s first loves are his wife Laura and the two teenage girls. Then comes Luna, the family Jack Russell, 6 years old and verrrry fit! Probably thanks to her, Stefan will never know what a writer’s block is: Walkies along the beach can cure almost everything

Where did you meet Luna?
Basically, our daughters had always wanted a dog, and that was fine with us, since my wife and I grew up with dogs. However, we wanted to wait until our daughters were old enough to actually look after it. At first, I was looking for a Lagotto, since I heard they were good in truffle hunting (a man has to have his stupid dreams). But the closest Lagotto breeder was just too far away. A friend told us about a Jack Russell breeder not far from Trieste. We went there, and Luna, only a few weeks old, came running towards us and basically chose us, not the other way round.

What is she like?
She is very lively and incredibly friendly with everyone. It is almost embarrassing how easily she would walk away with basically anyone, as if we would treat her badly. Which we certainly don’t!

How would you describe your relationship?
She is some sort of entertainer, cheering everybody up. That’s the good thing: You come home in a bad mood, but she is always there, wagging her tail, ready to party.

Why do you love her?
Oh, I have no idea, but you don’t have a choice, do you? 

What did she teach you that nobody else would?
A dog helps you socialize with other people in a way I would never have imagined. People that had never noticed me before, out of a sudden get closer, want to talk and say Hi to the dog. As I said, she is very friendly with everyone. Not like me, when I haven’t had my morning coffee yet.

Is there anything that annoys you about her? 
Well, she just doesn’t get tired. I am an avid walker, and even when I take her on a real long walk, she seems to be more awake after than before. Also, she grew up in Grado, an island in the Adriatic Sea. But she hates water! She wouldn’t touch it, while all the other dogs enjoy running into the waves, jumping around, trying to catch seagulls. Also, Luna refuses to go out in the rain. Unbelievable.

What are your favourite things to do with her?
Walks along the beach off-season are the best thing. She enjoys herself immensely, and I think that she is a very lucky dog. In the winter we’re having family fights about who gets to cuddle her in front of the fireplace. 

Is your dog part of the family 100 percent?
Yes, she is an important part of the family. We even plan our holidays according to her needs. She gets incredibly scared in a car, for instance, we can’t do anything about it. So we learned to avoid weekend trips to not stress her out. It is only worth the hassle when we stay longer, so she can recover. Ecologically, that is probably a good thing! She likes to sleep on our sofa. She is not allowed in bed, though. I wouldn’t mind, but my wife is very strict about it. And since she is smarter than me, she is definitely right.

Any advice you would like to give to someone who wants to get a dog but can’t decide?
No matter how small: A dog will change your life. Remember that you need to invest time for long walks. And that’s a good thing. You will fall in love, and that’s a good thing, too. But please remember: It is still an animal, and you have to be the boss. Easier said than done with a Jack Russell, though.

PS: Want to learn more about the German writer living in Italy? Follow Stefan Maiwald’s instagram account @buch_und_wein or read one of his books, e.g. “Das Italien Prinzip”


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