domenica 28 giugno 2020

The Future of Casa Chilenne

What are our next steps? (Abandoned shoes found at our Vicolo Scala entrance 2017)

Casa Chilenne has been closed to the public since March 9th, 2020 and we have decided that we will remain closed, for now,  until September 1, 2020. We promised that when we re-opened we'd be back better than before, and as we consider the path to this promise it is clear that this is not the moment that it can be maintained.

During this shut down, so many things have changed. Providing a memorable experience for our guests and extending our homestyle hospitality and service has always been our priority and now more than ever,  it is also important that we protect our guests in every way we can from Covid 19 until there is a vaccine, or until the imminent threat is over.

Those who are familiar with us know that we are a small 5 room establishment which prides itself in offering hotel amenities in a home environment, however, even before the crisis, we had started to notice that the expectations of travellers was changing.  We prided ourselves in offering television and telephone service so that people could keep up with the news from home and their loved ones. More often than not there was a newspaper available in the breakfast room in the home languages of our guests.  We provide a mini bar for the convenience of our guests at what we feel are fair prices and so that those travelling with medications which need refrigeration  have that peace of mind.

We take pride in offering a "breakfast worth waking up for" so that guests would not have to get dressed and dash out in bad weather, or compete for a table at a coffee bar to sit and relax over breakfast and we love to spoil our guests with specialities of the season or a hot, leisurely breakfast for those who enjoy their holidays that way.

We have not changed our pricing since 2008 when we opened, yet,  we saw our reservation numbers declining over the past few years despite our glowing reviews. The exponential growth of offerings on AirBnB or other such sites, coupled with large hotels marketing cut rate rooms to increase interest in their properties, made us start to question our philosophy.

Amongst my blog drafts I found the following blog which I started in 2017- today I propose it for your feedback as we evaluate what our future should be. I would appreciate any feedback you can give me. Especially from previous guests.

"A No-Frills Future?" a blog draft from 2017

I met tourism of the future today and it frightened me.

I was contacted a few days ago by a friend who gives cooking lessons. He told me that he had been contacted by a blogger/journalist who wanted to review one of his cooking classes and would I be willing to offer hospitality for free for some blogspace with pictures. I was torn.

First of all, I have never, ever paid for reviews of our bed and breakfast. I have never, ever paid commissions to online travel agents like or; the size of our structure and budget just don't allow for it. We were, for a short time listed on AirBnB as a sort of experiment from which we received one guest and I have now paid to be present on a website called for a flat fee each year for increased visibility in the Italian market.

I do not pay to have Casa Chilenne listed on TripAdvisor and after refusing their many offers to list my website and contact information for fees starting at 4000 Euro and ending  with the last offer at 1250 Euro per year, found my rating as a B&B on their site slip from 1st or 2nd place and never rise again above 4th place, even though the simple math of number of circles awarded divided by number of reviews should land me solidly holding my original placement-go figure.

After receiving more information from my chef friend about the blogger and obtaining a link to the blog in question I visited it and had even more doubts but, I decided to accept the offer, more than anything else to help my friend obtain his review.

I already feel incredibly fortunate and honored that well known guidebooks like the Lonely Planet, Frommer's and Routard have included our home in their recommendations to their readers. All three of these inclusions were a surprise and the fruit of anonymous visits by paying visitors. To this day I cannot explain how we were included in Frommer's and Routard.

The fear that I felt today wasn't tied to economics however, it was more tied to a sort of shaking up of the tenets of hospitality by current technology.

Amenities that we have invested in and continue to spend money on  to upkeep may be swiftly becoming superfluous. Telephones, satellite television are obsolete when a decent WiFi connection is provided (of course for free).

Can it be that the expectations of travellers have changed so dramatically?

More and more, I see travellers turning to OTA's  like,, or websites like AirBnB  to find lodging for their holidays. I was visited one summer by a cousin's young daughter who was travelling with an app called couch surfers - or some similar frightening name to find her lodging around Europe.

Watching this new generation of travelers operate in this manner made me wonder about the future of our establishment. Are we passé? Have accomodations which offer comforts and amenities now obsolete? With the advancements of technology travelers no longer worry about finding  a place with television or telephones to stay in touch with news and people back home. More would rather rely on an online review to select a restaurant or activity than asking for recommendations. So what is expected from hosts today?

------------end of draft
28 June 2020
We'd appreciate any comments you might have  and thank you in advance for sharing them.
Jeanette and Luciano, and of course,  Daisy and Jake

domenica 7 giugno 2020

Covid 19 Reflections

The clock started to move forward again on May 4th from the day we shut down Italy on March 9th. We were delighted that our dog groomer was listed as one of the activities which would be able to open its doors again, along with our accountant and legal offices,  restaurants being allowed to offer take away foods.. On May 18th all other places of business, were allowed to open, hairdressers and esteticians, clothing shops, restaurants and bars were able to start serving food on premises as long as social distancing rules are observed.

 Borders to the Schengen countries opened on June 3rd and the borders to other countries will remain closed until at least June 15, at which point the EU will evaluate and see if it is the right time to open borders fully.

In the little more that 2 months that our outside world was put on hold so much has changed.  This strange situation, in many ways a social experiment, confining people within the walls of their legally declared households without a certain end date to this time of confinement. There are things that will remain etched in my soul when this crisis has passed into the chronicles of time.

I will remember this as a time that the people in Italy stopped what they were doing to put value on the mission of preserving lives.  At great personal expense, Italians stopped and sheltered, surprising the world and probably themselves with the collaborative and collective spirit which came together and set the tone for this shut down.

Italians are innately social people, they are also people who have seen the ravages of a war on home soil and the results of collaborating to re-build a nation after, so maybe it  came as a natural reaction.  When friends and neighbors could not reach out with an embrace they reached out with song in the day and also the night, to let others know they were not alone.

These romantic images of Italian communities reaching out to one another with music and song, showing support for our health workers with syncronized rounds of applause throughout the nation, the tricolor aeronautic fly overs , the colorful rainbow banners painted by children telling us that "Andrà tutto bene" Everything will be alright, will remain in my mind as the power of a nation coming together as one.

Now  we have been firmly assured by our Prime Minister Conte that we have started Phase 3, that re-opening of Italy has begun. Perhaps these positive images are starting to fade.  The reality of re-starting a nation which has been shut down for more than 2 months is daunting.  The squabbling and scrabbling for a place of power amongst our politicians has begun.

 The status of Italy as a nation, Italy as a member of the EU have been put to the test during this crisis. The Italian philosophy of "Leaving no one behind" collided with the reality that they may not really have the possibility financially to do the right thing by all its citizens.  The systems that weren't working very well, were laid bare to the light.  Besides regretting the numerous cuts to the health care system made in the past, employment and the tax system flaws are glaringly evident. The bureaucracy involved in getting the relief funds to citizens in need was cumbersome and not effective in many places, slowing down the promised aid to those in need. The many inventive ways that Italians had used to create employment for themselves which could not come under the umbrella of plans to protect traditional workers were sorely evident. The government offices which handles the monies offered to employees who were laid off during the crisis were overwhelmed by the onslaught of requests. The promises were many and the actual monies arriving were slow in many cases, especially in the bigger urban areas. Many people were left with no way to pay bills, rent and mortgages. Luckily, many banks , insurance and utility companies voluntarily postponed payments and charity organizations and the government did step in to be sure that food got on the table of those who needed it.

 However, I am skeptical that this will be sufficient. I was impressed that the government did try to address many needs of its people. Babysitting  was a concern when the factories and offices started to open again as schools were still closed and it was not recommended that grandparents be exposed to risks if they did not live in the same household. Vouchers for tax credits equal to the amount of babysitting services were offered, layoff compensation for businesses with only 1 employee, stimulus money for freelance workers, as well as small businesses were taken into consideration.  In the prime minister's address  prior to this last one,  an offering of  Vacation Vouchers to families  was announced to aid the tourism industry- however the monies being offered by the government as a discount to citizens translate into an equivalent in tax credits for 2021 to the vacation structures that accept them. The same for a 60% help with rent for business owners- again translating into as tax credit to be used in 2021 or transferred to suppliers or landlord. It seems that a new currency of tax credits is being established in a nation where we are not sure if we can keep our businesses afloat until 2021.

The European Union was called upon by all its members to decide how they were going to help their members through this crisis. Initially, the EU had seemed to be quite unsympathetic as Italy struggled in March to face the Covid 19 crisis, Tensions ran high as Germany blocked shipments of supplies needed at the borders and later when the northern European members seemed to oppose granting emergency funds to the southern members who were hit the hardest such as Italy, Spain and France, insisting that only low interest loans be made. It seems that negotiations have been successful and an recovery fund of 750 billion Euro has been created to assist the nations facing the worse of this crisis, Italy included.  It seems that there are additional funds available earmarked for specific purposes such as healthcare improvements if EU nations wanted to accept it and pay it back with very low interest.

The challenge now will be for government to come together to fix some of the defects which became so evident in light of this crisis. Prime Minister Conte addressed the nation again on June 4th, to confirm that the health impact of Covid on the nation was definitely under control and that the sacrifices and strict measures we had taken were paying off.  He also confirmed that Italy would be opening to the world soon and that all measures were being taken to ensure that people could enjoy the beauty and riches of our nation in safety.

Cortona is opening up again. The last of our bars and restaurants seem to be set to open their doors to business again this weekend. Our citizens on the whole seem to be complying with safety rules of masks and distancing. It was a nearly "normal" weekend last Saturday and Sunday with  bar tables in the piazzas and restaurants nearly full most of the afternoon, many people out for an afternoon stroll and a gelato.  People were out enjoying each other's company (with masks on and at a safe distance).  In the evening the usual locales offer their happy hour apperitifs to enthusiastic clients, happy to be out again.By day the streets are busy again with shoppers and deliveries as we slowly go back to business as usual (with masks). Casa Chilenne, for now, remains closed.

I look forward to discovering what this new Italy will be, the product of the politicking or will something new and better be born?  I guess we can only wait and see.

As I ponder on this, the matter of fact wisdom of the old barber in Pienza comes to mind.  When questioned about his reaction to the number of government changes in Italy, he replied-"We Italians always survive, despite our governments."

lunedì 25 maggio 2020


 September 16, 2004- April 27, 2020
(Traduzione Italiana in fondo)

On 27 April 2020, we lost the heart of Casa Chilenne. The speed with which she was ripped from our lives left us numb and broken hearted.  She had welcomed guests to Casa Chilenne since we opened our doors to the public in 2008- but she worked behind the scenes as we planned and remodelled the building as well. She accompanied us to all appointments to select materials, to the market to select the fabrics for our bed covers, she kept me company as I spent most of 2007 on site in what was to become Casa Chilenne under restoration. She knew the builders, the electricians, the plumbers, the painters.

I was never one to see myself as Carlotta's parent, she was my dog and I,  her human. She started out as a sort of daring declaration of independance,  as I purchased her on a day trip to Florence while accompanying a group of tourists. I was walking along Via dei Servi, on the piece of road which leads from the Accademmia to the Duomo when I saw her pouncing on and trouncing a Yorkshire puppy. From that moment I was smitten. I whipped out my credit card before consulting with Luciano. I arranged to pick up Carlotta on my way back to the bus after freetime, and then started to plan the elaborate plan of breaking the news to Luciano.  I had a trip planned to San Francisco in a week's time so my first call was to British Airways to book  passage for her. I learned that they do not accept animals in the cabin and was forced to immediately abandon my ticket and rebook us on a Lufthansa flight.

Carlotta eating one of her first Greenies
After introducing her to my tour group as we boarded for our trip back to Cortona, I immediately started to figure out how I was going to break the news to my husband.  I struggled with different scenarios in my head.  When we took the exit from the freeway to the highway and then finally to the state road with Cortona in view, I could no longer put it off . "Hello? Yes, we're on our way home, I need to tell you something..."   My husband exercising his clairvoyant skills "What did you buy?", not having courage, as I know he is thinking a handbag or something a little more usual,  " Um, nothing, but I'm bringing a puppy, really cute... "  Boom! I hear the phone slam down....I re-dial "Don't bring it home!"  BOOM!  phone slams down again.  re-dial followed by a desperate lie-" but my friend Carlo at the leather shop, gave her to me, he couldn't keep it...I can't leave her in the middle of the street"  "Don't bring it here! " Boom!

When my tour group was settled in at the hotel I brought Carlotta home to face the music.  I found a sulking husband who refused to talk to me. As I tried to calm, explain, convince, I was met with dead and hostile silence. He would only have to put up with her for the week as we were leaving for San Francisco to visit my family, I explained. Then, if he really didn't want her, I would leave her with my parents.  Dead silence.  He refused to look at her, he refused to touch her. I arranged a bed for Carlotta next to ours and we retired.  Not a word was spoken.

Needless to say, the next day, Carlotta's charms were just too much to resist and soon Luciano gave her the slightest caress on her nose.- and the rest is history. She came back from her trip to the US- filled with adventures.  The most memorable one  when she escaped from her carrier on the flight from Frankfurt to Rome and went tearing down the aisle of the plane, The little white streak, slammed to a halt smack dab in front of  the flight attendant who had strictly laid down the law when we boarded our flight. She was not to be taken out of her carrier, not even for a drink of water!

Carlotta and Daisy at work with Luciano
The first year of her life was my last year as a tour director and Carlotta spent most of the summer with Luciano. She would spend  afternoons with him in the office. They would ride the elevator up to his office in town hall and she knew exactly where his office was and would run ahead. They would go to their favorite trattoria for lunch and a grilled veal cutlet was ordered and split amongst them.When I returned home from  the first trip, I was surprised when I would put her in her bed to turn and find her on our bed. After several attempts to return her to her bed, I fell asleep and found her curled up next to me in the morning. My husband confessed that he had been letting her sleep on the bed.

Luncheon at Ambrosia
And that was just the beginning of our more than fifteen year adventure with Carlotta. She was our constant companion and incredibly sociable. She would greet all she met and had an amazing memory. She loved the many stuffed animals her friends at the thrift store gave her, she once dragged an English Sheepdog stuffed animal twice her size from the thrift store, down the hill to our apartment by Sant'Agostino Church insisting she do it herself.  It joined others in a large basket filled with dozens, each had a name she would recognize if you requested it , she'd retrieve it, From Pinky to Rosina, or Bobby Bau, she would root through the basket till she found it and brought it to us.

picture courtesy of Pat Mahoney
She liked most other canines except for a pair of dachshunds who repeatedly bullied her as a puppy. One day she decided  she'd had enough and decided to go on the offensive. She would bark as soon as she sensed them coming, outside or even inside if they passed under the window.  A survival skill she taught to her daughter Daisy when they started going for walks together.

There are so many "Carlotta Stories", the day she ran away with Tappo, one of her admirers. She slipped back out after a walk when I stopped to speak with one of the workers while we were restoring the B&B. One of the painters let her back out and I was notified by the local taxi driver Enzo that she had been seen running free in the piazza with Tappo- "Are you sure it was Carlotta?" -"Yes, she was wearing her brown jacket!"

Carlotta and 3 day old pups

Her biggest gift to us were her puppies. We were thrilled after  many attempts to breed her that we'd have a little piece of her to hold on to in the future. When the first two puppies of the four were born breach I felt the gut wrenching fear of what life would be like without her, cursing myself for the selfishness of risking her life.  But all went well , the puppies and she thrived and survived, and first her daughter Daisy joined her mother as concierge and recently son, Jake came home to share the duties.  The other puppies, Jolie and Lapo live happily in the area and have brought joy to loving families.

Carlotta and pups at 1 1/2 months

Carlotta,Daisy and Jake 

As I reflect upon this month without Carlotta, I can only think about what a pure expression of love and trust our animals give to us. Carlotta's last 24 hours on this earth were infernal as she suffered through 15 epileptic seizures that last day and night.  By the evening she was crying and howling, continuing to pace and trying to relieve her pain by pressing herself into the smallest spaces and crevices she could find. When exhausted she would collapse and doze a few moments before succumbing to yet another seizure. Jake would bark to alert us of the situation and both he and Daisy looked to me with pleading eyes, certain, trusting  that I could make things better. They seemed convinced that I would make it better  and I wished I could. I wished with all my might that I could be as great a person as they believed I was. Alas, I was not. An emergency visit to her vet, followed up with calls and messages in the night, late night calls to "Uncle Calvin" the vet in San Francisco, nothing could relieve her pain. A great sense of helplessness washed over and engulfed me.

She was my dog, the best expression of trust, loyalty  and love that I have encountered and I could only be her human.

Traduzione Italiana  (con molto diffetti).


Il 27 aprile 2020, abbiamo perso il cuore di Casa Chilenne. La velocità con cui è stata strappata dalle nostre vite ci ha lasciato intorpiditi e con i cuori spezzati. Aveva accolto gli ospiti a Casa Chilenne da quando abbiamo aperto le nostre porte al pubblico nel 2008, ma ha lavorato dietro le quinte mentre pianificavamo e ristrutturavamo anche l'edificio. Ci ha accompagnato a tutti gli appuntamenti per selezionare i materiali, al mercato per selezionare i tessuti per i nostri copriletti, mi ha tenuto compagnia mentre trascorrevo gran parte del 2007 sul sito in quella che sarebbe diventata Casa Chilenne sotto restauro. Conosceva i costruttori, gli elettricisti, gli idraulici, i pittori. Non sono mai stato uno a vedermi come genitore di Carlotta, lei era il mio cane e io, il suo essere umano. 

Tutto ha iniziato come una sorta di audace dichiarazione di indipendenza, l'ho vista ed acquistata in durante una gita a Firenze accompagnando un gruppo di turisti. Stavo camminando lungo Via dei Servi, sul pezzo di strada che porta dall'Accademmia al Duomo quando la vidi balzare e trotterellare un cucciolo di Yorkshire. Da quel momento sono stato colpito. Immediatemente ho estratto la mia carta di credito prima di consultare Luciano. Mi sono organizzato per prendere Carlotta mentre tornavo all'autobus dopo il tempo libero, e poi ho iniziato a pianificare il piano elaborato di dare notizia a Luciano. Avevo programmato un viaggio a San Francisco tra una settimana, quindi la mia prima telefonata era alla British Airways per prenotare un passaggio per lei. Ho imparato che non accettano animali in cabina e sono stato costretto ad abbandonare immediatamente il mio biglietto e riprenotarci su un Lufthansa.

Dopo averla presentata al mio gruppo di tour mentre salivamo per il nostro viaggio di ritorno a Cortona, ho subito iniziato a capire come avrei dato la notizia a mio marito. Ho lottato con diversi scenari nella mia testa. Quando prendemmo l'uscita dall'autostrada fino alla strada statale e infine alla strada provinciale con Cortona in vista, non potei più rimandare. "Ciao? Sì, stiamo tornando a casa, devo dirti una cosa ..." Mio marito usando le sue abilità chiaroveggenti "Che cosa hai comprato?" ... io, non avendo coraggio, come so che è pensando a una borsetta o qualcosa di un po 'più normale, "Uhm, niente, ma sto portando un cucciolo, davvero carino ..." Boom! Sento il telefono sbattere giù .... Ricompo '"Non portarlo a casa!" BOOM! il telefono si abbatte di nuovo. ricomposizione seguita da una menzogna disperata- "ma il mio amico Carlo al negozio di pelletteria, me l'ha data, non poteva tenerlo ... non posso lasciarla in mezzo alla strada" "Non portalo qui! "Boom! 

Quando il mio gruppo si è sistemato in albergo, portai Carlotta a casa per affrontare la situazione. Ho trovato un marito imbronciato che si è rifiutato di parlarmi. Mentre cercavo di calmare, spiegare, convincere, mi trovai in un silenzio assordente ed ostile. Avrebbe dovuto sopportarla solo per la settimana, tanto stavamo partendo per San Francisco per visitare la mia famiglia, ho spiegato. Quindi, se davvero non la desiderasse, la lascerei con i miei genitori. Silenzio di tomba. Si rifiutò di guardarla, si rifiutò di toccarla. Ho sistemato un letto per Carlotta accanto al nostro e ci siamo ritirati. Non è stata detta una parola. 

Inutile dire che il pomeriggio dopo,gli incantesimi di Carlotta erano troppo per resistere e presto Luciano le diede la minima carezza sul naso. E il resto è storia. La Carlotta è tornata dal suoi viaggi negli Stati Uniti, piena di avventure. La più memorabile quando si è riuscita a scappare dalla sua borsa sul volo da Francoforte a Roma e andò a corsa sul corridoio dell'aereo, Una piccola scheggia bianca che si è frenata a colpo di fronte all’ assistente di volo, proprio quella  che  ci aveva rigorosamente comunicati le regole quando salimmo sul nostro volo. “ E’ Lei quella con il cane?”- “Sì?”  “ IL cane non deve essere tirata fuori dal suo trasportatino per nessuna ragione, nemmeno per un drink d'acqua! Tanto è un volo corto”

Il primo anno della sua vita è stato il mio ultimo anno come direttore del tour e Carlotta ha trascorso gran parte dell'estate con Luciano. Trascorreva dei pomeriggi con lui in ufficio. Salivano con l'ascensore fino al suo ufficio nel municipio e lei sapeva esattamente dove si trovava il suo ufficio e correva avanti. Andavano nella loro trattoria preferita a pranzo e una cotoletta di vitello alla griglia veniva ordinata e divisa tra loro. Quando sono tornato a casa dal primo viaggio, sono rimasto sorpreso quando l'ho messa nel suo letto per girarmi e trovarla sul nostro letto. Dopo diversi tentativi di riportarla nel suo letto, mi sono addormentato e l'ho trovata rannicchiata accanto a me la mattina. Mio marito ha confessato che l'aveva lasciata dormire sul letto.

E quello era solo l'inizio della nostra avventura di oltre quindici anni con Carlotta. Era la nostra compagna costante e incredibilmente socievole. Salutava tutti quelli che incontrava e aveva una memoria incredibile. Amava i tanti animali di peluche che le davano le sue amiche cel mercatino dell'usato, una volta trascinava un animale di pezza un cane da pastore inglese due volte più grande dal mercatino, giù per Via Guelfa, fino al nostro appartamento dalla Chiesa di Sant'Agostino insistendo che lo facesse da sola. L’ha unito agli altri in un grande cestino pieno di dozzine, ognuno aveva un nome che avrebbe riconosciuto se lo avessi chiesto, lo avrebbe recuperato, Da Pinky a Rosina, o Bobby Bau, avrebbe scavato nel cestino fino a quando non l'avesse trovato per portarlo a noi. 

Il suo più grande regalo per noi erano i suoi cuccioli. Eravamo entusiasti dopo molti tentativi che avremmo avuto un piccolo pezzo di lei a cui aggrapparsi in futuro. Quando i primi due cuccioli dei quattro sono nati in posizione podalica   ho sentito la paura di come sarebbe stata la vita senza di lei, maledicendomi per l'egoismo di rischiare la sua vita. Ma tutto andò bene, i cuccioli e lei prosperarono e sopravvissero, e prima sua figlia Daisy si affiancò alla sua madre come concierge e di recente figlio, Jake tornò a casa per condividere le doveri. Gli altri cuccioli, Jolie e Lapo vivono felici nella zona e hanno portato gioia alle famiglie amorevoli.

Le piacevano la maggior parte degli altri cani, ad eccezione di una coppia di bassotti che l'hanno ripetutamente aggrediti da cucciolo. Un giorno decise di averne avuto abbastanza e decise di passare all'offensiva. Abbaiava non appena li avvertiva arrivare, fuori o addirittura dentro se fossero passati sotto la finestra. Un'abilità di sopravvivenza che ha insegnato a sua figlia Daisy quando hanno iniziato a fare passeggiate insieme.

Ci sono così tante "storie di Carlotta", il giorno in cui è fuggita con Tappo, uno dei suoi ammiratori. È scivolata fuori dopo una passeggiata quando mi sono fermato a parlare con uno dei lavoratori mentre stavamo restaurando il B&B. Uno dei pittori la lasciò uscire e fui avvisato dal tassista locale Enzo che era stata vista correre libero in piazza con Tappo- "Sei sicuro che fosse Carlotta?" - "Sì, indossava la sua giacca marrone!"

Mentre rifletto su questo mese senza Carlotta, posso solo pensare alla pura espressione di amore e fiducia i nostri animali ci danno. Le ultime 24 ore di Carlotta su questa terra furono infernali , ha sofferto 15 attacchi epilettici quell'ultimo giorno e la notte. La sera piangeva e ululava, continuando a camminare e cercando di alleviare il suo dolore spingendosi negli spazi più piccoli e nelle fessure che riusciva a trovare. Una volta esaurita, sarebbe crollata e sonnecchiata qualche istante prima di soccombere a un altro attacco. Jake abbaiava per avvisarci della situazione e sia lui che Daisy mi guardarono con occhi supplicanti, certi, fiduciosi che io potessi risolvere la situazione. Sembravano convinti che l’avrei curata e che avvessi il super potere di farlo. Desideravo con tutte le mie forze di poter essere una persona eccezionale come credevano che fossi. Ahimè, non lo ero. Una visita di emergenza dal suo veterinario, seguita da chiamate e messaggi nella notte, chiamate in  tarda notte a "Zio Calvin" il veterinario a San Francisco, nulla poteva alleviare il suo dolore. Un grande senso di impotenza mi travolse e mi avvolse.

Era il mio cane, la migliore espressione di fiducia, lealtà e amore che ho incontrato e potevo solo essere il suo essere umano.