We made the most of promenades and playtime with Kiddo, a fiesty shepherd mix, in The Eternal City.
For three months, we had the good fortune to care for fun-loving Kiddo. We spent our days soaking up Roman culture, eating tons of pasta and exploring every inch of the ancient city.
Despite a semi-senior status, Kiddo is an excitable dog who loves to play. His favorite game is tug-of-war. Before arriving, we mailed Kiddo a custom tug-of-war dog toy made of our recycled tee shirts to let him get familiar with our scent. From the moment we met, there was an instant bond. A big relief for everyone since we’d travelled 4,500 miles to look after him. After the initial meet-and-greet, Kiddo’s owners departed and we moved into our new home, a sunny, modern apartment in the Parioli neighborhood.
Located in northern Rome, Parioli is a well-to-do area with open-air markets, boutique shops and family-owned eateries.
Originally built in the early 1900s for the city’s haute bourgeois, Parioli is home to affluent, middle/upper class families. It has a similar feel to the Upper East Side in New York. One of Kiddo’s favorite neighborhood spots was Villa Balestra, a beautiful hilltop park overlooking St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. He also enjoyed exploring Villa Gloria’s dense forests and winding paths and popular Villa Borghese with its expansive gardens, tranquil lake, and of course, lots of other dogs.
At home, Kiddo enjoyed relaxing by our feet while we worked or climbing up on his favorite perch, the fluffy couch pillows. Before dinner, we’d take him on a sunset stroll through the neighborhood. While ignoring small, yippy dogs, he definitely asserted himself when encountering other dogs his size. His loud bark is impressive, but we knew this sweet, big-hearted mutt wouldn’t harm a flea. Protective by nature, he also made a point of alerting us to the slightest noise outside the apartment (much to the chagrin of the weekly housekeepers.)
When Kiddo rolled on his back, he signaled his favorite pastime: a belly rub.
The belly rub ritual could easily go on for a half hour. Being particularly food-driven, he could also perform a number of tricks for a special treat: sit, lie down, shake — even roll over. Kiddo always kept us company during mealtime just in case a crumb or two might fall on the floor. Before bed, he got one more outing then it was Dentastix time, a highly anticipated evening tradition.
In addition to our Rome adventures, Kiddo joined us for an unforgettable trip in Tuscany. Kiddo and his owners are making a trip to the states this summer and are in need of our petsitting services again. We’re so excited for a reunion with our furry friend and can’t wait to offer him lots of belly rubs.