Today, May 5th Is Francuzzo's Birthday - Email Him A Birthday Greeting Or Card!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO FRANCUZZO - THE WONDER DOG

Mommie asking Francuzzo what he wants for his birthday.  He already has a sister.

Well, how about a new red Escalade?

I am thinking if there is anything else I would like today for my birthday.

Well, I really think I am old enough to have my own cell phone and it will work in my new red Escalade!

To wish The Wonder Dog a Happy Birthday, email him at francuzzo@qwestoffice.net

�The Tail Of Francuzzo�

I was born on or about May 5, 2007, in Paestum, Italy.  Shortly thereafter I found myself wandering the streets searching for my next meal and a good nights sleep.  I don�t remember my biological dad and only little recollection of my biological mother when she gave me some milk.  It was difficult for the first 5 months of my life, as it was very hard making friends with the other desperate dogs and cats wandering the streets.  They were also just trying to survive and were consumed with that alone.  We had to scrounge around in garbage cans for food and drink water out of muddy puddles.

On October 21st, I wandered onto the grounds of The Il Granaio dei Casabella Hotel bed and breakfast.  Laura, the owner gave me some food and I laid down to get some rest.  It was very peaceful there so I spent the night nestled under a bush in the courtyard.  The following morning a man named Frankie from the United States came out to the courtyard.  He looked Italian but didn�t speak the language very well.  He was in Italy vacationing for a few weeks, and thought I belonged to the hotel.  He asked Laura what my name was and she told him that I had just wandered onto the grounds the previous night and I wasn�t her dog.  She fed me, however, but didn't want to encourage me to stay because of all the activity around the hotel.  Then a beautiful red headed lady named Melinda came out and she seemed very trustworthy, so I rolled over on my back in hopes that she would scratch my belly, and she did.  It was �scratch at first sight�.

Frankie and Melinda were going for a walk around the farm and they invited me to go along.  I remember being so playful in hopes that they would like me.  They don't know that I adopted them immediately, and I was hoping they would do the same.  I did my bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun act, trying to impress them to take me along, and they did.  After we played for an hour or so, they disappeared for awhile and I thought that maybe they weren't that impressed with me, but my heart told me to wait for them.

They returned to the hotel where I was waiting.  I spotted them immediately from under the bush I had curled under.  I sprang to my paws and was so happy to see them again, so I rolled over for another belly rub.  I heard Melinda say to Frankie that if they ever decided to get a dog, it would be one just like me and Frankie said "you got him".  The look on Melinda's face was priceless as she said "you know it's a lifetime commitment".  My heart was jumping for joy.  Then Frankie said "I know, so let's take him back to the USA".  I didn't know where the USA was, but was happy they were taking me with them.

They asked Laura for an old blanket and she found one.  Then they took me to the private porch next to their room and put the blanket on the floor.  I sat down on it, but spotted Frankie's garment bag which looked more inviting.  I figured he had to take the garment bag with him, but not necessarily the blanket.  So I chose to curl up on his bag for insurance that I would definitely be traveling with them.

Melinda, who I now refer to as Mommy, gave me a glass of fresh water, not knowing that dogs don't drink well from a glass, but that's all she had and I understood she was doing her best.  They scratched me behind my ears and went to dinner with Laura and Angelo, (Laura's husband).  Mommy came back to check on me during her dinner.  They promised they'd bring some food back for me, but I didn't see anything yet.  She went back down to join the dinner party and unbeknownst to me, had Laura cook a big steak for me.  Wow, what a meal.  Probably the best I ever had.  I felt like a million Euro.

Whenever I was with them, I paid attention to everything they said.  I thought my name was "Puppy", however, while Melinda was scratching my belly, I heard Laura suggest that they call me Francuzzo.  I had never heard that name before, but she told them that loosely translated meant "cute little Frankie".  I guess that would be my name whether I liked it or not.  Lucky for me, I like it.  I knew then that they were really taking me with them and I am so proud to be named after my dad.

Mommy and Daddy took me for walk, then we all went back up on the porch and they sat with me while I curled up on my new �bed�.  They scratched and petted me, then they got ready for bed.  They left the outside door to the porch open a bit incase I needed to go.  I wasn�t going anyplace because I�d found my home with them!

During the night, Mommy woke up twice and took me out for a walk; she knew I was just a puppy.  In the morning, they got up and I was still there.  That�s when I believe that I was well on my way to becoming their dog. They both seemed very considerate and were loving to me in so many ways.

They put me in the car and took me to downtown Paestum through some of my old neighborhoods and boy was I glad they didn�t stop and let me out.  I don�t think they knew that I�d never ridden in a car before, so this was all brand new to me.  I wasn�t sure if I would like it or not, but what else could I do.  Mommy try to comfort me and held me in her arms.  We stopped and Mommy got out and in a few minutes came back with a sack of yummy food!  She fed me a little, then off we on our way again.

The car stopped again and Mommy carried me to a store.  As they talked to a very nice woman by the name of Chiuso, I looked around the store.  There were so many interesting things that looked like they would be fun to play with.  Before I knew it, the woman placed me in a big tub.  Oh oh, what was happening?  She started to spray me all over with warm water and added some soap which took all the street dirt and fleas off of me.  I was a little scared, but Daddy was holding me too.  I guess this is what is called a bath.  After the bath, they put me on a table and started to comb and dry me with warm air.  This bath thing started to get complicated, but I will admit I was enjoying the attention. 

When they paid for the bath they also purchased a yellow plastic bowl for water and food and a very handsome black collar with yellow and orange paw prints on it with a leash to match.  Wow, did I feel important!  None of the guys in my old neighborhood had anything like this.  When we walked out of the store, I turned back and read the sign on the door, which said �Beautiful Dog�.  And for the first time in my life I felt like one.

They took me for a short walk and then we all got back in the car and returned to the hotel.  Mommy and Daddy packed their belongings and for the first time, I saw the inside of the hotel room where they were staying.  I then realized that the dirty dog I was last night would not have belonged in a beautiful room like that and had to sleep on the porch.   I could easily get used to living like this. 

I heard them say they were headed for the Amalfi Coast; we stopped along the way where they let me out and fed me.  Then Daddy stopped the car for pizza in Amalfi.  At the restaurant, I curled up on Mommy�s handbag, since it was softer than the concrete floor.  My nose got a whiff of animal approaching.  So I barked.  Oh my, it was a horse or a Great Dane.  Wanted to show him who was boss here, well at least that is what I wanted to do.  Fortunately he didn�t even notice me. 

Back in the car again they said we were headed for Poisitano.  Curvy roads.  We stopped a couple of times along the way and at one stop they looked at the ocean and I jumped from the backseat to keep my eyes on them.  I didn�t want either one out of my sight.

It was getting dark as we drove into Poisitano.  I could see the lights of the city.  We stopped at the Eden Roc Hotel and they welcomed me with open arms.  We got settled in to the hotel room with a huge balcony overlooking the ocean and the city.  It was so beautiful it took my breath away.

After some dinner, it was time to go exploring.  Oh there was so much to see and smell!  So different than Paestum.  Every couple of meters something new and exciting!  As we made our way down the hill to the beach, people stopped us every couple of minutes to pet me and tell us how adorable I was and asked my parents where did you find him?  I was also getting a quick language lesson in English!  I met people from all over the world from London, to college students from Florence, United States and Pairs, France who said they wanted to take me home with them. 

It was fun to walk along the sandy beach and smell fishy smells.  As we were walking back up the hill to the hotel, a car was driving in the same direction � he stopped, backed up and rolled down his window and said, �Where did you get that dog?  I want one just like him!�  If I could only get hold of my brothers and sisters.  Oh well. 

That night for the first time I got to sleep in this luxurious hotel room with Mommy and Daddy!  Again I felt extraordinary!  In less then 36 hours I went from the streets to first class luxury accommodations.  Even though they put Daddy�s garment bag flat on the floor and my new/old blanket, I noticed soft throw rugs next to the bed.  They felt really good, but I made it just a little better by pulling a corner down and making a pillow for myself.

After two nights in Poisitano, we got back in the car and continued to drive along the Amalfi Coast.  We stopped in Sorrento and they took me to a pet hospital.  What�s going on?  I wasn�t even sick.  There were some pretty big dogs there, but none of them bothered me.  The doctor sent us to a state office, where Mommy and Daddy filled out some papers and showed their passports.  There was a lot of waiting around at this place.  Mommy called the US Embassy to find out how to get me to my new home in America.  She started to cry.  There was something about if the animal was not healthy they would destroy them upon arrival in the USA.  This did not sound too good to me either.  Hummmmm

Daddy disappeared for a while and I found out he had to walk to the post office through the rain to get some certification.  When he got back, Mommy and Daddy placed me on a table and the official at this place waved a wand over my shoulder and could not find any information about me, so he installed a microchip by sticking me with a needle in my shoulder.  I didn�t like this at all, but it was incase I got lost and someone could contact Mommy and Daddy.  And said I could now go back to the pet hospital to have my rabies shot.

So back to the vet we went and she gave me the shot and now took blood.  I was beginning to feel like a pincushion and thought the streets of Paestum were looking better to me.  I hope that I don�t have to go through all of this everyday just to be with Mommy and Daddy.  One of the nurses took of photo of us.  I thought that was very interesting since they see so many doggies everyday.  They did make quite a fuss about me.

We were all exhausted.  Mommy got a little grumpy so Daddy took her to get some food, which cheers her up.  Mommy is always happier after food.  I know what that feels like.

So here we go again in the car and we drive for hours.   We have to stop for gas along the autostrada.  Boy did I watch them when either one got out of car.   I heard we were driving to Rome.  Wow, I�d heard of Rome, but never thought I�d ever get there, too far for me to walk. 

Daddy didn�t want to stay in the City of Rome, so we stayed in section of Rome called Castel Gandolfo, which is the summer home of the Pope.  I was hoping to meet the Pope, but I missed him by only a few weeks.  The son of the owner of the Eden Roc Hotel owns a hotel there.   

The hotel was also lovely over looking a large lake.  I wanted to mark my territory, but Daddy wanted me out on the balcony. Daddy gets a little grumpy when I mark my territory in the room.   Well, I did and my good Mommy cleaned up after me, and after me, and after me.  I have the BEST Mommy!

It seems that I helped Mommy and Daddy go through lots of toilet paper.  I saw an empty roll and grabbed it from them.  We rolled it around on the floor and I loved throwing it up in the air.  This was my first doggie toy.  I had so much fun!

After breakfast, Daddy took me for my walk through the quaint little square of Castel Gandolfo.  The roads are made of cobblestone and they are mostly walking streets. 

All of a sudden a shop owner came running out to give me a doggie treat. While I was eating it, Daddy said "Thank You", and the gentleman invited us into his barbershop.  As I looked around, I thought for a second they were taking me to get my hair cut.

There was a lady was sitting in one of the barber chairs and we soon learned she was the barber�s wife.  Her name is Rella and she was speaking in both English and Italian.  These two adorable people, Sabino and Rella, made a big fuss over me and they made Daddy and me feel very welcomed!  

By the time we left, Sabino offered to cut Daddy's hair and we immediately became friends. 

We walked back to the hotel to get Mommy and returned to the barbershop so she could meet Aunt Rella and Uncle Sabino.  I curled up on the floor as I watched everyone get better acquainted. 

Later that afternoon, Aunt Rella rode with us in the car to a grocery store and Mommy purchased dog food, treats, brush, plus toys for me and a travel cage for my flight to the USA !  After spending a lot of time with them, we found out that they take food to the town center everyday to feed stray cats and dogs.  As we approached the area of the square where Aunt Rella leaves the food, we couldn't help but notice the many animals waiting for her arrival.  As soon as they spotted her, it seemed to be raining cats and dogs. They came from all over.

We stayed in Castel Gandolfo for a couple of days.  We did lots of shopping for souvenir gifts to take back to the USA.  Aunt Rella and Uncle Sabino offered to drive us into the City of Rome to see the sites.  Wow, what an adventure.  Uncle Sabino drove us down the Appian Way as we approached the busy and congested streets, where we saw so many interesting things.  Due to foot surgery, Aunt Rella walked with a cane, so she stayed in the car after Uncle Sabino parked the car.  Then the four of us walked around the Coliseum and back to the car.  Then we were on our way to Vatican City and St. Peter�s Square.  Since I missed seeing the Pope in Castel Gandolfo, I was hoping to see him there, but unfortunately, I missed him again.

We stopped one place and Daddy purchased baby shampoo (I guess for me). After a very long and tiring day we finally got back to Castel Gandolfo and ate dinner. 

I am so grateful to Aunt Rella and Uncle Sabino for taking care of me while Mommy and Daddy went to places that don�t allow dogs.  (I still don�t understand places that don�t allow doggies.)

After four nights, we said goodbye to Aunt Rella and Uncle Sabino and I got to meet their two cute puppies.  We checked out of the hotel, packed the car and drove for hours.  We stopped every so often while one of my parents got out of the car for gas and food, but I certainly don�t like it when I can�t keep both Mom and Dad in sight at ALL times.

One of our stops was in the town of Chianti, known worldwide for it's traditional fine wine.  Daddy went into a small grocery stand to ask about a friend who he met years earlier.  The owner told Daddy that Tony Bennett had just been there a couple of weeks before.  Big deal, I don�t know who Tony Bennett is.

Our destination goal for that night was Sienna.  We finally arrived and checked into the a very nice hotel.  It was very late and everyone was quite grumpy.  We ate dinner, then back to the hotel to get some rest.

The following day, we went to visit Enoteca, which is an Italian wine institution to help promote Italian wines throughout the world.  For many years, Dad was an invited guest to perform there at their yearly convention.  While we were there, I head Dad tell Mom that he wrote a song entitled "Si Fa Quelo k Se Deva Fa" which in English means "You Do What You Have to Do", even I know that!  As you can tell from Dad's song, he's a survivor.  We then walked down to the beautiful city square through tiny cobblestone streets and alleys.  I understand that the Campo horse races take place there twice a year.  The Campo is a very exciting and colorful event.  Each area of the city have their own flags and the horses race.

I am making new friends everywhere we go.  During our walk, we a met family from France with two young children.  After that, we chatted with Don and Holly who were from, would you believe, New York City.  They was thrilled to hear that I was, hopefully, going to become a US citizen.

Then Mommy and Daddy made arrangements with the Sienna police to welcome me there.  Boy, did I feel important!

That evening we met Antonio, Patrizia and their daughter, Alice who were long time friends of Daddy�s.  In fact, Daddy attended her christening a few weeks after she was born.  They treated us to a wonderful dinner at one of their favorite restaurants.  After dinner, Daddy and Alice took me for a walk.  We hit it off beautifully and Alice wanted to take me home.  I couldn't believe I was sleeping in the streets a week ago and didn't have a home and now I've had offers for several places to live!

Oh, I�ve forgotten to mention that Daddy was on the phone throughout the trip with American Airlines trying to find out how to get me safely back to America.  The veterinarian faxed the blood reports and my parents were trying to find out how to finish the paperwork for my European Pet Passport.  He�s calling lots of friends, Rita and Jerry Vale, Debbie and Lennie Green, Naomi Ritz and Clyde Munzell, in the USA all trying to find out what we need do be doing to get me home.

I had a bonding time with Daddy when we took a bath together.  Then Mommy covered me with a warm towel.  WOW, I felt like I had spa visit!

Just as we were falling asleep,  Mom and Dad received a phone call about entertainer, Robert Goulet, a very close friend of theirs, who had passed away.  They were both very upset and I tried to comfort them by cuddling with them.

Now it�s time to move on.  We loaded the suitcases into the car and headed for Florence.  Mom and Dad wanted to see the school that my half sister, Laura, attended there a couple of years ago.  We parked the car and off we took to try to find the school.  On this adventure, I made more friends and fans!  Mom said that I am a charmer.

After walking for what seemed like miles (especially when you have short legs and little paws), we found the school and a beautiful church along the way. 

Now we have to find our way back to the car.  (Should have left a trail of doggie bones.)  Many of the shop owners we met along the way, we saw on the way back, so we knew we were headed in the right direction.

Daddy is getting anxious to get on the road, since he was due to perform in the Val�dosta region.  We drove to a coastal city of Viareggio.  For the first time we had to stop at a couple of hotels to find one that was pet friendly.  I don�t understand, I�m very friendly!

While having dinner, we met a woman by the name of Dori, a teacher from Belgium, who was in Italy working on her Italian language skills.  She fell in love with me and gave me a yellow and brown kerchief and tied it around my neck. 

There was a piano in the hotel lobby.  Daddy sat at the piano and played beautiful music.  Mommy held me since I�ve never heard a piano before and told me that Dad had been playing since he was seven years old and I�d be having a lot of piano in my life from now on.

The next morning, we met Dori and her doggie and had a good time playing with each other.  Then we went for a walk along the ocean where there was a street fair.  There were lots of color, smells, people and doggies. 

Boy it seems like all we do is pack and get back in the car.  So here we go again.  We kept driving north and getting further and further away from Paestum.  As I watched out of the car window, I saw the landscape change from brown, to green, to mountains.  The Italian Alps are beautiful.

We make our way to the autostrada and to St. Vincent.  The area looked like a Swiss alpine village.  We are in the Northwest corner of Italy between Switzerland and France.

Because I joined the family, we had to forego staying at the casino�s hotel.  But wow, what a beautiful hotel they put us in.  We checked into a room with two balconies and two different views of the Alps.  I�m sure glad I�m putting on some weight and growing more fur, it�s cold here.

Oh darn, Daddy had a dinner meeting with the Val D�osta Casino and for the first time I�m not invited for dinner.  Oh, well, I knew things weren�t going to last.  I didn�t want to push my luck, but I took out my frustration out on the toilet paper roll and decorated the room with it.  Dad was upset when he got back to the room, but Mom says he�s just a puppy � I own her!

Even though I misbehaved, the casino made up for not having me for dinner by sending filet mignon.  WOW, another meal fit for a king or at least a prince (Prince Puppy!)  Hummm, maybe I like it when Mom and Dad have to go out without me, they bring me back treats!

The morning is absolutely beautiful!  Mommy takes me for a walk and we hear a cowbell ringing in the distance.  Mom says it made her think of the story of �Heidi�.  (She�ll have to tell me this story sometime.)

 

 

 

 

To be continued --------------------------- And photos to be added

 

Copyright 2012