Stick close to me in Montalcino, Sherpa and don't worry.
Raja the Travel Professional decided to help Sherpa the Travel Novice put down her paws for her first overseas trip in Italy’s central region, Tuscany- famous for glorious hill towns, painterly landscapes, handcrafts, wine and, especially food! Italy is a good travel spot for adventuresome, hardy American dogs.
1.Europeans often travel with family dogs in bucolic Tuscany.
2.Most Italians have dogs they are very proud of and many bring their dogs when they go out to dinner. (Yes, at nice places too, but always begging is uncool.) Hotels usually welcome dogs, but you always should ask.
3.Dogs are expected to be trustworthy and socialized in Italy, but Italians enjoy and celebrate the “dogginess” of dogs… the wagging tails, the slurpy tongues, the need to roam, the need to bark and even the assertiveness of dogs.
4.And, as we see in sculpture and painting, dogs have always been a celebrated part of the beauty of Italian life.
A display of marble dog sculptures in the Vatican Museum.
In the next blog series we are going to tell you all our fun adventures and recommended spots, but first we want to bark about a few ground rules for canine travel. Good canine travel looks easy, but the prep is enormous.
Plane Transport: Small dogs under 15 lbs. can travel in cabin on most airlines in most seasons. We don’t know anything about travel in cargo for larger dogs and we feel it’s not fair that airlines relegate large dogs to cargo. We don’t feel confident about cargo and would never have any of our dog friends in cargo. Others may disagree, but the isolation and unaccountability of cargo concerns us too much to advocate cargo transport at this point. (We’ve already written an awful lot about how to choose a travel bag, train for plane travel, buy a dog ticket from the airline and help your dog not have to pee in flight. It’s all in our archives.)
Health: Only robustly healthy dogs should embark on strenuous travel. We are not barking about dogs who have good health, but take some regular medication. We are barking against taking fragile, highly medication-dependent dogs on strenuous trips. Don’t kid yourself. Travel is for the fit and perky. It’s only fair to make sure your dog is travel healthy.
Before leaving, get a health check up from your vet. Carry the inoculation records as well as a signed letterhead letter from your vet that certifies the good health of your dog, in your own language and translated into the country’s language. (Google Translate will help you and your vet to create a pretty good foreign language translation.)
Use online search engines to research local vets in the areas you will visit and keep the list with your documents.
Sherpa loves playing in the countryside.
Bring shampoo and grooming tools and groom your dog daily. Travel creates mats and, as one example, Tuscany’s hillsides are full of burrs and foxtails. Watch out for eyes and ears. Maintain brushing teeth. Wash paws after long, grimy walks. As a style destination of the world, Italy is the place for your dog to look pretty every day.
Food and Supplements: Take all required medication or regular vitamins, treats and food (if your dog eats packaged food.) Raja and Sherpa eat home cooked stews, so they travel with a day’s supply of frozen food and a few jars of baby food to tide them over. (Note, if your dog eats home cooked, you will need accommodations with a kitchen. If your dog is an avid restaurant foodie, as Raja and Sherpa can be, plan not to be shy when asking a restaurant to make your dog some chicken and rice. After all, you’re paying, so don’t act pitiful and unentitled and feel confident requesting no onions and no salt. (Many restaurants will kindly offer you free food composed of the table scraps of other diners. It’s a thoughtful offer, but other people’s scraps are not a trustworthy source of dog food. Refuse politely. Say, “Thanks so much, but his stomach is sensitive.”)
Toys and Beds: One or two favorite toys help pass the time in transit. A favorite blanket makes a dog feel at home and is easy to pack. Raja loves these snuggle beds. They fold flat and delight him when he sees them reshaped in the hotel. Raja and Sherpa got plush boars in Tuscany. All dogs like to bring back a little souvenir.
A memento of my trip!
Water: A hiker’s light-activated water purifier or bottled water is best for traveling dogs. If you are not drinking from the tap, you dog also should not drink tap water.
Clothing and Heat: If it’s cold, your dog could need a coat or a raincoat. If the weather at your destination is hot, your dog could need a tummy shave down. On hot day trips, soaking the paws and tummy in water provides instant relief. Rome and some other Italian cities have frequent water fountains along the streets. While you can’t actually soak your dog in them, nobody would blame you for splashing a hot doggy with water from the aqueducts of the Romans. (Do not plunge your dog into the Trevi Fountain unless it’s a real emergency. That’s kind of not done… unless you really, really must.)
Harnesses and Leads: Yes, bring one and a back up. If you normally use a retractable lead, consider a short nylon lead for travel. It’s lighter and Italy’s crowded streets don’t accommodate a long lead.
We could go on, but Raja says we have found our balance between advising and helicoptering. Next blog, it’s paws on the ground in Rome’s Fiumicino Airport and off by car to the lands of good food and sunshine!
Could Sherpa do it? Yes she DID! In just one month Sherpa went from wary of her travel bag to flying across the country in it for a total 7-hour trip!
How? First off, no dog is going to train happily is she’s not happy and at ease with her life. So any rescue pet needs to calm down and settle in before anybody tries to teach her anything. Sherpa got the royal treatment right off. Even though her house rules allow her on furniture and don’t require her to eat her peas, she still has to adjust to being left alone by herself, behaving civilly to guests and staying cool in new situations. It may take a while for her to learn that she’s never going to be returned to the rescue shelter and anyone coming up to her is NOT going to steal her family away. But she’s making strides.
There was a legitimate reason for real concern. To start out, flying dogs should take a short trip of about one hour, just to get their wings flapping in the right direction. Classically, a dog from LA should get to fly to San Francisco for a weekend as a first trip. But not Sherpa. She was being asked to be too wonderful too fast. But we somehow thought that her interest in being with and like her family meant she’d do anything at all.
Well part of her success was consistent and constant training. Sherpa has shown us that she can’t be forced to do things that scare her, but she will try to tolerate new situations for a limited time. So it was off to Office Depot, CVS, the car wash, or just around the block in the travel bag. Some trips ended in visits to her favorite guilty pleasure, In-n-Out Burger.
Sherpa, ready for your travel bag now?
On the morning of her trip, Sherpa was bright eyes and looking for fun when she heard she had to go in her bag! “Is it In-n-Out Burger so early in the day for me?” she wondered.
But, no, so surprising and challenging, it was off to the airport and onto the plane and up in the sky and back down again! Was Sherpa OK about it? Weeeel… she did drool a lot at first. But she was quiet, still and held her center.
Raja and Sherpa meet up on the east Coast!
Once she got out on the East Coast and met the rest of the family and got to play with Raja and stay in his house and see his neighborhood and meet his friends, well, Sherpa now is an Official Travel Dog too. Look how cute they look together!
Yay Sherpa! Now a Travel Dog With Wings! And for being such a wonderful doggy, Sherpa won’t have to keep her paws on the ground for too long. Next month she’s going on a family vacation to another country waaaaay across the Atlantic Ocean! You can be sure we’ll be barking all about it!
As we mentioned last post, training a dog to fly in cabin isn’t as easy as zipping her in her airline approved bag and taking off. Everybody tends to resist incarceration- at first. How did Raja get so good at it? We capitalized on his most salient desire- to be a constant companion. It wasn’t too hard for him to piece together being in the bag to being in the car and the plane and the train and the gondola and the horse cab, etc.… with us.
Sherpa, however, as a rescued dog, has some unsatisfactory associations with small carrier confinement… being removed from her crowded first home in a crate, carted about to pet shop chain adoption days, transported to a new foster house, etc (perhaps). So, moving off site in a carrier leads toward worrisome expectations, as her experience has proven. Still, the beauty of reconditioning can lead Sherpa to wonderful new adventures near and far (as we say). Same as with people, for animals to be lead away from their fears towards more autonomy and confidence is always always good. So we’re not just going to let this go and end up with Sherpa kenneled back home when others fly.
Last week we mentioned that she likes to hide in a den. Sherpa continues to run under the couch or the bed now and then. She’s terribly sneaky and cute about it, as her video shows. We can work with this. Clearly, she likes a refuge. So, when she slides into any of her several secret spots, we never drag her out and we treat her emergence as a wonderful event. “Yay, Sherpie!”
And always the travel bag stays out on top of her favorite couch, door always open and her favorite blanket folded on the bottom. Don’t know if you can see the Sherpa Security Cam screen capture, but look closely inside the bag. When she’s home alone and nervous, she slips inside. Success is perhaps possible if we’re careful and don’t make her hate the bag.
Sherpa still doesn’t love riding in the car in her travel bag. We get it that she feels she’s being transported to a new home, and she’s pretty much not having that happen! Occasionally she likes to bark at people when she’s in the bag. Not good form.
So she’s taking it slowly. Sitting in the bag when she wants. Transported to short destinations- being carried around the block in her bag, taken out for a burger, a visit to the car wash, carried into the office supply store for a zip drive- or any random item within 15 feet of the door in case we have to make a quick, loud getaway. We have to quickly turn her away from anyone approaching too quickly or anyone peering in the bag too closely. Raja got the idea of the travel bag fast, but he didn’t have his own baggage to mess with his head. Sherpa’s going to have to summon a whole huge load of trust to get herself on that plane. Can she, will she? Raja’s tapping his paw.
Next post we’ll take you with Cy the agility athlete who is going to earn his C-ATCH championship in just a few days! And then back to Sherpa… does she get on that plane and fly cross-continent, or does her barking earn her a drop off in Utah?
Raja has a new cousin in California, a Tibetan Spaniel Mix named Sherpa. She was rescued from a place with too many dogs and too little attention, lived for a few months in the foster home and just got her new home a week ago. So, Sherpa has a lot to learn about forever homes, trust and really good food. She also has to learn to play and, very importantly, she needs to learn that every car trip is not a trip to a different way station in a shuffled life.
Focusing on the idea of shuffling, although now a permanent family member, Sherpa will be shuffled a lot. She’ll fly back and forth coastally, she’ll go on ski trips by plane and car and she’ll visit the seashore. Who knows, she might become an international travel dog and trot the globe with Raja. Easily.
But for now, cousin Sherpa has to learn to enjoy sitting in an airline travel bag for 8 hours total travel coast to coast. How will she begin?
Most dogs like the security of a den.
First, we discover that Sherpa doesn’t mind refuging in a small den. She likes to go under things. So we got her an airline approved, size-appropriate travel bag and set it out in the living room with her new favorite blanket in it and her newest toy. Sherpa doesn’t mind going in and out. She doesn’t mind sitting in it when she’s by herself either, as her security camera reveals.
But, zipping her in and taking her out and about is going much less well. Sherpa likes to bark at people who get too close to her bag and she claws the mesh when she has to sit in it in the car. Sherpa does best when she’s being carried in the bag and can see lots of sights outside. As long as nobody gets too close, Sherpa will deal with the bumping and swaying. While it’s important to let her know the bag is a place for her, we walk a fine line between comfort and confinement. We want Sherpa to feel secure in the bag, not stuck in the bag. We want her to feel as Raja does: all major adventures start with a comfy snooze in the travel bag and end in a new climate for fun and exploration. Hop in the bag, take a nap, awake to ADVENTURE!
From today, Sherpa has about one month to go from ambivalent to cozy in that airline bag because she’s scheduled for her first transcontinental flight in 30 days. Raja’s first flight was across the continent. We recommend short one hour flights to start out, but Sherpa, like Raja is being asked to get her wings pretty fast.
Up front we’re letting you know that this isn’t one of our cute posts; it’s an important post about dog safety. If you have an extendable and retractable leash, or if you use a long leash, please read.
I sometimes use a retractable leash for Raja and shorten it up when walking in high traffic areas. I prefer not to use any leash when hiking because Raja’s not a runner and I feel that there has got to be a place where dogs can trot free. He loves to lead the pack and I love to watch him do it. We had to change our behavior after learning more about the danger to curious dogs from East Coast copperheads and timber rattlesnakes and the always hungry cougar population of the West Coast hills. (The retractable leash is not for everybody and it does have its detractors.) The picture above is Raja’s newest leash his friend Buttercup gave him. It’s relatively long, but can be shortened up, and has flashing or steady green battery lights to make walking at dusk safer. If the passing cars can’t see us, at least they can see that glowing green line moving along.
But this post isn’t about hiking in the wild hilly badlands or streets at twilight…
A few days ago one of our friends was walking her three dogs through a parking lot. To tell the story short, a car backed over one of her pups, killing him and my friend had her arm and leg fractured as she dove to save him.
Our friend’s dogs were short, but all dogs are shorter than the height of a car’s trunk. When the lead dog pulled ahead behind the parked car, the driver, if he looked, didn’t see anybody directly behind, started the engine and, in the same motion, reversed smoothly.
Raja and I don’t want to discuss this one too much. We’re not talking about blame. We feel squeemish and heart broken, but we want to emphasize- even in a seemingly quiet parking lot, walking on a seemingly quiet sidewalk- please be aware that a nimbly handled car can back out or emerge quickly from a parking spot or a driveway. Now, a well loved reading therapy dog will be missed at a Miami public library after-school program. That little Shih Tzu led a valuable life. She did a lot of good in her world. She lived larger than her 10 inches high. She listened while stammering kids read to her. They learned and grew because of the furry therapist with all the patience in the world. My friend also won’t be getting out to volunteer again for a long time.
Please shorten up your leashes around cars, driveways and when traversing alleys and streets. It’s hard to pick up multiple dogs, but picking up a small dog in random traffic areas isn’t a bad idea either, if you are so moved.
Remember what happens in Disney’s 1955 animation “Lady and the Tramp”? A sweet, little Victorian family has a gentle, pampered dog. Then they have a new baby. Lady the Spaniel is delighted about the baby, but the self-absorbed couple begins to ignore her. Aunt Sarah, who dislikes dogs, comes to watch baby and, eventually, Lady herself is on the street. Fortunately her walk on the wild side draws her to a real dog who lives by his wits. When push comes to shove, Tramp is a champ. He saves the baby from a rat, even though he almost ends up in the doggie gas chamber. The young father saves Tramp in the nick of time and finally, the reconciled Victorian household includes cute new baby, Lady, Tramp and the inevitable puppies. Nasty Aunt Sarah has been sent packing for fermenting trouble between people and their loyal pets. Disney’s mid century theme was timeless: an interspecies family can thrive.
In July 2012, I read “Prep Your Pet for Baby” in “Martha Stewart Living.” Our family was then expecting a new human baby. I wondered what Martha would have to say about the first meeting of interspecies family members. I was disappointed with the article on several significant points. “Martha Stewart Living” advises:
. Make a chart of needy behaviors your pet has developed and ignore them.
. Begin spending less and less time with your dog so you can reduce his playtime to two half hour sessions daily.
. Crate your dog while you play with the baby.
I think following these three points will guarantee a sad, disaffected dog that will dislike the baby and hold her responsible for his fall from grace.
I know what I’m barking about. When I had my two human babies, I had a Shih Tzu baby named Yang Kwei-fei. (OK, from her name, you can guess she was treated a if she was still in the Summer Palace.) When the human babies came along, we didn’t cage her, ignore her or fail to take care of her “needs.” Nobody growled or bit anybody. Everybody got along just fine. Kwei-fei didn’t learn to sulk or to resent anybody. The new babies learned that we are all born into a community where everybody is important.
Raja’s and my point here is that mistreating and alienating a gentle and good pet is asking for trouble when baby arrives. Just as dogs have integrated themselves into human lives, dogs can easily accept new family members. So, before any babies come on the scene, work with your dog to make sure he is gentle, sociable, trusting and calm. Make him feel he’s an important part of the family, a being who has status and respect. As baby approaches, don’t scare him into a panic attack by changing the best aspects of his daily life. Maintaining your pet’s social standing and sense of self worth means you can expect your canine family member to treat the new human with love, respect and gentleness because that’s all he knows in his own experience.
Raja wants to bark out his welcome to our new family member! He doesn’t mind having had to give up travel for a few months and he’s very excited not to be the smallest family member any more (for now). Plus, he can’t wait to help show the little one around the world!
“When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen.”
- A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
That’s right right- when dogs go out and about, boots mean adventure, whether it’s galavanting on the cross country slopes or trotting in the urban slush. Some may say, “Dogs don’t need boots.” Oh, but they do… crossing the finish line at the famous Alaskan sled dog race the Iditarod, as well as transporting supplies for scientists and explorers in the Arctic, dogs wear boots. Your dog, stepping out on a blustery day in January on icy cold slushy streets, deserves boots too.
Look at it this way… human beings don’t need boots either. Cave people didn’t have boots. (Of course, their average life spans were perhaps 16 years.) But, as we human beings have learned, anything that keeps us comfortable makes our lives longer and better. Ditto the dogs.
Boots prevent cracking in the callouses of the pads and keep the feet clean. While boots in summer can make a dog too hot, boots in winter make for happy little feet.
Now, maybe you are thinking you don’t know how to get boots on a dog. He’s not jut going to step in on his own. Or, perhaps you are thinking fatalistically, that your dog’s unlikely to like boots. In this case, boots are like kale: how do you know you won’t like it until you try?
Rubber Boots are led in the industry by the Paws brand (don’t be suspicious,we cannot be bought). Paws are the hardest to get on, but the easiest
for dogs to adapt to. Here’s how to do it:
Sit your dog on your lap, back to your chest and wiggle the boots on in exactly the same way as you would put socks on a toddler. There will be squirming. There will be floppy feet and limp ankles. Don’t give up. If you can put socks on a child, you can put boots on a dog.
Make sure you work the claws all the way forward into the toe and make sure you have not rammed a toe in at a peculiar angle (same as for a todder).
Make sure the boot covers the bottom pad of the foot and doesn’t just cling to the toes.
Now is the moment of truth… put your dog down outside, give him a treat and watch him trot. If he walks “funny” at first, do not indulge him. Walk on and say something like, “You can really chase squirrels in those shoes, Fluffy.” Paws boots have a high success rate.
Hard soled boots are led in the industry by the Uggs-style faux suede boots with fleece trim, velcro fasteners and awesome ridged rocker
soles. These seemingly clumsy boots are fantastic for protecting the pads and they actually work.
Sit your dog on your lap, toddler style. If your dog is very furry, try to get the paw in the boot without unzipping, since zippling is hard with fur in the way.
Work your dog’s foot into the forefront of the boot and make sure gently to lower the leg into the boot cuff so the pad is flat on the shoe floor. (This is hard the first time, but easy by the third time.)
Now tighten the velcro ankle straps very firmly. Take advantage of the narrow part of the lower leg between the hock and the knee.
Similarly, carry your dog outside, offer an irresistable treat and see what happens. Trust us- that awkward walk will transform into a comfortable rolling gait as your dog learns to roll the rocker sole along.
I will leave choosing the size to you and the website directions. And I will leave it to your discression whether to buy one or two sets. Sometimes you can lose one shoe, although if the boots are on correctly, they will stay put. Raja has many sets of Paws and one set of Ugg-Style boots and he and his happy little feet are doing fine.
Nothing could be more unnatural than air travel- for all of us. Two hours before flight we submit to a series of harassments during which TSA counts coup on our fatigued persons: questions, clothes removed, body scrutinized, luggage rummaged, torso wanded, patted down, patted up, hurry up, wait, eat bad food, wait. Then, we load thousands of pounds of heavy stuff in a winged metal rocket and depend upon the effects of thrust and lift to keep us hurtling through the skies until we land far, far away. And while we are in the plane we sit, alternately freezing or sweltering, cramped and phlebitic, hungry and thirsty. Our only source of exercise is an apologetic squirm to a claustrophobic, germy WC.
But that’s the humans… what about the traveling dogs!
In some sense, the dogs have it better. They get transported and, for the small in-cabin traveling dogs, their travel bags insulate them from outsiders. (Well, for some reason, Raja always gets frisked. He’s not a real fan of having complete strangers fumble around under his fur, but he puts up.)
In another sense, dogs who travel are not properly served. First, they can neither eat nor drink during transport because, once they leave the car at drop off in front of the airport, they have no place to go to the potty. Think about it. Once they enter the airport, they are not able to relieve themselves until they arrive. So for International transport, that’s 2 hours, plus the flight (a minimum of 5 hours) and then a minimum of 1hour post flight, considering how slow gating, deplaning, baggage and customs are. And let’s think of how the frequent delays take a toll on pet patience.
We have two obvious solutions:
The first is that dogs should not fly. But that’s preposterous.
Airports should provide restroom facilities inside the terminals for traveling pets. It is not an unreasonable request since airlines charge for pet transport- around $150 per flight- which is a whole huge lot to pay and get absolutely nothing in return except the expectation that the paying client will be neither seen nor heard from.
Many airports have smoking porches or decks for the really addicted. A segment of this area could be partitioned off for traveling pets to sprinkle a plastic hydrant. Perhaps once a day somebody could douse it with inexpensive, non-toxic hydrogen peroxide. (Is that so hard?)
Traveling pets are highly unlikely to relieve themselves in their transport bags. This would be tantamount to relieving themselves in their beds. This they will not do at any cost because, in spite of what some may think, pets have strong codes about where they will and will not, uh, “go.”
Since airlines charge for pet transport, airlines should do the minimum to make transported pets as comfortable as possible. Since most people cannot make it through an airplane trip without also visiting the WC, to expect our pets to be “better” than we are is both unfair and mean.
Raja and I call upon the great airlines of the world that allow pet transport to do the right thing for all the paying customers that keep the airlines in business.
Raja and I want to thank all our readers, especially our most loyal commenters: Patty, Buttercup, Sheryll, Carolyn, Cy, CT, Tasha, Rhea, Skamp, Colette and Demon Flash Bandit the Sled Dog. We want to send a bark out to our friends at Dogster, Dog Fancy,Fido Friendly and Three Rivers Holistic Veterinary Service who help us get our message out on the web. Originally, when we began our blog, we wanted to focus only on pet travel, but we found ourselves also drawn toward other issues such as pet health, athletics, advocacy, book reviews, recipes and just plain fun. We redefined travel for our blog to mean anything from a walk around the block to the adventures of a dog making new roads to places where travel dogs have never been able to go before- Raja’s trips to Machu Picchu, the Vatican Museum and Valle Nevado in Chile being three of them.
To that end, we want to thank some of our favorite Travel Friends: Mr. Mohammed, our driver in Cassablanca, Morocco who was super nice to Raja; the staff of the Cavalieri Hilton in Rome, Italy and the Tambo del Arriero in Cusco, Peru and the Porto del Mare in Tropea, Italy and Gringo Bill’s in Aquas Caliente, Peru- all of whom rolled out the red carpet and didn’t mind muddy paws; and the owners of the Bakeri Fuchs Café in Zematt who treated Raja like a regular. Raja sends happy barks to that cute Shih Tzu girl Kiwicha that he met in Cusco and the baby camel he played with in Morocco.
Our plans for 2013 are to go on doing exactly the same: supporting travel dog companionship near and far. Pushing boundaries and expectations. And traveling.
To that end, in our next post, we are going to bark at the airlines about a simple remodeling project at all airports that could make pet travel ever so much better.
Wishing peace and happiness to all in 2013.
But for right now, on Christmas Day 2012, Raja wishes you a wonderful, adventuresome, healthy and peaceful 2013. He got two awesome gifts this year- his whole family in one house for a few days and this beautiful Travel Dog Theme Quilt by his wonderful friend Carolyn of Carolyn’s Originals , Raja’s favorite outfitter. He loves it so much that it’s highly likely we will be traveling a little less light in future.
There was a rustle outside and then a chorus of “Jingle Bells”! Raja and I scampered to the front door to see what was up. These faux furry animals, featured here, were lined up outside singing at the top of their hoarse little voices and collecting donations for the Animal Shelter. Pretty wonderful, huh?
Here’s what all shelters need all the time:
Food: any, but no recalls
Treats: any, but no recalls
Nonprescription Multi Vitamins: but check the dates
Blankets and Towels: clean, but old are OK
Toys: somewhat pre-owned, but still sturdy are OK
Sweaters and Coats: clean second hand are fine
Money: any amount
And remember, you don’t need to be sung at to give to the shelter. Just take your surplus to the shelter any day of the week.
You know, we pet writers always say that the Holidays are not a good time to get a pet because the excitement and random mess of celebrations could be dangerous. New pet might nibble unsupervised or run out of a door left ajar or even get stepped on in the shuffle. And all that is true. But right now, Raja and I are thinking that, if the spirit really moves you, an opportunity for a pet to be a Holiday present could work out OK. Just
be responsible and take the new family member most seriously. We think that in shelters near you, each pet is longing for a home of his own. But,
of course, no pet wants to ever return to the shelter. So if you get a Holiday Pet, plan to keep the Holiday going for many, many years.
Raja and I are spending Christmas on the East Coast. We wish all our readers Peace and Happiness in 2013 and Happy Travels Always!
(Raja says faux fur looks great on clothes and real fur look great on animals.)
Helen feels most comfortable in places where she doesn't speak the language; she likes to do almost everything, except hunt and watch TV sports.
Raja is a Shih Tzu. Directly descended from the Mongolian wolf, Raja is hardy and loves to roam with his pack. Tamed in the monasteries of Tibet, he takes the long view. Finished in the palaces of 16th century China, he is elegant. Rescued from China by the artistocrats of Europe, he is a ham.
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