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September 2010

Looking for lodgings in 2011

Corte de la Madona - Dorsoduro, Venice
ABOVE: Maggie--and we--won't be living in this corte next winter, so it's Venice apartment-hunting time for the Imbodens.

Last winter, we rented an apartment in Dorsoduro that met our needs--and Maggie's--almost perfectly: The landlady and landlord were both delightful and dog-friendly, our comfortable flat was just a minute from Italian-language classes at the Istituto Venezia in the Campo Santa Margherita, we had high-speed Internet access, and our corte was unaffected by the frequent spells of acqua alta, or tidal flooding, that plagued many other areas of the city last winter. We were so happy with the apartment that we planned to go back in January.

Unfortunately, the best-laid plans of mice, men, and Bearded Collies often go awry. A few days ago, we learned that our Venetian home away from home wouldn't be available in 2011, so now we--and Maggie--must find a new apartment that allows dogs, has high-speed Internet, and is in a convenient area of the city (preferably within a 15- or 20-minute walk of the Campo Santa Margherita, and ideally in the sestiere of Dorsoduro, San Polo, or Santa Croce).

Pongo in Corte de la Madona

Maggie will no longer be able to hear her former neighbors Pepita and Lolita dashing around upstairs, and she probably won't have daily encounters with Pongo (whose owner, shown in the photo above, enjoys passing out dog biscotti like Halloween candy whenever she and Pongo meet other pooches).

Still, Venice is a small town, and it's likely that we'll cross paths with Pepita, Lolita, and Pongo at some point--assuming that we find a place to live in 2011. Stay tuned for updates!'s "Dogvergnügen" pet products

Dogisgood coffee mugsWe're suckers for a good doggie gimmick, so we bit like Maggie snapping on a dog biscuit when Dog is Good's PR agency told us about the company's line of "Dogvergnügen" products. 

"Dogvergnügen" (an English-German hybrid word for "dog enjoyment") is a tongue-in-cheek twist on "Fahvergnügen," a word that Volkswagen used in its advertising a decade ago. 

Like the old VW "driving enjoyment" ads, the Dogvergnügen products feature stick figures--not the Volkswagen driver of 1990, but a human kneeling and patting a happy dog. 

Dogisgood water bottle The products include clothing, baseball caps, and coffee mugs, along with our favorite: a water bottle decorated in a doggie motif and equipped with a dual-action top that--to quote the official press release--"comes equipped with two openings. The smaller includes a ball bearing to control water flow, while the larger unscrews and can be used as a bowl. The bottle fits into most cup holders and comes with a caribiner for easy transport on the go."

Pug with water bottle We've been using the water bottle for the last month or so, and it works nicely. Unlike the pug in the accompanying photo, Maggie prefers to have the bottle's cap held as a bowl, although she's finally beginning to show interest in the water that dribbles from the ball-bearing opening when the small cap is removed. 

Our only minor complaint about the water bottle is that the caribiner in the cap's cord is too small to fit around a man's leather belt, although it can be left open and hooked over the top of the belt. (Of course, you can easily replace it with your own larger caribiner or hook the existing caribiner onto a belt loop.)

For more information about Dogvergnügen and other products from Dog is Good, visit