Friday, August 31, 2012


My weekly column in the Magazine NARA, translated into English. 
Enjoy the reading!

To say goodbye is something humans always have to do, although it’s always hard. And a farewell is as important for people as it is for animals. Mia Mattsson-Mercer writes about it in her chronicle.  
When is it time to say goodbye to a faithful friend? When will they leave us? To be left 
behind from the one you love most in the world is tremendously difficult.
We mourn with great emotional strength and for a long time. We may even become depressed after losing our beloved pet. Some people who have not had any animals may raise an eyebrow in surprise at the great grief some have after losing their pet.
We who have lost our furry friend know what kind of pain it is, and it is debilitating. It feels as if someone has ripped out your heart from your body. For a long time we have been together with our pets, experiencing their unconditional love. No demands from them, only love. Our beloved four-legged friends, which are always there for us, happy and comfortable.
When death knocks at the door and takes our beloved friend away a huge emptiness replaces him. Pain and silence vibrate in our homes and our hearts.
But animals also grieve. Our Labrador dog Ranger, left us too quickly. We were not prepared for his sudden death. Nor was Shiloh, our youngest dog, a mixed breed. Also for Shiloh, Ranger’s death came as a shock.

Ranger died in the animal emergency room, never waking up from emergency surgery. We brought his body home and laid him in a room on his favorite blanket. We opened the door and let our three dogs come in and sniff around him and make a last farewell. Clyde and Tjojs went to Ranger’s body and sniffed at him and then lay down in the doorway, as if they were ready to guard him from enemies.

Shiloh loved his “uncle” Ranger. Ranger always took care of Shiloh; we have pictures of Shiloh literally sleeping on top of Ranger. Shiloh walked up to his body and began to show great concern. With her nose she nudged at the blanket surrounding him, trying to bury him. Shiloh was not herself for several weeks. It hurt to see Shiloh mourn her departed best friend.

This week I had the honor to meet with Mira. Mira was a beautiful goat that lived as part of the same (human) family for over twenty years. Their three children who are now in their upper twenties grew up with goat Mira.

What a wonderful charisma and wisdom Mira radiated when I sat down with her! I didn’t want to leave. She showed no fear, but was pleasantly at peace.

Mira shared happily with me her memories. She liked the small wagon that she had had in her younger days. How she loved it when the children were playing that she was a horse!

Mira's owner told me that “Little owner” used to play horse and circus with Mira, who was one of the most family-oriented goats they had ever had. Mira could also tell me about the family's different personalities, even about the grandmother who was no longer alive.

Mira's wish was to be buried on the hill among the trees on the family land. The family had an apple orchard where the apple trees were in a beautiful valley. But it was not for her own sake that Mira wanted to be buried there, it was largely about the owner and “Little master”, now both in their twenties.

Mira knew her owner would not be able to let Mira be taken away from home. Her owner needed a place to go to where she knew Mira was to mourn in the months and years ahead. The owner cried as I told her this, as did I, but it was pleasant tears, lovely and caring.

The family had talked about driving her away when it was time. The thoughts were slightly different in the family now that it was Mira's own "words". It also meant that the owner became stronger in her decision. Mira had confirmed through me what her owner had felt from the very first moment.

With all my heart I love animals, because even at their end, they think of us.

That's why I always call the animals my mini-Buddhists. Because they know more about the big picture than we do. Even if time doesn’t exist for them, they know when it's approaching their time (the time is there to go over the Rainbow bridge)

That’s Amore.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Friday; Our little Edgar Poe is not feeling well and is at the (Dr Damiani) since last night. As many of you know he has a heart"problem" and been on medication since Martina found him on the streets(very sick).Poe is also coughing, and have diarrheaea/vomit. He is getting IV and blood tests are being sent to the lab.
After some hours he was already doing much better. Growling at the nurses, just like "old" Poe. But, he is scheduled to see a heart-specalist on Tuesday.
 Saturday; As soon as Ass. Roberta gave the antibiotic and IV he collapsed in Martina's arms.. But luckily they were at the clinic and Roberta could put oxigen on his face.After some minutes he was better, low but better, and the good news...he was hungry and ate.Ass.Roberta gave Martina/Poe a can of the special food ID for his stomach. Martina bought other two cans.
Tomorrow morning they will go again with Poe for another IV and antibiotic shot. We will also have the blood test results for tomorrow morning since Dr Damiani said to the laboratory that it is urgent. So we will know more tomorrow.
Now he's at our hospice.
Poe has to be in a quiet atmosphere and luckly now that the young ones are downstairs (Ombra, Gaby, Sassi), he has a really quiet living with the oldies. That's what our Hospice is about. Please keep sending healing and love and prayers ♥ He is not suffering, constantly under control with AWL's veterinarian team and Tuesday we will hear what the specialist will tell us.

Poe Hannibal Lector. 
This morning Pio and Martina went with Poe to the Dr Damiani clinic for IV and antibiotic shot.
He looked better today. He was happy when he saw Martina at hospice and was running and wagging his tail.
He ate well.

Poe was  super crazy again at the vet, they had to "fight" to put on the muzzle! Bad boy!
We got the blood test result and it was good...nothing bad in his body! Next will be the visit with the heart specialist on tuesday morning. One step at the time. 

Thank you all Poe Fans. We love you!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


When it comes to healing, we have a lot to learn from the animals. They focus on quickly becoming healthy, not on the difficulties that a disease can bring to them.

I am impressed by how the cells in our bodies are working in a positive way when other cells in the body become sick. The healthy cells rush forward to ask the "question:" what can they do to fix the diseased cells?

Sometimes I visualize during my meditation how my body cells work like ants. The ants are working positively and disciplined in order to achieve a beneficial result.

Animal body-cells work faster and more positively than our human cells. Animals focus only on the desire to quickly recover. They want to return back to a full life. In addition, the animals are very aware of their vulnerability to enemies.

For we humans, it often takes a longer time to recover. Our thoughts and fears siphon off energy bemoaning what we cannot do anymore. We stress ourselves when we become ill and this stress slows our natural healing process.

The animals go into themselves, meditating, resting and only drink to flush their body. They shut the world out and no time exists for them. Our children do the same!  I smile when I think of street dogs that have the amazing ability with their unconditional love. Often they come up and ask me how I feel!

When I'm sad, my adopted dogs approach me with their love, they want me to feel better.  When I cry, my seven-year daughter Olivia comes up to me and wants to know if it's joy or sorrow. "Are those sad or happy tears?"

Olivia sits with her iPod and listens to music while she looks at photographs that she photographed on her own. One photograph shows our dog Clyde, a beautiful collie who died a year ago.

"Mom, I am petting Clyde, he likes it," says Olivia.

My eyes fill with tears, I miss him something terrible even if the house is still full of dogs. Although I've been through the death of beloved dogs and euthanized several, both from hospice down in Italy and ill stray dogs, it never gets easier. Each individual has filled my heart with life and wisdom.

Olivia looks up with her big, wise, blue eyes and her little hand presses my hand lightly, "It's ok mom, you can be sad, but do not let that hold his memory, he doesn’t want that."
I cry even more but at the same time laugh through the tears. My little Olivia with her wise words. How wonderful that she is not sad, but comforts me --- her mom --- with words of wisdom.

Olivia loves older dogs and is not afraid that they will go over to the other side sooner than a young dog. Many adults do not want to adopt an older dog because of that very concern: that the dog will leave their life too soon. But for Olivia the time doesn’t exist, only the love.

Sometimes I wonder if we do not suppress our children to decide for them what they can see, feel and hear. Are we projecting our own fears onto the child about death? Do we not admit it, but tell our "protected words" to the children? Making it easy for us to avoid having to deal with our own fears of mortality?

I want to be as our body’s cells, street dogs or my daughter. Being able to love in the present and take different situations and adapt them for the better. As a way of life, not question with all the different questions of life all the time.  Well, maybe live with only one question:  "What can I do for you? '.

That's Amore.
Mia Mattsson-Mercer

photo Shutterstock.


Försök hitta kärleken i nuet

När det kommer till läkande så kan vi ha en del att lära av djuren. De fokuserar på att snabbt bli friska och inte på de svårigheter som en sjukdom kan föra med dig. 

Jag är imponerad av hur cellerna i våra kroppar arbetar på ett positivt sätt när andra celler i kroppen blir sjuka. De friska cellerna skyndar sig fram för att ”fråga” vad de kan göra för att fixa de sjuka cellerna.

Ibland visualiserar jag under meditation hur mina kroppsceller arbetar som myror. Myrorna arbetar positivt och disciplinerat för att uppnå ett perfekt resultat.

Djurens kroppsceller arbetar fortare och mer positivt än våra celler.  Djuren fokuserar endast på viljan att snabbt bli friska. De vill tillbaka till livet. Dessutom är djuren mycket medvetna om sin sårbarhet inför fiender.
För oss människor tar det ofta längre tid att bli friska. Våra tankar och rädslor fokuserar extra mycket på det vi inte kan göra längre. Vi stressar oss själva när vi blir sjuka.
Djuren går in i sig själva, mediterar, vilar och bara dricker för att rensa ur kroppen. De stänger världen ute och låter ingen tid existera. Våra barn gör likadant! Jag ler när jag tänker på gatuhundarna som har den fantastiska förmågan med sin villkorslösa kärlek. Ofta kommer de upp och frågar mig hur jag mår.

När jag är ledsen kommer mina adopterade hundar fram till mig och med sin kärlek vill de att jag skall känna mig bättre. När jag gråter kommer min sjuåriga dotter Olivia fram till mig och vill veta om det är glada eller ledsna tårar. ”Are those sad or happy tears?”

Olivia sitter med sin IPOD och lyssnar på musik, samtidigt tittar hon på fotografier som hon fotograferat själv. Ett fotografi visar Clyde, en vacker colliehane som dog för ett år sedan.
”Mamma, jag klappar Clyde, han tycker om det” säger Olivia.

Mina ögon fylls av tårar, jag saknar honom något så fruktansvärt även om huset fortfarande är fullt av hundar. Trots att jag har varit med och avlivat flertalet hundar både från vart hospice nere i Italien och svårt sjuka gatuhundar så blir det aldrig lättare. Varje individ har fyllt mitt hjärta med liv och vishet.

Olivia tittar upp med sina stora, kloka, blå ögon och hennes lilla hand trycker min hand lätt: ”Det är okej mamma, du kan vara ledsen, men låt inte det hålla kvar hans minne, det vill han inte”. Jag gråter ännu mera men skrattar genom tårarna. Min lilla Olivia med sina kloka ord. Vad härligt att hon inte är ledsen utan tröstar mig, sin mamma med visdomens ord.
Olivia älskar äldre hundar och är inte rädd att de skall gå över till andra sidan tidigare än en ung hund. Många vuxna vill inte adoptera en äldre hund av rädsla för att den går bort alldeles för snart. Men för Olivia existerar inte tiden utan endast kärleken.

Ibland undrar jag om vi inte trycker ned våra barn med att bestämma vad de kan se, känna och höra. Projicerar vi barnen med våra rädslor inför döden? Vill vi inte erkänna det, utan säger våra ”beskyddade ord” till barnen? Gör vi det lättare för oss själva att slippa ta itu med vara egna rädslor?

Jag vill vara som kroppscellerna, gatuhundarna eller min dotter. Att kunna älska i nuet och göra olika situationer till det positiva. Som en självklarhet som inte ifrågasätts hela tiden, utan endast med en fråga: ”Vad kan jag göra för dig?”.

That’s Amore.

Mia Mattsson-Mercer

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


 Please click on the link above to read about Vasili. Then you might understand our happiness to look at the picture below.
AWL found Vasili (Vasco) in a shelter He was close to death, from being very ill, infections, pain, high fever. We got him out and into our hospice. Our lovely Dr. Damiani and Dr. Fransesco made everything to make him feel better (and us). Vasili got treated for Leischaminiosis (we tested several times to see the numbers go down so wonderful) blood tests to keep an eye on his internal values, skin treatments, and he was in pain (good medicine was provided) Castration.

Then a wonderful family adopted him and today sent us this picture.

The picture is priceless for us. This is our salary. This is were all your donations goes. Thank you for supporting us, Vasili and all his friends. That's Amore.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Lets hear your voice at AWL FB. Please make a quick LIKE...your support means more guts.
MR Edgar Poe at our hospice in Campania Italy.

Monday, August 20, 2012


 Weekly column by Mia Mattsson writing for the Magazine NARA.  

Do handicapped dogs have “enough” quality of life to spend time and effort on them?  

What do you think?

 "When they first saw the photograph of Angelo, our first blind dog at the hospice, it seemed the unanimous question was: "Blind dogs, do they really have a quality life?"
The question came from some acquaintances’ to me, and with a small smile on my lips I asked them if they thought the same about visually impaired people.  Snorts’ were all I got for a response.

Angelo, this first blind dog at the hospice down in Southern Italy, was like a big bear with a great big heart. Previously had Angelo lived together with a homeless man and his four other street dogs in freedom and they were very happy. The people recognized him and his dogs on the streets. It was a safe image people, people were comfortable with it, having seen it for the last ten years.

But one day the man became very ill and “his” street dogs were threatened by a life in captivity. There was a great risk that they would end up in a municipal shelter. We who knew the situation feared that outcome, because no one ever came out of there again, and all dogs are kept in cramped cages.

Our hospice could receive two of the stray dogs. Angelo, who was fifteen years old and Tigri who worked as his "eyes". She was a fourteen-year-old brindle female.

I felt a great humility towards both of them when they entered our hospice. Tigri followed Angelo and with her nose, she pressed lightly against his hind legs in which ever direction he should go. To the right, a light pressure with the nose to the right hind leg and Angelo went in that direction. Tigri escorted him around the house and out into the small garden, “showing him around”.  After a few days he found himself at home. Angelo was very pleased and found his own safe sleeping place on a big mattress. He loved the peace.

Tigri eventually seemed to fall in love with a young crippled dog named Dicky. We joked that when she made sure that Angelo was “safe” in his new environment, she divorced him and moved out on the terrace with Dicky.

To have a visually impaired dog was not difficult, but we had explain to all the volunteers that they could not change anything. Not even the water dish could be moved an inch. The sighted dogs were initially frustrated with Angelo who went straight into them when they did not move. But with patience and our corrections to the sighted dogs, they accepted Angelo quickly.

Here in Germany and northern Italy there are several families who adopt handicapped dogs and cats. When I worked with the foundation down in Sarajveo in 1999, I came in contact with my first handicapped dog. Zeljko had slept/lived with both legs broken under decks and loading docks for days.

He was taken into custody and was then adopted by a family in Germany. It was the first time I saw a dog have a wheelchair. I remember we were all impressed that someone adopted a lame dog in a wheelchair. But Zeljko was a happy guy who skidded with the wheelchair out from the driveway when he played with his two four-legged canine friends.

The most important thing with adoptions of disabled dogs is that one must think with both intellect and heart, because just as with people with disabilities, they are in need of a little extra care and more knowledge and understanding. But if you think that disabled people do not have a quality of life, you have to ask yourself if this is an assumption or a fact?

"Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes (or paws)" is a saying I often try to think about before I judge a situation, or an individual with my own opinion.

That’s Amore"


 Thank you Steve for picking up the donation at the Support Site and driving it over to our Hospice.
 Volunteer Tone, thank you for donating to our hospice.
 Volunteer Sandra, thank you for donating a fan, making it cooler in our hospice.
Volunteer Joleene, thank you for the yummi wet dog food to our hospice dogs.

(more to come)

This is warming thoughtful yummi donations. Thank you everyone.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Add caption
A couple of months ago did we read with horror about a Governmental shelter in Caserta region that suddenly didn't get any money for food, medicine to their 300 dogs by the Government. Nothing!

Roundly 300 dogs suffered (25 cats), many died and they didn't have any money to get the dead bodies away. 

One Italian private organization with two strong ladies (Ilena and Alessandra) in the front were desperate after help and worked non stop. AWL was one who answered and made a food collection and other donations. 

We a group of six volunteers, drove out and were greeted by passionate ladies that worked day and night to get help. 

AWL could choose three clients to bring to our Hospice. 
We walked around and how do you pick 3 out of 300 hundred?

Mia Mattsson bended down and looked into one cage and saw the saddest eyes and the felt the pain in from his body and soul. Vasili a nine year old German Shepard male, had been tied up outside the shelter and left by its owner. He had been a long time in this cage and was very sick, inflammation in his body, skin problem and leichaminiosis. He was in a lot of pain.  Martina Ricci agreed right away, he had to come with us.

Long story short. Vasili came to our hospice and got the whole first floor for himself. Despite his pain he wagged his tail, thump thump. Pio and Martina drove him several times to Dr Damiani clinic for  health tests, blood tests and description to all his medicines. He was an expensive boy, but thanks to wonderful supporters we pulled it through (we would do it again and again). Also Dr Damiani support as always by keeping a lot of costs down and gave some medicine for free.
Sometimes didn't Vasili want to eat, Martina had to hand-feed him. He wanted company.

 Some volunteers were afraid/insecure of him since he could bark when they came down, most to them with a dark voice. But he never did anything bad. 
We didn't know if he was good with children, Mia brought her two children down (they are highly trained children how to act with strays and dogs. Always supervised by their mother) Olivia 6 years and Max 4, Vasili looked at them curiously and accepted them. 

We all loved Vasili, the most wonderful charming goofy guy. 

After a couple of months, we did this picture before and after. And we had him castrated and a new blood test was made. We were all amazed, the leichaminiosis number was so low. 
When our AWL clients get healthier we start searching after a home for them. We tell them the whole story and his health before and present.
Martina started her adoption skills and AWL do not adopt a dog to anybody. Martina's questions are many, and if she doesn't think its a match she said no. But one family sounded very good and volunteer controls up North in Italy was sent for inspections and even more questions. 

The thumb was up and many phone conversations made. The family wanted Vasili right away they couldn't wait, they were so in love with him. The new family sent pictures of the family members.

"Welcome to us dear Vasili we are a happy loving group of animals and you will have a blast."

We wanted Vasili to feel safe and secure (big change from a shelter to a hospice and then new people/family) so Pio Acampora and Marina la Porta offered to drive him up North.
His new family was so exited to see Vasili, kisses and treats were passed out.
Inspections and greetings from his new friends.

"I am happy, thank you all for believing in me and giving me a second chance in life. Thank you all for not closing your eyes when you passed my cages. Not being afraid of my breed and size or my sickness. Thank you all for being there from the beginning till now, and not saying "We cannot afford, sorry!"

"I believed in you humans the whole time and you were so many that believed in me back. That's Amore. Love from Vasili."

Thank you for trusting us and our work; Alessandra Prattico, Ilena Avella together with your Italian volunteers.

Animals Without Limits Supporters without you we could never have done this. You are a big part in his survival. Anna Persson, Lotta Fredriksson,  Henrik Ahlberg, Liz Kruse, Craig & Tracey Kleber, Silvia Battilocchio and many more.

AWL TEAM, Martina, Mia, Pio, Chiara, Angy, Valerie, Sandra, Ivan, Federica.

And the limo driving, you gave a whole Sunday to transport him up North like a Prince should arrive grande VIP. Pio and Marina <3 p="p">
You who made sure that the car could travel with gas, Mitra Talarman, Maria Svegare, Valerie Funk, Jolene Callhan, Sandra Jontz, Mia Mattsson.

We did it again....and together. That's Amore.

(more to come)

Sunday, August 12, 2012


My weekly column in the Magzine NARA.

"Let the stress go and let the changes take the time"

Very often we the humans can feel stressed about wanting to achieve quick results with ourselves, or our children, or our animals.  And many times we give up too soon. Of course I am the one that feels pressure if things do not go fast enough and then I become very frustrated.

But when it comes to other individuals I will do my utmost to see them as a separate subject in need of unique time, not mine. Especially now with my two children I often bite my cheek so as not to compare the different milestones in their lives.

When Olivia was twenty months old, she was quick as a weasel. Many laughed at us when we were in the big bookstore in the U.S. and Olivia strayed away from me between the bookshelves --- with me chasing after her.

The Rabbi looked at us a long time and finally said, "My grandson is three years old but does not run as well!" I smiled at the older man: "Do not worry, your grandchild will surely be a wonderful marathon runner when he grows up. "

At the dog park, we let our dogs meet and we want them to like each other right away.  A dog may growl at another dog and the owner might become alarmed that his dog behaves aggressively towards other dogs.  But growling is part of their greeting communication. The reasons for dogs to growl at other dogs vary. For some dogs, it may take time getting to know another dog, just like when we meet new people.

Sometimes in life surely ​​we have experienced a loaded meeting where we have seen another person for the first time. But after a second chance, maybe in a different environment, the attitude has changed and we feel better about the person. Or perhaps they or we have matured and are more “acceptable” now. Or maybe nothing has changed, but we will not be punished for it as dogs can be if we continue to “growl” in our own way and don’t become friends.

How long it takes to get a dog housebroken is a question I often get from dog owners who only had the dog for a few days. It also happens that they give away the dog to a shelter if it doesn’t become housebroken fast enough, on their timeline, not the dogs’.  Do we do the same with children that wear diapers for years or maybe pees in their bed longer than we feel they should?

I look at my children. Max, who will be five in December, swinging a stick right up in sister Olivia’s face.  It could have gone very badly. I took the stick from Max and explained why his behavior is dangerous.  I cannot excuse the dog’s or children's "negative" behavior, but I must try to find the reason for this behavior.  After that, I try to find a solution and give it time to work.

During our childhood, and adult lives, we all have been labeled with something that was false or true. The label may have been difficult to wash off, even if changes have occurred in our lives or in the children, or the animal's behavior or maturity.

Gus, the dog that I've written about in previous columns, growled and snapped at his family after a traumatic experience, and was abandoned because of it. In his journals, it said that the family considered him aggressive and stressed out. A few months later when I met Gus for the first time, there was no growling or stress in him.

Gus may have been both at one time, but now had a label that made no one want to tackle him. No one even wanted to test him or read about his past and put one and one together, do a little psychological math.

Animals are thinking and feeling beings. Just because they cannot deal with an iMac computer or drive a car does not mean that they lack the same emotional feelings as us. Gus now lives with me and is a great darling.

Over time, we grow into the emotions and not in the words. Follow the emotions and release the time, feel behind your closed eyes. It's not that scary once you manage to release the stress, quiet the opposite.
That’s Amore

Monday, August 6, 2012


This is what AWL do the best. Rescuing sick animals from the streets or shelters. We then have our favorite Dr Damiani, Dr Fransesco and Dr Fransesca examine, do surgery, prescribe the correct medicine. AWL volunteers takes the dog(s) to our Hospice Casa dell Amore for healing, treatment with healthy food, and a big amount of love.

But without your help we cannot do all this. You are a very important link in our team. Thank YOU for support, love, donations and sharing our stories to friends and families. Please know how grateful we are.

Elisabeth Kruse (Germany)
Ulla Linders (Sweden)
Raffaella Cremonini (Italy)
Sandra Jontz (USA/Italy)
Stefania Romano (Italy)
Isabella Fuligni (Italy)
Silvia Battilocchio (Italy)
Mercer Family (USA/Sweden)
Alessandra Rochas (Italy)
Mitra Talarman (Sweden/Italy)
Malin & Juan Wahlin (Sweden)

AWL Sweden
Rose Marie Holm
Charlotta Frederiksson donation to GUS
And as always from
Per Nordgren
Susanne Pettersson
Anders Berg
Elena Adonis
Anna Buhre
Ritva Bokemark
Helena Wahlstrom
Elisabeth Oldgren
Mariette Akerlind
Wivi Karlsson
Jane Lundberg
Susanne Frej
Barbro Wennerholm
Katarina Segerhjelm
Ulf Salomonsson

That's Amore, thank you.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


 GUS is saying THANK YOU to the warm hearted organization in Sweden "Radda Vara Djur Mot Misshandel NU (Save Our Animals Against  Abuse NOW"

They sent GUS a donation since his story touched them very much. --You can read about GUS on earlier blogs.--

 We bought GUS a harness since he is still coughing a lot after the house fire. Also he is having a hard time gaining weight so we had to buy him a special food that is being cold pressed. And a bag of pig ears.
Millions thanks to the whole group, and to Ulrika Bergsdotter  You are wonderful.

Please visit them on Face Book "Radda vara husdjur mot misshandel NU"


Stella Nutella is a cudle-bug. She doesn't like to go out, only to lay inside the whole day. 

Couch and bed are her favorite places. If she herself could decide, you would have to scratch her the whole day. She doesn't like children that doesn't know manors. 

Stella is 3 years old, calm, sterilized and would be perfect in a home with a garden, and someone who loves to be home the whole time. Perfect; the person  works from home, or an older person who want company. 
She is the perfect reading partner. And she knows how to laugh. She is not a "typical" Dalmation. Doesn't bark and is housebroken. She is an Italian beautiful soul.