What Broke my Heart in Florence

I love dogs. May it be an abandoned mutt or an aggressive pit bull. I just love dogs.


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As we roamed around the streets of Florence, something caught my attention even more than the Duomo or any museum did.  It can almost be described as a “tourist attraction” as it draws the crowd, but because of my huge respect to the creature; let me say it is more of a local trying to observe the unfamiliar faces around him (or her if it’s a she). I baptized the poor fellow, “Alex”.

"Alex"

Alex works for his master while sitting patiently at his square meter of Florentine ground equipped with a mat, water dish, and a “coin dish”. I gave him a coin but later on I realized I should have given him food instead. Alex’s owner stays on the opposite sidewalk, keeping an eye on his business. He is obviously not doing his dog any justice. I feel so sorry for Alex.

This broke my heart more because I remembered my dog, Mateo.

My dog and constant companion, Mateo

Alex may not be living a life as comfortable as Mateo does. And I don’t think Mateo and I will frequent the streets begging for money or food. One thing I’m sure of:  both dogs deserve love and respect. They offer a special kind of friendship so deep and true even humans find it hard to understand.

If you happen to visit Florence, don’t forget about Alex. You might see him tired, but full of hope, at his same spot on the sidewalk. If you don’t mind, please give him a gelato for me. Knowing that you made him feel loved will be one of your most wonderful experiences in Florence.

37 comments:

  1. Oh poor Alex! This broke my heart, too. I love dogs, really love dogs and how sad to see him in such a situation. You are so right, any dogs deserve love and respect. I just hardly believe there are some people treating their dogs as a slaver for money and food. Surely I will not forget him if I some day have a chance to visit Florence.
    Glad you had a wonderful time there.
    Hugs to you, LS

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    1. Yes, it was really sad to see dogs treated like that. I hope Alex is fine. Thanks, LS!

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  2. Very sad. Is Mateo a maltese? I had a maltese named Snowball. he was the best dog Ever! Have a great weekend!

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    1. Mateo is a Havanese. Maltese and Havanese both belong to the Bichon group, Mateo and Snowball are cousins :) Thank you, Laura!

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  3. Hello, Lea.

     Your sweet message and works charms my heart.

     I thank for your usual and hearty support.
     The prayer for all peace.

    Have a good week-end. From Japan, ruma❃

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  4. Oh poor sweet Alex! My heart goes out to the little feller. Your dog is a cutie. Mateo is an adorable name. I've never had a dog due to respiratory problems. I adore them from a distant :)

    Dee

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  5. I think this is terrible to see, I have a dog Amber is her name, and she means everything to me.
    Would rather have something to eat less so than with my Amber to go.
    Here is a link where you can see my dog.
    http://www.digi-irma.nl/fotoalbum/honden/maltheser.html
    Have a great weekend.
    Greetings Irma

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    1. I visited the link, Amber is so cute. Thank you, Irma!

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  6. Mateo is a sweetie! We lost our Golden Retriever about 1 1/2 years ago. So sad. Maybe we need a Mateo?

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    1. Yes, a dog is always a good addition to the family :) Thank you, Lowell!

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  7. This is a sweet post, Lea! Your dog Mateo is adorable! Does his name mean anything or do you just like that name?
    Thanks for visiting my blog:)
    Elisabeth

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    1. Named him Mateo because he is from Italy. Thank you, Eli!

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  8. oh my gosh. we all would have given Alex money too!
    Mateo is so adorable!

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  9. very very nice Mateo, il love a dog!

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  10. Gracias por tu visita y por seguirme.
    Yo también te sigo.
    Un beso y buen fin de semana

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  11. OH this breaks my heart. I have a big place in my heart for animals and seeing stuff like this just crushes me. I just have to love the animals that I can care for as much as I can!

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    1. They are special creatures capable of giving much love, it's so sad a lot are suffering like Alex. Thank you, Cassandra!

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  12. This is really sad! I dislike it whenever people use children or animals, in whatever way that may be.
    Most of all to see this poor doggy(Alex), I instantly want to take it home with me. :(

    Also, my mother always says... if you see a poor (wo)man on the street begging for money, ask them if they would be okay to have food given to them. Their answer will tell you if they really are poor.

    BTW, Mateo looks so sweet!!

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    1. Couldn't agree more, PinkPanthress. Thank you!

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  13. Hi Lea!
    Such a beautiful and sweet dogs, who deserves respect. they all deserve it, just give unconditional and true love, I agree with you.

    I understand your explanation on the previous blog, I had noticed. But of course I remember you. You are always very nice and friendly.
    Hugs, have a nice weekend.

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    1. So sweet of you, Carolina. Thank you so much!

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  14. Poor Alex. I would have been hartbroken too, he looks so sad.
    Mateo is a cutie!

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  15. You have got to be one smart lady. I want to thank you for visiting my blog. It has not been to cheerful lately, but do not usually have so many problems. Mateo is adorable! I love dogs and don't remember when I didn't have one. Ours is a beagle, named Spunky. He is getting old compared to most dogs and I don't want to think to far ahead. His legs are getting stiff and we are doing all we can for him. He is about 11 years old and he is special because he will probably be our last dog. at our age.

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    1. I saw Spunky, he's a cute doggy and he's lucky to have owners like you. Thank you, Lucy!

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  16. Oh Lea I just loved your story. When I hear or see things like this, it just breaks my heart. I hope after his day of working his owner lavished lots of love and attention and food on him. I hope so x

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    1. Yes, I do hope so, too. Thank you, Teresa!

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  17. I am a softie where animals are concerned this was heartbreaking.

    Yvonne.

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  18. Now that I've nearly short circuited my pad with tears and the sadness of the whole deal is settling, I'm angry.
    I would have liked to drop a coin, wait around the corner for his owner to collect the "goods" and I would politely walk up to him and kick him right in the crotch! I love animals much more than some people! And Mateo is a beauty!

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    1. It's so heartbreaking to see animals being treated like that. Thank you, Bloodhounded!

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