So hubs left Rome on September 19, having spent 5 weeks with me. Zeph and Zsa Zsa were sent on a holiday to the breeder’s kennels. Although Zeph’s mum, Vera, is at the kennels and Zsa Zsa is the Princess of the Kennels – we were a tad worried that they’d both forget their human parents. We only rang the breeder once, no doubt sounding like hysterical people asking if Zeph and ZZ were okay. She sent a photo of them playing in the snow to placate us.

The last couple of weeks of his time with me in Rome, hubs was getting homesick and really missing the dogs (mmm…wonder if he prefers the dogs to me?!). He arrived back in NZ late Wednesday and promptly went to the kennels. He tells me that Zeph and ZZ immediately recognised him and ran to the car to get in. Well, ZZ did – she loves the car – Zeph needs encouragement to get in.

When they all arrived back to the house, the dogs ran upstairs to check their sleeping crates, then ran outside to chase birds. Hubs reports they immediately fell into their old routines of running, sniffing and sleeping. The next morning, around 6.30am Rome time, I had a Skype conversation with them.

I was really wanting to see Zsa Zsa because I knew she would have changed. When I left New Zealand in late July, she was around 5 months old and still had that puppy look, especially in the face. Now, she’s 8.5 months old and I couldn’t BELIEVE how much she has grown. She now looks like a lanky teenager. Hubs says she can now run faster than Zeph, which will really piss him off!

Zeph didn’t want to Skype. He was too busy running around like a lunatic in the front yard, chasing birds and butterflies. I could hear the birds chirping – that’s something I’ve missed here in fast-paced Rome. I’ve heard a few black and grey, crow-type birds squawk but that’s about it. The willow tree in the front yard is starting to waken from its Winter slumber and Spring is in the air back home.

Zsa Zsa was fascinated by the iPad that hubs was using to Skype. She came up to the screen to sniff it and, when she heard my voice, she was trying to jump up on the iPad. I’ve noticed that a lot of people land on this blog when they’re searching for whether dogs recognise the human shape on Skype. It’s no scientific test but I’d say nope, they don’t recognise a shape but they certainly do recognise their owner’s voice. The moment ZZ heard my usual call to her, she became visibly excited and starting sniffing the iPad.

She still has the same sweet puppy face but she’s lost the puppyness. Apparently, both Zeph and ZZ are very clingy at the moment. Understandably, since they’ve been at the kennels for five weeks. So hubs is busy taking them to the beach (yes, NZ has beaches – in fact, there’s quite a good one near us) and playing with them.

I can’t wait to get back home and see them. Another 2.5 weeks to go.

Zsa Zsa as a little baby - just a few weeks old.

And Zsa Zsa at 8.5 months old and so clever, she can Skype!