Friday 21 August 2020

Harp & Hound - Official Magazine IWCA - Surviving COVID-19 by Alex Riva

Harp & Hound 

Surviving COVID-19 in Italy

By Alex Riva


After a  very difficult 2019, I never thought I would have to face a worse 2020... The news of the Coronavirus pandemic in Italy left me incredulous to say the least. I was in the United States to pick up a puppy when my wife  Ottavia on the phone called, “you can't imagine what's going on here in Italy.”  She kept me informed daily, since I was traveling to the USA to pick up our new baby, (to be honest she was our  second  puppy  this year). A dream come true.

The first pup had been the male:  Castlekeep’s Evil Enchanter. I had been in Ontario to pick him up from my dear friend,  Donna Tomson. Now, two weeks later, I had flown back – this time to the USA – to pick up a puppy from Lynn Simon in Minnesota, another special friend of mine. My stay was very short. I’d flown into Denver, driven to Minnesota, and picked up Elvira (Rockhart Mistress of the dark), with plans to fly back home out of Denver.

 I was in my hotel room with Elvira  when Ottavia informed me about the first restrictions  and  the first checks being done in my country. I was scared and worried, not so much for me, but for Elvira. What kind of  checks would there be at the airports of Denver, Frankfurt, and Milan that she would undergo? But what else could I have done? We had to get home. So I faced the things. My stay in the USA was short but full of emotions.

This was not a normal trip. At least, all things went the right way, and checkpoint after checkpoint we came through, and were finally home. Surely this virus  has changed  life for all of us. First of all for the Italians, certainly it  will change the “ life perspective and habits”  of many. On 25 of February the quarantine began for my region “Emilia Romagna”, one of the hardest hit in Italy.  We are still full of restrictions and for many months we'll have more restrictions. I feel  lucky because I am working as an administrative manager for a company that produces Parma ham.  We  can work because we are  doing it for the food industry. 

Fortunately, even with all the restrictions, we can live! We can buy food and other things for us and for our furry family. Looking at the bright side? We have more time to cuddle our beloved dogs, we can walk with them in our property, luckily it’s a very green property  full of trees. We have a small river too. In this bad period we must feel lucky, being able to live safe, and most of all, not having lost anyone close to us for  this horrible Covid 19. Secondly, we are two times lucky because the closeness of these wonderful creatures makes us forget everything bad in our life. Before Covid-19 I had to face several losses, I have to thank this wonderful breed that gave me the strength to face everything that sadly  happened. Right now, our family has extended, and it’s not excluded that new surprises will come soon.

Irish Wolfhounds lovers, please, stay safe! Stay strong! At the same time never stop dreaming. Dreams can come true ...