Saturday, June 28, 2014

La Dolce Vita - and hello weekend

This little dude was hanging out near Rome Zoo.
SAT has gone international this week...we're visiting beautiful Italy to work on a project, give some lectures (in English - my Italian is limited to useful phrases like "the cat meows" and "the dog is happy"), check out the animal scene and hang out with some of the world's coolest parasitologists and mycologists! We're also struggling with connectivity issues so profuse apologies to our regular readers. 

There's a lot of history to take in and dogs play a very important role, as in this legend of Romulus and Remus. The print is a bit small but basically Rea Silver was walking through the woods, got chased by a wolf, met Mars - the God of war - had a dalliance and subsequently gave birth to twins. Her uncle wasn't thrilled that she broke her vow of chastity, and very unkindly buried her alive. Charming as he was, he also asked his servant to kill the babies, but he couldn't bring himself to do it (good guy). Instead, he put them in a basket and floated down the river in hope that someone else would find them and take them in. Indeed someone did - but she was a wolf.

The legend of Romulus and Remus in pictures (and in Italian).
Rome is also home to the coolest doors ever.

The doors at Hotel Boscola. Love these.
It's also home to some fantastic parasitologists - more than usual this week as the Italian Society of Parasitologists (Societa Italiana di Parassitologia to be exact) congress took place. The changing landscape of vector-borne diseases was a hot topic (NB no one needs to convince world-leading parasitologists, or indeed parasites, that climate change is real), as were evaluation of different parasiticides and discussion of zoonotic diseases. Important tip: mosquito is zanzane in Italian. Now you know.

With Dr Patrizia Danesi.
Anyway, whilst I've been tippy-tapping away at this end (offline), the internet has offered some interesting tidbits.

Molly, famous for being the dog subject to the first peer-reviewed report of black whipsnake envenomation in Australia, made the NT News this week and looks stunning. Note that dogs bitten should not exactly "wait it out", they do need treatment. You can read the article (or at very least take in the gorgeousness that is Molly) here.

An enterprising couple with some obliging pugs have recreated Game of Thrones in canine style. The costumes are incredible and the dogs appear to be digging it (or at least playing along). Watch it here.

We loved this selection of images of foxes here.

Meantime the entries for our David Attenborough competition keep coming - and they're awesome.

Little Coco adopts her favourite TV position with human companion (under Coco) Merryn. She looks totally chillaxed!

Nothing like a beer and a cuddle from your favourite dog! Poppy and Greg are living the dream.
Keep them rolling in - its nice to see everyone enjoying some rest and relaxation with their non-human companions.

Kirstin's kitty is channelling Silver Chair here: "I'm watching you watch your TV..."
There's still time to enter. Check out the details on our David Attenborough Giveaway post.