Travelling through Italy we happened upon these two Maremma sheepdogs near Sienna. A rare sight nowadays, these large dogs are traditionally left with flocks of sheep to see off predators, which on this occasion included me! Fair enough, I suppose…

It has taken quite a while to get past the snow on this trip, but at least the French and Italians have the equipment to cope with it. However pretty it is, we reckon we still prefer living where it is a rarity and we don’t have to maintain a fleet of snow ploughs.

On to Brindisi now to deliver Patrick the hamster before setting off for the Greek island of Chios with five patient but feisty cats.

Keeping predators at bay