One raining winter night, when Nightingale was almost
2 years old, she had a really horrifying experience.
While she was asleep in her velvet basket, thieves irrupted
in to my house in Italy and stole everything of value
including Nightingale. Poor little one, I guess she
tried to run away but she was never a good runner! So
she was petrified…and in my dreams and in my thought
I only could imagine her feelings and her terror. Her
terror was big like the entire world. My loving family
spent almost two weeks to try to find her. They placed
ads in the local newspapers, posted posters on streets,
met with the policemen (carabinieri) …but nothing!
Two terrible and anguished weeks! For me and my family,
Nightingale was more important of all the jewelry and
money stolen in our house. We badly wanted to have her
On a Monday morning, exactly two weeks from the
disappearing, we received a nasty letter: "You
want to have your useless dog back you give us money
... lots of money!"
" No way! " - Completely and absolutely
against my dad's principle and integrity, against all
his beliefs and ideals, his morality, against his opinion.
" Please .... I cannot just live her and
forget everything about her!" - I finally convinced
him to pay a small ransom. Yes, this was outrageous
but we did not have any other choice and any real assistance
from anyone. In the end we got the poor girl back.
When these thieves stole Nightingale, her long
coat was wrapped in the curlers (like all show dogs),
she also had a pink satin jacket which was to protect
her hair. But when she came back home she looked pathetic
and miserable. When she was returned to us, for a long,
long moment I almost did not recognize her. She was
completely nude. Oh no!! Her marvelous coat was shaved
off, just a few hair on top of her spine and on her
heartbreaking face. I could see she was abused. She
was in shock, she missed two teeth, she refused to eat,
she was terrorized. For weeks she hid under the sofa
or under the bed and it seemed she refused to live.
We almost lost her. Her personality was irrefutably
changed and her trust for human beings completely destroyed.
We really never knew what terrible thinks happened to
After that horrible experience Nightingale became
very possessive with all my family, and very timid with
our guest. Eventually her hair grew back, she got a
little more confident with strangers but she never participated
to a Dog Show anymore. She just decided to became my
moms pet! Nightingale needed lots of love. After her
terrible experience, Nightingale started to have epileptic
crisis every time we left her alone or when it rained.
When Nightingale was three years old, she had
a false pregnancy, and the day she was to give birth,
she disappeared for almost 24 hours ... I was in Italy
and my parents have this big house with a very large
property. We tried to find her, went all over, called
her ... Nothing! We were very worried and afraid ..
But that night, very late she came back. She was all
dirty, full of scratches but with something very special.
Her eyes were full of life and joy like a heroine who
just won her big battle. She had a scary kitten of about
two weeks in her mouth. This small kitten was so heavy
for her small mouth but she was very happy and proud,
finally she had her own baby. She put the kitten in
her basket and started to clean him and kiss him. We
never knew where she found that small kitten. We figured
out there was a litter some place in our garden and
she stole a kitten from there. She raised this kitten
as he was a Yorky! We named him Sirius. She was very
jealous and possessive of him. Very protective and attentive!
She gave him milk and she stopped having epileptic seizures
and no longer afraid to stay alone.