Dida and Gioia from Portland, OR


Human: Dida

Canine: Gioia

Location: Portland, OR

Type: Jack Russell Terrier / Australian Shepherd mix

Our Story:

Living abroad in Italy was great: travel opportunities, savory food, and beautiful people–I had no complaints! When the holidays rolled around there was always a family who would adopt me for the day. A few Christmases ago I took a 10-hour overnight train ride from Vicenza, my home, to Naples, home to some family friends. Upon arriving at the station, my friend recounted a heart-wrenching story: two boys in her neighborhood watched a man throw a tiny puppy in the dumpster and they ran to her for help.

When the car pulled up to her house, there she was: a vivacious, perky little pup with one bright-blue eye and one brown eye. She did a little dance

for us and spun around.

Over the course of my weeklong stay with the family, I fell in love with the puppy, but refused to entertain the idea of keeping her. I lived in an apartment, worked full time and had a LIFE. But with a little convincing, before I knew it I was hiding a clandestine pup under my train seat for the ride back up to Vicenza.

Gioia Foxy Cannavaro (named after the Italian world cup soccer team captain, Fabio Cannavaro) soon assumed the role of my beloved sidekick, going

everywhere with me. The whole city of Vicenza knew us as a team and she was welcome in bars, stores, and restaurants. But life in Italy is not the same

for a doggy as in Portland, Oregon, and after a year, and much deliberation, we made the move back to the US together.

Gioia went from an abandoned street pup, thrown in a dumpster to die, to queen of our castle, with an EU passport and all! She’s my real-life Cinderella!