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Blogging from A to Z: D is for Dogs

83239836_10220523379050416_7467507930720370688_oVestibule of the House of the Tragic Poet, showing “Cave Canem” mosaic

Hi, everyone. Today’s entry in my series of facts about Pompeii concerns dogs. In ancient times, as now, people kept dogs as pets. There were many mosaics around the ruins showing dogs. One of the most famous is in the vestibule of the House of the Tragic Poet, which shows a domestic dog with collar and leash and is labeled “Cave canem,” Latin for “beware of the dog.”

There are feral dogs in Pompeii today. They are friendly, cared for by veterinarians, and available for adoption. There was, at one point, a foundation that managed all of this called “Ave Canem” (“Welcome, dog”). Unfortunately, the man put in charge of the

83541148_10220523407971139_6304575316908048384_o“My” Buon Cane, resting on the stones behind me in the Gran Teatro di Pompeii.

foundation absconded with the funds and is now in jail on corruption charges. The dogs are managed by volunteers now, and it is still possible to adopt them. I met one of the splendid Pompeii dogs on my first night in town, and encountered him several times during our visit. It was almost as though this Buon Cane (Italian for “good dog”) had adopted me.

(Photos by the author)

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