I spent a pleasant hour talking to Massimo whilst playing with Olga today. We agreed that having a dog was like having a child. Except that a dog is dependent on you till its dying day. So many things about his methods and philosophy in raising Olga are applicable to children, or at least how I want to raise my child.
For example the idea of balancing love with discipline. The fact that you have to be consistent in the ground rules, because it is deeply confusing to a dog (and a child!) if one day it is okay to do something, and the next day you change the boundary lines. About having so much responsibility but so much fun and so much love.
By the by, speaking of passing pets - I spent a moment of silence in memory of Pyscho the hamster who died today. Her obituary is on Sohni's blog (see right hand links column)