Photography ©Tira Howard

Pet Corner

Introducing the Mayor’s Dogs, Pico and Caffi!

as told to Sharon Peterson, written by Nicole Pearson

At home in the Santa Fe’s picturesque, historic district are two Lagotto Romagnolos, a breed of cuddly looking water retrievers whose origins trace to Italy. (Lagòt is Italian for “water dog.”) These faithful members of Mayor Alan Webber’s household are Pico, the three-year-old male who supervises the home, and Caffi, an energetic seven-month-old female. Pico became part of the family after the mayor’s wife, Frances Diemoz, researched breed and went to see a litter. She picked up one of the adorable pups, and it was clear he was going home with her. The Webbers were so pleased with their new family member and the joy Pico brought that they added Caffi a couple of years later.

The breed is active, loyal and companionable. While keen, loving and trainable, they are selective and prefer to associate with other lagottos. Consequently, the Webbers have connected with another lagotto owners so Pico and Caffi can enjoy play dates with kindred spirits. At 7:00 a.m. every Sunday morning, the dogs are at the front door, waiting for Mrs. Diemoz to take them and a friend’s lagotto for a walk.

Caffi loves the water, and despite being a member of a breed of water retrievers, Pico does not; living in the high desert must suit him perfectly!

Caffi loves the water, and despite being a member of a breed of water retrievers, Pico does not; living in the high desert must suit him perfectly! Caffi (short for “Caffeine”) is on the go all day, while Pico prefers the calmer side of life. Each morning Caffi retrieves the newspaper from the driveway, knowing that when she gets back, she’ll be rewarded with a treat. And where is Pico in the morning? He is observing.

Says the mayor, “Caffi thinks I’m a pushover!” With a hardy laugh, he adds, “I think she might be right!” The canines are the lucky recipients of meals prepared by Mrs. Diemoz. The Webbers also indulge the canine duo with treats and games of fetch, although they (and often Pico) give up the game long before Caffi begins to tire.

The Webbers take their dogs on the Acequia Madre trail and for daily walks on a trail behind their home that Mrs. Diemoz helped create. The mayor and his wife appreciate living in a dog-friendly town where many shop owners put out bowls of water and keep dog treats on hand. Undoubtedly, Pico and Caffi feel the same.

A portrait of Mayor Webber and his wife, holding their dogs
Mayor Alan Webber and his wife Frances Diemoz, with their two dogs. Photography ©Tira Howard
Nicole Pearson

Originally from Lawrence, Kansas, Nicole came with her fiancé back to his hometown of Santa Fe after college. They have one son. Nicole has years of experience editing academic manuscripts for publication. She holds multiple degrees, including a BS in speech, language and hearing, and two master’s degrees in education. She loves hiking, camping, reading, collecting bronze sculptures, early mornings and any opportunity to watch live sporting events.


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