It is mid-summer, and Italians can be forgiven for turning their attention away from politics, if only briefly. To what? Here’s the surprise: to their animals. It is a commonplace that until now Italians have not been considered great animal lovers. “Why, we don’t even have a word in Italian for pets!” our dog-loving Italian friend, a former diplomat, protested the other day, as he walked his beloved dog. If not, they have pets, and how.