Remember That One Time in Milan When…

Remember That One Time in Milan When…

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…A Dog Chewed Sergio’s Insole!

The location

We arrived in Milan after several days in Zurich doing a house sit. We took the Bernina Express train to Tirano, which naturally led us to conclude that we must spend some time in nearby Milan. We planned to be in Milan for five days before continuing our travels in Cairo, Egypt. We needed a place to stay; one that would be near city center, allow us to get some work done when we weren’t sightseeing (desk space and Wi-Fi), and not break the bank. We have many tools in our toolbox when it comes to lodging, and in this case decided to find accommodations on Airbnb (use our link to save $40 off your first stay, and we get credit too!). Since we had recently purchased Airbnb gift cards on Amazon with an American Express Offers promotion that gave us 20% off (Sorry! The promotion is no longer valid), Airbnb was our best lodging option.

We searched Airbnb and settled on a well-priced, private bedroom listing. We used the instant booking feature and made our reservation for our entire stay in Milan. The location of the room offered a large grocery store within walking distance, a tram stop on the corner, and a metro stop within a mile-walk (or tram ride). The cost was fantastic at $25 a night, but a steal at $11.00 a night after coupons and discounts were applied! We had a place to work, that included Wi-Fi and access to the kitchen to cook our meals. To top it off, the hosts were welcoming, kind, and answered all of our questions about Milan.


Our time in Milan! Clockwise (from the top): Us at Arco Della Pace, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, the Little Madonna that tops the Milan Cathedral (Duomo), the Milan Cathedral (Duomo), San Bernardino alle Ossa, statues in the Casa Dei Corii Park.


The Dog

Not the same dog, but you get the idea.

The Airbnb listing didn’t mentioned anything about a dog in the space, however, we weren’t deterred when we were welcomed by one. We’ve become very accustom to having pets around, since we’ve been doing so much house sitting around Europe. Plus, we both very much enjoy the company of cats and dogs in general. So, when ‘Ice’, a six-month old pit-bull greeted us when we entered the home, we gave him a big ‘hello’ as well. He was huge for his age, had a beautiful golden brown and white coat, and was calm and loving.

Our Shoes

When we started our yearlong travel adventure, we pushed ourselves physically on a regular basis. When we were sightseeing in London, we found ourselves walking 8-13 miles daily, for nearly two weeks, and without a break. Over time, because we didn’t give ourselves adequate rest and time for healing, we found ourselves suffering from injuries. We quickly learned our lesson and changed our behavior, making sure to get in plenty of time for rest. In an effort to heal, as well as prevent further injury, we sought out SuperFeet insoles for our shoes.

When we originally started looking for Superfeet, we were in Germany. As you can imagine, every country has it's own rules and regulations. In Germany, it turned out that you couldn’t simply buy them off the shelf like you could in the US or the UK. Instead, you need to visit a specialist, like a podiatrist, and have them prescribed. Furthermore, the cost was prohibitive to us, as foreigners who don't receive German healthcare benefits (a pair was over $300!). So needless to say, so we waited until we were in Edinburgh, UK. Once in Edinburgh we called around and found, thankfully, that not only did stores carry them in the colors we needed (green for Shannon’s high arches, and black for Sergio’s flat feet), but they also carried them in Sergio’s size, an enormous size 15. Between Sergio’s flat size 15 feet and Shannon’s high arches finding anything shoe/foot related can be a challenge! We ended up making our purchase from Cotsworld Outdoor on Rose Street in Edinburgh; they were fantastic in answering our questions, spent about an hour with us finding the right colors and size, and they even cut the insoles to fit our shoes!

Since purchasing them, we've been using them daily, and boy have they seen a few miles across six countries (and counting)! One thing we both do for maintenance of our shoes and our insoles is to air them out daily. This routine is vital, because after walking several miles our feet sweat and we want to make sure we keep them from smelling and prematurely deteriorating. We untie our shoes, pull out the insoles, and put them in a place where they get fresh air, preferably outside. When we can’t put them outside, like in the Airbnb we were at in Milan, we set them out of the way on the floor in our room to air.

The Incident

Now, as you may know, dogs like to chew on things. Because of this, and just for our privacy in general, we’re always careful to close the door to our room. The room in Milan was no different, we always closed the door after entering or leaving the room. However, the doors in the home were metal and hollow (Sergio here! I remember them being hollow, wood particle board doors). Meaning, that if you shut them too hard, they would make a loud ‘thumping’ noise. It was a constant balance between shutting them softly, as to not make too much noise, and pulling them firmly closed to make sure the door fully latched shut.

The People would like to submit to evidence 'Exhibit A': Sergio's right shoe insole that was destroyed on the night in question.

A couple of days into our stay, we awoke to get ready for a day of sightseeing in Milan. We were ready to leave; we just needed to put on our shoes. Of course, this meant putting the shoe insoles back into the shoes after airing them out for the night. Shannon replaced her insoles and tied her shoes. Sergio on the other hand, couldn’t find one of his insoles. We looked all over the room; under the bed, under the desk, even on the bed, and inside the shelving units. It was nowhere to be found. Sergio started to look outside the room and finally found it in the hallway. Sadly, he found it chewed into pieces.

To understand what happened, let us explain the evening before, pieced together from what we recall and what the Airbnb host told us. The night before, when we went to the restroom to brush our teeth we, apparently negotiated the closing of the door too softly and it didn’t fully latch. When we went back to the room, we thought it very odd that the door was wide open, since we knew we purposefully hadn’t left it like that. However, we didn’t think much about it and simply went to sleep. The Airbnb host told us that the night before he was in the living room with Ice, but noticed that he was being especially quiet. He went over to the dog and saw why; he was chewing on an insole from a shoe. He asked the other Airbnb guests if the chewed insole was theirs, and they said ‘no’. Which meant, it was probably ours. He knocked softly on our door, but we’d gone to sleep already, so we didn't answer. The host then set the insoles on a table in the hallway, which we found the following morning.

The After Affects

Sergio had no choice at this point, but to wear his shoes with a partially chewed insole. Because we travel with only a backpack, we don’t have much space for extra things. We’d thrown away the insoles that came with the shoes when we purchased our SuperFeet. With a glass half-full type of positive thinking, we were glad that at least Ice had only chewed the tip of the toe portion of one insole. It seemed probable that it could still be salvaged and used. Sergio walked the remaining days in Milan with a partial insole and claims it wasn’t too uncomfortable.

So, what’s the take away? Lesson learned! We need to double check the door to our room and make sure it’s fully latched. Dogs may be cute, lovable, and not intend any harm, but dogs will be dogs! In the end, we can't blame them. The responsibility to protect our stuff is ultimately on our shoulders.

Sadly, we couldn’t find SuperFeet in Milan or at our next destination in Cairo. Hopefully we’ll find them soon…

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