May 21, 2012
Having heard so much talk about this place called ‘Paris’, I was keen to cock my leg against some notable Parisian feature, such as the Eifel Tower, in order to announce my arrival to those with a nose for these things. Once into the oddly-named Paris Arsenal marina, my co-guardians started wittering on (especially the one that likes to refer to himself as ‘Popeye’) about all the cultural excursions they could drag me around over the next couple of days. However I had to chuckle because all their carefully laid plans were scuppered by the poor spell of weather that closed in on us, whilst Wales apparently experienced a heat-wave! More significantly, I also heard them complaining that there were surprisingly few places where dogs were allowed to sniff and pee (and worse), despite the much vaunted love of canines attributed to the French populace.
Putting these tribulations to one side, things started reasonably well with a walk to the Bois to Vincennes, during which I met my French double, Jaques, looking adoringly at me through a glass door. But then the heavens opened the following day and we started to experience cabin fever after hours of being cooped up while “il pleut des cords”, as I heard one of my guardians mutter. After a while it became too much and we abandoned the dry for a trudge through the rain to that small corner of Les Jardins de Luxembourg actually open to dogs. Mind you, that’s when things went pear-shaped for me. As I waited patiently for my compatriots to put on their many waterproof layers (God how they take an age!), I decided quite stupidly to make an ill-judged leap onto a neighbouring vessel from the safety of the pontoon. Alas, the rain-soaked surface was just too slippery and much to my horror I slithered off into the grey and litter-strewn water of the marina! As I spluttered to the surface thinking my end was nigh, I was suddenly hoist back onto the pontoon coughing and spluttering. If this wasn’t enough of an indignity, my two guardians seemed to find the whole incident highly amusing!! Still, after a bit of drying and pampering the sun came out, and I regained my composure with a bit of sunbathing in the cockpit. All-in-all, it was quite a dog’s life in Paris!