Tonight I took Chili with me as I walked the kids to choir rehearsal at the Cathedral. It’s about a 20 minutes walk at a fast clip or 30 minutes average. It’s quite a roundtrip for a dog. Oh, he’s up for it but as we were walking back home, I was wondering what he was thinking about this adventure of ours. He certainly doesn’t care that he gets lovely strolls overlooking the sparkling Eiffel Tower almost every evening. He’s got to wonder what is up with all the people on the sidewalks. And the smells! You would think he had never seen a car tire but he’s obsessed with them.
Many people ask how Chili is doing so we wanted to share some of his experiences and some changes in his life.
Chili received his first grooming on Thanksgiving Day. Amy came to the apartment and set up shop our in little front hallway with the bathroom around the corner as her bathing area. There was a bit of crying when she first started (no, it wasn’t from Tom) but if others removed themselves from his field of vision he was okay. Amy, who hails from Bermuda, came here four years ago, fell in love with a French boy and then decided she wanted to groom dogs! She was a lovely girl and it was kind of nice to be here during the process although we tried to stay out of her way more than anything else. Chili is quite handsome now and I’m sure he feels better with less hair and shorter nails. We did not go with the French poodle look.
It took him awhile, but Chili is now completely comfortable going to the bathroom on cement. We do have a couple areas that have some grass, like the Trocadero…he does enjoy that. But the street outside our apartment is his new ‘spot’. Apparently it is for many dogs and I think that’s why he likes smelling tires so much. We carry our little bags with us because both Tom and Julian have fallen prey to stepping in something they didn’t want to so we are doing our part to keep the sidewalks and streets clean. There is, apparently, a hefty fine for not cleaning up after your dog which they started about 10 years ago when they really started cleaning up Paris. Can’t say I’ve seen anyone ever get tickets. They are all busy writing parking tickets.
We brought a very large bag of dog food with us one, because we had it on hand and didn’t want to store it and two, that way we wouldn’t have to worry about finding food for him right after we got here. We have now found out that dog food is incredibly expensive. What cost us $17 in the US will cost us 51 euros (near $65) in Paris. That’s a bit of a difference. I’ve given up on lugging incredibly large things down the streets of Paris so have taken to buying a smaller bag of food at a fairly close grocer. The food consists of three different pieces, one representing beef and the other two legumes (veggies). Chili tends to eat the most when we are having dinner, which I think it pretty funny. Anyway, the other night we watched him. He would take a piece of food from his bowl. If it was a veggie he would drop it on the floor next to his bowl and go in for another one. But if it was beef, he would carry it to the other side of a small rug and eat it, leaving only veggie pieces. He does, in the end, eat all his veggies, but not after casting them aside first! It is quite humorous to watch.
He still loves his leash and when you ask him if we wants to go for a walk, he looks up and tilts his head like, “Are you saying what I think you’re saying?” and then gets very excited. If we don’t have lots of time we just head down the elevator and out to the street. But most times we walk him to the bridge over the Seine. He’s a lucky dog to have such a beautifully landscaped walk. Or maybe we’re just lucky he offers us the excuse to go out and enjoy the view each night. Many of Tom’s night photos he has on his Twitter feed (to the right of the website) are from these nightly Chili walks.
Tout en tout (all in all), he is doing well. He walks to school some mornings, gets lots of attention from the kids’ friends when they are here on playdates, recognizes the sound of the elevator reaching our floor and heads to the door, enjoys seeing other dogs (there are many), and has yet to visit a cafe. I suppose I’ll need to take him to a cafe once, just to say we did it, but it doesn’t seem like it would be a very relaxing experience for me.
We can’t imagine not having him here with us. We love his greetings when we get home and everyone wants to snuggle with him when we’re reading together at night.
Good dog, Chili.