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Lyla Does (or Doesn’t) Do Paris
It hasn't been an easy transition for the little beagle/boxer mix who relocated from the hillsides of L.A. to the bustling streets of Paris. It appears that Lyla managed the 17 hour flight on AIR FRANCE much better than she does a 15 minute walk down the streets of the Marais.
It hasn't all been downhill. Some progress has been made. She has conquered the elevator designed by Alfred Hitchcock, a monumental hurdle in itself. She has learned to jump off the bed onto the parquet floors without all four paws going in a different direction. However, the streets of the Marais are still a war zone. At the sight of a truck, or the sound of a metal awning being raised, Lyla is paralyzed.
She refuses to walk on. She is inconsolable.
On one occasion after hearing "Lyla please come" far too many times, several British tourists chimed in as well. It was a chorus of "Lyla please come" resounding through the Marais, all to no avail.
We have considered Doggie Prozac, a French dog psychologist and even a Tom Cruise Scientology intervention. So far, our greatest hope lies in the local boulangerie where we believe they make the best baguette in Paris. Luckily, Lyla agrees wholeheartedly. Baguette in hand, we stroll down the streets, coaxing Lyla with her favorite treat. Gollum and his passion for "my precious" in LORD OF THE RINGS has nothing on Lyla and her desire for the crusty manna from heaven.
Lyla has also had to adjust to seeing other dogs. Having lived in a very rural area, rabbits and squirrels were her only four legged acquaintances. Now she lives in the Marais where dogs quite simply rule the streets. I had heard that French bulldogs were the dog of choice in Paris, but they are definitely out numbered by the Jack Russell Terrier. There must have been quite a breeding frenzy because Jack Russells are everywhere. You cannot go 15 feet without seeing one or two or even three. And much to our delight the Marais also has a substantial British bulldog population. They all appear to be walking themselves and bear a striking resemblance to either Winston Churchill or Charles Laughton.
The cafés are adorned with dogs. Some sit on the street, others sit on chairs or stools, perfectly content to people watch. Lyla has made her first sojourn to a café. It was the small tabac across from our building. She survived the indescribable sound of an expresso machine constantly at work and the lively chatter of people enjoying their afternoon break. Of course for Lyla it was the croissant that made it all endurable. We are hoping that we can move on to a bigger café next week. Lyla is simply mad for pizza crust and this particular café makes the best 4 cheese pizza we know.
Hopefully as the weeks turn into months, Paris will become less of a shock and more of a joy for our dog. She has already been given kisses by an elderly woman, had her picture taken by a Japanese tourist who exclaimed she was "beautiful," and she has a meaningful relationship with a poodle named Johnny Rockford. It’s a start!
C. Carlyn Snell