Dog’s Day Out in Paris
Mon 23 Apr 2012
Chula Wula D’Augue has her fair share of savoir faire. A sheltie by birth and a Frenchie by choice, she flew 11 hours from Carmel Valley, California (between a rottweiler and a standard poodle), to land in the City of Light. She arrived ready for adventure. We know—we were there at Charles de Gaulle to open her cage and see her twirl around. Soon we were all settled into an atmospheric apartment rental in the Marais.
The next day was dog’s day out in Paris!
For Chula, it began with a wobbly walk on cobblestones through the courtyard of our apartment and a big jump to get over the bar that frames the heavy doors to the street. She was out! From there, the three of us headed to rue de Rivoli for a cab.
Getting around is always a trick when you travel with a dog in Paris. The metro doesn’t allow dogs of Chula’s size, and only one in every three taxis (our estimate) is willing to take them. Good thing Chula’s cute (her name means “pretty” in Spanish), and that day she was cute enough to charm the driver of the first taxi. He dropped us off at Pont Alexandre.
Of the 37 bridges that cross the Seine in Paris, the Pont Alexandre, named after the czar of Russia, is my favorite. With its Art Nouveau design, it leads in style to the glass-roofed Grand Palais. This magnificent bridge, the Grand Palais and the Eiffel Tower were finished in 1889 for the Paris World Exposition. I knew Chula would love to prance across the Seine! And she did, pausing by the nymphs to stand on her hind legs and have a looooong look down the Seine.
View over the shoulder of the nymph in the middle of Pont Alexandre.
Once across, we took a dogleg right to Place de la Concorde. Chula had never seen water bowls as big and fancy as the ones there. (That’s when she realized the French have the right respect for dogs.) She liked getting her nose wet in these fountains, but they were just a quick stop to the real action at the north end of the Tuileries. That’s where dogs go to have fun. She couldn’t stray into the gardens, however. A dreaded NO DOGS sign, like those at the museums, the metro and most other parks, blocked her way.
A typical NO DOGS sign—this one even excludes dogs on a leash.
At bistros, though, Chula was always welcome! She positioned herself to catch bits of crunchy French bread. She lapped from her personal water bowl. She developed excellent under-the-table manners. And today, on her first day out in Paris, when we dillydallied over coffee, Chula caught some z’s.
Maybe she was a little jet-lagged, but not too tired to make one last stop at the Pont des Arts, where we bought a red lock with a heart and affixed it to the fence. Lovers do this in Paris, and rumor has it that they throw the key in the Seine. We kept the key, though, and put it on Chula’s collar with her other tags. After all, in Paris or not, she has the key to our hearts forever.
Lovers’ padlocks on the Pont des Arts.
Sheron Long is the author of Dog Trots Globe—To Paris and Provence, a newly released travelogue and photo book of France. Hardcover book available from OIC Books and Amazon, which also carries the standard eBook. Enhanced eBook with embedded videos and music available from Apple for iPad. Keep up with Chula’s continuing adventures on her Facebook page. Just search for “Chula Wula D’Augue” and ask to be her friend.
Text copyright © Sheron Long. Images copyright © Robert and Sheron Long. All rights reserved.
Editor’s note: Why not take your pup on one of our Girls’ Guide to Paris walking trips? Be sure to bring along a collapsible bowl and some water.