This week I really feel like a Dog of the World, cuz I got to innerview two pooches, Curley an Matti LaViolette, who were born in The-South-of-FRANCE, an lived inna place called San Tro-Pay, on the Riv vy-AIR-uh. They woofmailed me to see whether I’d like to meet ’em, an even wrote some stuff in FRENCH. I was hopin’ they were bi-linguel, cuz last time I attempted French, I ordered a shoe with cheese.
They were bigger than me, very well-groomed, came right up for the Wag-an-Sniff, Curley first, then after gettin’ the nod from Curley, Matti, too. Curley’s, like, 100-plus pounds, honey-colored, part Malinoise an part Ridgeback, about 11. Matti’s 9 anna half, a Picardy Shepherd, a pretty rare breed, inna rare, white color. She’s All Girl, 70 pounds, long wavy hair all over her head, ears that stick up, sorta like those butterfly dogs, um, Papillons, real pretty. They both had stylish “Florida cuts.”
“Bone-JURE,” said Curley. (They mention bones a lot, I noticed.)
“B’YEN-ve-NEW,” said Matti. “My passport name is Maquisarde, but, see-voo-PLAY, call me Matti. Meet our Mommi Anne an our Daddy, Bill.”
“I shall be the, how you say, ‘Spokespooch,’” said Matti.
We sat in the shade by the pool. I opened my notebook. “I’m eager to hear your story.”
“We are both rescues, and we are both TRAY shan-say (very lucky.) You see, in France, there aren’t any no-kill shelters. Should you be so unfortunate as to be picked up, even if you have a famly but just ran off, you go to dog jail. If you don’t get rescued or adopted in 10 days, you go to a ‘station de morte.’”
“That’s harsh!” I exclaimed.
“See-vray! When Mommi and Daddy got us, at separate times, Curley had only two days left, I had but four. In France, Mommi an Daddy were involved in dog rescue: a group called ‘Jeshi, Second Chance.’ (Jeshi was the first dog it rescued, 18 years ago.) Curley’s been with Mommi an Daddy since he was liddle, around 1. But I was 7 when they got me an, Messieur Bonzo. I was in tray, tray bad shape. I was infested with zillions of ticks an so dirty they thought I was brown. Mommi saved me from the ticks, smushed them all to bits, an the veterinaire helped me get beaucoup better. Curley an I became best frens the moment we met. I was still very weak, and he stayed with me everywhere, to protect me. He knew what I’d been through.”
“Well, you are both pawsome! But how come you moved? I read somewhere that lotsa humans think that place where you lived, the Riv vy-AIR-uh, is Totally Cool Dog Biscuits.”
“It was great fun, we drove to many places, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Spain (we love road tips), but Mommi and Daddy retired, and there’s very liddle for humans to do there, if you’re not a tourist. There were no cultural opportunities. So they decided to fly across The Pond. Woof! THAT was an egg-sperience!”
I was writing like crazy, by that time.
“Mommi finally found an airline that could meet our needs. Lufthansa. It’s German an, in Germany, they really like dogs. ALL their shelters are no-kill. Anyway, for months before we left, me an Curley practiced staying in our comfy boxes, with the doors open at first, then closed. We had our blankets an toys, and we ackshully really liked those boxes by the time we were ready to fly. We drove to Munich (that’s in Germany) and stayed in a pooch-friendly hotel. The next morning at the airport, a veterinaire inspected us, our passports were checked, and we flew straight to North Carolina (where Mommi and Daddy spend the summer). We were in our crates for 13 hours and it was tray bone. When we arrived, Mom accidently let us out of our boxes too soon. When the customs humans saw how nicely we hopped right back in when Mommi asked us to, they EX-paw-dited our check-out, because they knew we needed to Do Our Duty. Merci, Lassie.”
“I guess your life is way different here, right?”
“Oui. We love it!” said Matti.
Lifting his head, Curley added, “We are most fortunate doggies. We are happy as larks here in the USA. Mommi an Daddy have given us a great doggie life.”
“What’s your basic day like?”
“As you can see, we have a so pleasant yard,” Matti gestured. “We do much wrestling around. I frequently swim in the pool. Curley likes it not so much. And me, j’adore l’ocean! We also visit the dog park. See-BONE! Curley knows all the pooches. He keeps an eye on things. Should things, perchance, get too rowdy, he rushes over and politely but firmly breaks it up. One of our favorite dog park frens is a liddle chihuahua, no bigger than Curley’s head!”
“Bein’ from France an all, do you like fancy food? Sauces? Cheese? Fries?”
They laughed. “Non. Mostly kibbles. Dog tummies are the same everywhere, I think,” Matti said.
“It’s been a real pleasure,” I said, rising to leave.
“For us as well,” Matti said.
“Bone-SWAH-ree, Messieur Bonzo,” they called.
Heading home, I was thinking how Totally Cool Kibbles it’d be to have my very own passport, with my pikshure an everything. Even if I don’t ackhully go anywhere. Maybe I’ll ask Grampa about that.
Till next time,