Existing Member?

Keith Austin: When the world is your lobster Stories from a former Travel Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald.

Pet hates....

FRANCE | Friday, 10 April 2009 | Views [1147] | Comments [1]

So here we are, on a fast train out of Paris’s Gare de Lyon, and the fun has already started. The blonde woman across the aisle has a little Yorkshire terrier in her handbag. Next to that, in a sort of pseudo sports bag with mesh sides, she has a fluffy white cat. It is 9.05am and the woman is eating a baguette and drinking a can of Heineken.

We are heading for Clermont-Ferrand in southern France for a few days to visit Popsi Bubblehead’s sister. The Bubletetes live in the Lozere region which, as far as I can tell, is a hideously overlooked part of France. When we there a few years ago, in July, it was almost empty of tourists and yet is a most beautiful, wild and wonderful area.

The cat next to us is mostly silent, looking forlornly out of a bag just big enough for it to turn around in. The dog, however, emits the occasional yelp at some ghost or other that only it can see.

Ah, that’s sweet; the dog is now slobbering over one of those never-ending chews. It might stop it barking but God help whoever gets that seat next.

Which brings me back to a pet hate; er, pets hate. In Venice we watched in astonishment as little old ladies in REAL FUR paraded around with dogs wearing coats. One pedigree pooch – and they’re rarely mongrels – even sported a leather bomber jacket and ski boots. OK, I’m lying about the boots.

In Paris recently, behind the Hotel de Ville BHV, we mooched around a shop for dogs where one little chap was being tried out for a pink  halter. There were collars that cost more than everything I was wearing (yes, yes, not difficult, I know) and little pink doggie baby-grows with hoods.

Men stroll the streets carrying their little doggies in coats, women stick them in their bags with their cute little heads looking out in confusion, and I want to scream in their owners’ faces: “THEY’RE ANIMALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PUT THEM THE FUCK DOWN!!!!!”

Oops, and talking of bags, the cat’s out of the bag. Quite literally; it’s now stretched out on the seat alongside the dog. It’s quite charming in a way but Popsi isn’t terribly impressed.

Let’s be honest, it could be worse – the woman could have kids.

PS. I don’t believe it; another woman has just staggered along the aisle with a tabby under one arm. Talk about the Pony Express.

Tags: clermont-ferrand, hotel de ville, lozere, paris, pets, venice

Comments

1

Classic!brilliant,and slightly alarming...

  nikki oneill Apr 11, 2009 4:19 AM

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.


 

 

Travel Answers about France

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.