Thursday, September 15, 2011

les chiens de paris

The Dogs Of Paris
Parisians own about 200,000 dogs. What I discovered is that dogs in Paris are an integral part of the fiber of daily life. They accompany their owners to restaurants, up-scale hair salons, the Metro, and absolutely everywhere in the streets.

It’s said that dogs often look like their owners. Well, we know that Parisian women have long held the title of "queens of fashion and style" and their furry canine companions don't fall too far behind. Sometimes they're on leash, and if tired, they may be carried in their owner's arms or put in a baby buggy. But more often than not, they're free-wheeling through the streets, leashless, impeccably behaved, and always in the company of their owners. 

The thought of dogs going leashless, especially in a big city, is totally foreign to the way we Americans live with our dogs. We feel it is pretty much a social obligation to make sure our dogs are "under control,"-- a physical, externally imposed control. In Paris, on the other hand, dogs are much more under control than in the U.S., but it seems to be a control that is internalized within the dog, who has been so extensively socialized that the dog is not in need of a constraining leash. My 2 Yorkies certainly would not fit into this category.

Dogs meeting in the street in Paris don't snarl, snap, or even bark. They interact in a casually friendly fashion, or they may just ignore each other. It's as if the dogs are being allowed to achieve their full, "dogly potential".

Dogs are a regular part of the restaurant scene too. I have seen this for myself. If they belong to a customer, they lie quietly under the table or in their owner's lap until the ever-so-long meal is over. If there's an extra chair, no one minds if the dog sits at the table. Everyone admires him, and he is openly offered tidbits. No one, as far as could be found, has ever even become ill in Paris due to this terrible infraction of public health. If the dog belongs to the owner of the restaurant, he usually has a world-weary air and ignores most everyone.

Dogs are accepted just about everywhere in France. And where they're not accepted, this is announced as often as not with the phraseology: "We are very sorry that our friends the dogs are not allowed for...(particular reasons stated). Even where "not allowed," Parisians--who are insouciant about expressed rules but absolutely respectful of unexpressed rules--will typically take their dogs in anyway. And because social interaction and relationship is so important to French commerce, the owner of the establishment is not about to ask the customer to leave his friend outside (unwritten rule). What are rules made for, anyway, if not to be broken?

Source: Information was compiled from various websites.
You might also like to read: Bringing your pets to Paris



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rather be in paris