DRESSING THE DOG
Chapter 5 (Part One)
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”
– Nora Ephron
I started off the year recovering from the vicious dog attack and all of my siblings were very sweet to me. I was either on a fluffy bed on the floor or cuddled up next to Mummy, but no one bothered me other than to make a few exploratory sniffs and lick at my nose every so often. All in all, I was an excellent patient, if I do say so myself. I sat very still for the wound cleanings and bandage changes, which Mummy and Daddy did twice-a-day and I was lucky to never get an infection! My vet stopped by the house over the holidays while the office was closed, then we made visits to his office once he had reopened. The recovery would take several months but I was going to make it! We stayed away from the “doggie event circuit” for quite some time and when Mummy decided to get me back out again, she made sure that it was a small meet-up… just to see how things went. I clung to Mummy like glue and wasn’t super excited to be put down anywhere. Hmmm. Mummy thought that maybe we needed to give this a little more time.
Several more months passed and Mummy decided to try again. I was a little more confident but Mummy didn’t think the same SPARK was there, so we decided to scale way back on the meet-ups. I had written a cookbook about a year earlier and asked all of my little doggie friends from around the world to send in their favorite human OR doggie recipes. I compiled the recipes and called the cookbook, “Millie LaRue & Mummy: Cooking With Friends” and part of every sale went to a RESCUE or SHELTER GROUP that we had become involved with over the years. It was something that Mummy and I were both very passionate about and it had been LOTS of hard work. The cookbook is sold through my on-line BOUTIQUE and Mummy and I decided that we would focus more on helping doggies from home. We stayed really busy with our cookbook sales and all of the family helped pack up the orders. Each book was hand-stamped with my very own “pawtograph,” and it made me happy to know that I was able to help doggies in need. Mummy continued to dress us in our matching harnesses and post pictures on my Facebook page. Life was good. Then one day, the traveling bug got to Mummy and she turned to me and said, “Millie, how would you like to go to Paris with me?” I mean, what do you think I said? I said, “OUI, MAMAN!”
PARIS, FRANCE! Just me and Mummy! I had actually been to Europe before with Mummy and Daddy but this trip would be different. We would rent an apartment for a whole month and ask a few friends to join us at different times. There would be no dog events to attend… just me and Mummy exploring the city together. I was hyped up for this idea!!! Once we found the little apartment, which was near the Eiffel Tower, we began to pack. My suitcase was ALWAYS packed first. Mummy said that she could always find clothes for herself wherever she went, but MY clothes were sooooo specialized that no one in the world would have anything like them. So I was always first when it came to packing. This is how she would do it: she would choose a little harness, lay it on the floor, and then find the PERFECT matching hair bow and put it next to the harness. Then she would find a leash to match. Yes, leashes had to match the harness or the WHOLE ENSEMBLE could be thrown off. OH MY GOSH! I have seen many an outfit RUINED by the wrong leash… so don’t even get me started. Once that was done, she chose the next harness. It was OK to use the same leash for multiple harnesses though and when traveling, that was always BEST, since airlines have this CRAZY weight restriction on luggage. Honestly, whoever thought up that one should be hanged. I can promise you, it wasn’t a woman!!! And this process continued until enough cute outfits had been chosen to last for the entire trip. Unfortunately, I was not able to take “an outfit a day” which would have been Mummy’s preference… but the WEIGHT of the suitcase went OVER the restriction and we were forced to compromise with about two dozen outfits, matching bows, coordinating leashes, pajamas, blankies, toys, snacks, food and panties (this was all because of the Katie episode but I always wore panties whenever I stayed in a hotel or someone else’s house).
Years ago, Mummy read the book, “The Secret,” where according to the teachings of that book, if you THINK ABOUT something hard enough… it will happen because the Universe wants only good things for people. Well, she read that book about 12 years ago and KEPT THINKING about a trip like this to Paris, and guess what? WE WERE GOING! I’m not sure I can say it’s because the book really worked though, because 12 years DOES seem a bit long to have to “think about” something, if you ask me! But, before long, the day arrived and I was loaded into my fancy-schmancy doggie carrier that Daddy had purchased for me a few years back when we visited Paris. Mummy had spent an hour looking over the bags on the rue Saint-Honoré before finally deciding on the exact one. I wasn’t crazy about being zipped-up into bags but it was apparently an airline rule, so I went along with it… to a point. But on the long, overnight, international flights, when the lights went out and everyone went to sleep, I didn’t always follow the rules. I just wasn’t meant to be cooped up in a bag, and that is when Mummy would sneak me out and put me under her blanket. Don’t judge me. Things went smoothly while I snoozed under the blanket until it was time for breakfast to be served. I smelled the aroma of bacon and eggs and heard the sweet voice of our air hostess asking us to put our tray table down so that we could be served. Up popped my head and you can only imagine my surprise when it became obvious that the hostess wasn’t speaking to ME, but to Mummy!!! When she saw my face, I don’t know who was more shocked, me or her??? Mummy told her she would put me back in my bag right away and “Victoria” just smiled and never said a word. I guess that was nice of her, what with the airline rules and all, but she never gave me breakfast either. So… there’s that.
I was about ready to get that flight over with anyway. I REFUSE to potty when I fly on a plane, much to Mummy’s chagrin. I know that it stresses her out but I just can’t do it! Potty… on a pee pee pad in front of strangers? It’s just not gonna happen. She even tried to carry me to the bathroom and put the pad on the floor of the teeny, tiny cubicle while she straddled the toilet to give me more privacy, but I still refused to go. A line was forming outside the door and Mummy was getting MORE STRESSED. I tried to calm her down and let her know that things were cool, I just DID NOT NEED TO PEE. When we walked out, the looks we got… SHEESH! You know they were looking on the floor to see if I left something behind in there! HAHAHAHAHA, but I fooled them all. I never went potty for 8 solid hours so the joke was on them. Mummy had me diapered-up as a second line of defense but it didn’t really matter, because I was going to wait it out. The plane was descending into Paris and the excitement was building. While the other passengers were shuffling their stuff around and trying to find the shoes they had kicked off during the night, I was running a few of the French words through my head that I had been learning over the past few months… cheese, bread, beef, where is the toilet? It was now pretty clear that “Victoria” wasn’t coming back with my breakfast. I was stashed away in my carrying bag and starting to think that it might be time for that potty break too. When the plane landed, I was happy that the long trip was over… but it wasn’t QUITE over. I didn’t expect the delay for our luggage and another delay in CUSTOMS. Mummy told me to just be QUIET as we approached the custom’s officer… just do whatever they asked and we would breeze through. I was fine with that, I had nothing to say anyway (except that “Victoria” never gave me breakfast) but I hoped they didn’t ask me to strip down to my skivvies or anything of that nature. That would be embarrassing, since I was still wearing my diaper and the last thing I wanted was to have my picture taken in a diaper and posted on the cover of the local fashion magazines! I mean, that can RUIN someone overnight. Seriously. I thought we looked fairly NORMAL, but if these officers needed any volunteers, I would be more than happy to point them in the direction of a few people who looked a little dicey, in my expert opinion. When one of the officers looked into my bag, I jerked my head across my shoulder in the direction that they SHOULD BE LOOKING, but they didn’t catch my drift. –SIGH- I just can’t do EVERYONE’S job for them. In the U.S. we have cute little beagles that wander around the airport looking for stuff, but I didn’t see any beagles. Maybe they use poodles in France, but I didn’t see any poodles either. After what felt like we had endured the second French Revolution, I was FINALLY outside… breathing French air… and going potty… in the gutters of Paris. I felt like a true Parisian chienne! Oui! Oui!
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