Clomping along the sidewalk on boulevard Montparnasse, I happened upon this little TouTou standing guard at the shop door. Seeing it made me pause for thought. I realized that I rarely see French poodles here.
Paris is a dog-lovers city, no doubt, but in my experience the iconic poodle isn't that much in evidence. Apparently in all of France, poodles still top the list of most-popular purebreds at 9%, but that hardly qualifies them as being predominant as a stereotype.
But I do see lots of Jack Russells, a fair share of arthritic Labradors, plenty of frisky bouledogues, and many, many endearing mutts. But rarely a frou-frou Fifi of poodle-skirt fame.
I love watching dogs almost as much as I love watching people in Paris. Put them together, and it's a blast.
A while back, I witnessed an entertaining Parisian doggie interlude. A man was walking his Great Dane on a quiet street in the St. Paul area, and had taken the well-mannered dog off the leash, as dog-owners often do -- illegally.
A Norwich Terrier came prancing down the opposite sidewalk with a fussy lady at the other end of the leash. The terrier began yapping at the Great Dane, who started to lumber across the street for a friendly sniff.
"Mais monsieur," screeched the lady as her minuscule dog barked convulsively, "keep your dog on a leash!!"
"Don't worry, madame," joked the man with a shrug, unruffled. "He's already had breakfast."
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