It is noon. The phone rings. My friend Mary Blake is phoning from Montmartre. "Today's the day," she says quietly. Do I detect a forced cheerfulness in her voice? "I'm taking Colette to George and Sylvia today. Do you want to come up to my place and ride down in the taxi with me at 3 for the adoption?"
Damn, damn, double-damn! This is November 1, a holiday in France, perhaps, but a business day in the US, and I have too much real work to get done, emails to send, deadlines to meet. Aargh! There is nothing that I would love more than to drop everything and be the assistant fairy godmother (fairy dogmother?) helping Mary to transport Colette, one of Nina's three puppies, to its new home with the owner of Shakespeare & Co. "I figured that Nina would understand better if you were here for the separation," she urges.
I have to beg off. This pains me no end. "I'll call you back if I can break free," I promise.
Mary and Nina
It is 10:00 pm. I call Mary. "How did it go?" I ask, wondering if she is feeling emptier-nest syndrome.
Mary has known George Whitman for a long, long time -- since well before his daughter Sylvia was born, I think. "George had prepared a lamb chop for Colette," she says. "He was so sweet. And he bought a comfy red dog bed for her."
Charming little Colette will mostly be hanging out upstairs with her new papa, George, for a while, since she's only 8 weeks old. Then soon enough she'll be downstairs at the front desk at Shakespeare & Co., and everyone can meet (and admire) her.
She's SO cute! A new literary mascot for a Paris literary landmark.
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