Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Happy birthday to my dog

I am a total goody-two-shoes. I am a rule-follower and a risk-avoider and always have been. Very boring and sensible.

But I did once hitchhike 200 miles through the south of France, along the Route Napoleon. I was studying in Grenoble and three friends and I decided to go to Nice. We split up into boy-girl pairs and set off on a chilly day in February with a couple of backpacks and a cardboard sign. It took us a full day to reach Nice, but we got there, in the company of several nice ordinary people and a few harmless wackos. Plus a priest, who picked us up about 50 miles from Nice and took us to a nice convent he knew about, near Grasse. He (and the nuns) insisted that we have dinner there and then they put us on a bus for the very last leg of our journey.

Somewhere, I still have that cardboard sign reading "Destination Nice s'il vous plait."


And while we're taking this walk down memory lane: The story of how we got our dog, eight years ago today. Jeff and I were living together and engaged but not yet married. He had wanted a dog for a long time. I hadn't grown up with any pets but being all starry-eyed and goo-goo over my man, I started getting starry-eyed and goo-goo over all the cute doggies on Petfinder too.

One day we found an adorable little terrier there. We contacted the foster caregiver and scheduled an appointment to drive out to the boonies and meet this dog. The caregiver assured us that he was extremely sweet and gentle and would make a delightful pet. She encouraged us to take him out for a get-acquainted walk. We did and about 200 yards from this woman's house, stopped to play a bit with the dog--at which point he decided to sink his teeth into Jeff's arm. Not just a little puppy nip but a full-on chomp. We ran back to the house with blood gushing all over, handed off the terror terrier, and headed straight for the nearest ER. Jeff needed 6 stitches but did manage to avoid a series of rabies shots.

The next day we went to an animal shelter near our apartment. There must have been 50 dogs there, all barking like crazy trying to get our attention. The one who didn't bark, but just shyly gazed at us from behind the wire fencing, was the one we took home.


You know what today is, right? So which one of these is a true story?

For more fact vs. fiction:
My Life As It Is
The Mummy Chronicles
The Hip Mom's Guide

Updated Wednesday April 2: The dog story is about 60% true. It all happened except for the bad bite. The France story is 100% true. And here's a bonus story about my travel companion that day. A couple months ago I Googled him, since I am nothing if not nosy, and found that he is a spokesperson for the U.S. State department. Because his statements were similar to those of his colleagues with different names, some bloggers accused them all of not actually existing--just being sock puppets for the department. Surreal, since I can assure these bloggers that I spent several months seeing and talking to this person every day.


Magpie said...

France. France has to be real.

Kirsetin said...

I agree. It's the first one, right?

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

No way. It's the puppy story.


Robin said...

Yea, the puppy story is the real one, right?

mothergoosemouse said...

You rule-breaker, you.

Lady M said...

I'm terrible at guessing these things. Puppy story?