Bringing Up ChienChien

Even though I don’t have children of my own, I’ve always had an interest in Child Development. Kids fascinate me! Last year, my very pregnant Francophile sister-in-law recommended Bringing Up Bébé, a book written by an American mother raising kiddos in Paris. It was très intéressant. Basically, the French have perfected the art of child rearing; but not only that, they make it look so easy. Anyway, it’s a great read and I can’t wait to test it out on all 8 of the future Little Blumer Babies (jk, Joel, calm down!).  

During our most recent stay in France, I tried to make it a point to be especially observant of French children. Are they really as well behaved as Pamela Druckerman made them out to be? The answer is: I guess so? Honestly, I was way too distracted by how abnormally well behaved every single dog we saw was that I kind of forget about the tiny humans.

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Full disclaimer: I wasn’t always the crazy cat lady my Instagram followers have come to know and love. I was raised with a full spectrum of pets from cats to lizards and snakes, one ferret, a pigeon, and a brief stint with a piglet. As well as, of course, dogs.

The best pet I ever had, was my Great Dane, Samson.

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Samson loved me, unconditionally, and the feeling was mutual! Although our time together was brief, it would still rank as one of the top friendships I’ve ever had. He was a good boy, BUT…. he was terrible on the leash. I can’t even tell you the number of times my arm was almost ripped from its socket trying to take him on a walk around the block. Since we had a fenced in backyard, our walks around the neighborhood were probably not as frequent as old Sammy Boy would have liked. So if I, or family member, ever left the front door open (to bring in groceries or whatever), Samson would book it. And that big lug was lightning fast, so he’d be out of sight in no time. The quickest way to get Samson back would be to make a “Lost Black Great Dane” ad on Craigslist, which would take about an hour to work and I’d get a call from someone a mile or two away saying they’d found my baby. One time, though, he was brought home in the back of a police SUV. Every parents’ worst nightmare!

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My point is: this bad dog behavior would not fly in France. Almost every single dog I saw, ranging in sizes from tiny to huge, was walking alongside his/her owner sans leash. More than a few times, I’d look down and see a dog walking by Joel and I and I’d have to fight the urge to pick it up and start yelling “whose dog is this?!” over and over until someone replied, because the owner was always just a few paces in front of us and the dog would totally know it. Pups are welcome everywhere too! We went to happy hour one night and a sweet couple had their little chihuahua with them. The petite pooch would take an hourly sniff of the cafe in its entirety, then return to his master’s feet. Bon chien! If you find yourself an American in Paris, watch the dogs. Seriously…

So what is it that makes French Canines so good? Is it in the kibble? Are the French bribing their puppies with filet mignon every night to get their undying love and affection?! Are they wearing chew toy scented perfume to make their dogs follow them in the street? Is it that French Dogs have the freedom to take dumps anywhere and their owners don’t have to worry about cleaning up the mess because the Parisian Poop Patrol will take care of it? I guess I’m going to have to move to Paris to research my next book… I’ll call it “Bringing Up TouTou” and it’ll be a New York Times Bestseller, too, I’m sure.

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the ONE dog with a leash in all of Paris

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