Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Allo, Police! Where are my humans? - Eleanor Shepherd

Life and job responsibilities in France involved a fair bit of travel, sometimes with absences of three days or longer form home.  If it were at all possible Beau made the trip with us and we worked out accommodation arrangements as best we could.  On those occasions when he could not come we would speak to our neighbours Jean-Michel and Dimorph to see if they would take care of him. We looked after their animals on the occasions when they needed to be away, so it was a good arrangement.

By and large it worked well.  Beau was never happy to see us go – and regarded us with sullen eyes as we shut the door.  But he would always be there to greet us on our return – dancing with glee, leaping up with his front paws extended and his tail wagging.

We became acclimatized to the routine of going and coming – and we assumed that Beau had similarly adapted.  That was, until the police station trip.

We had been away for just a couple of days and drove home – anxious to get back into our home and see the noble pooch.  Imagine the shock as we opened the front door at 5 rue Claude Debussy and heard nothing.  No running feet, no happy bark, no panting – just silence.  Then Eleanor went to retrieve the mail from the mailbox and saw the letter.  She found an official envelope from the Prefecture de Police in Rueil-Malmaison.  The note informed us that our dog – Beauregard JVB 030 – was at the police station waiting for us. We were asked to call as quickly as possible to get him.

We went to the police station, picked up the dog and brought him home.  He seemed normal – jumping, wriggling and licking as usual.  We were a little off our stride over the event.  At moments like this our foreignness in France always seemed to be an embarrassment.  It is not easy to fit into a new country when your dog makes you stand out in any crowd.

We were never able to completely reconstruct the story, but it would appear that Beau, patrolling the house, became alarmed at what he thought was an unduly prolonged absence on the part of his humans.  His brain recalled the memory of how he had scaled the back fence in pursuit of King and Duke.  Circumstances this time – the disappearance of his humans – necessitated a similar show of bravery and initiative.  Over the fence he went in search of the gendarmes to report the disappearance of his beloved humans.  It is not really clear if a constable picked him up or if he went directly to the police station himself to tell his tale of concern.  In any event, the sympathetic gendarmerie sent us a note to inform us that Beau had been looking for us and to reassure us that he was safe and sound in their keeping.

We took him home, grateful for his concern, and admiring his resourcefulness.  The dog smiled and said nothing, but a new bond between the noble pooch and his dependent humans had been forged.

Word Guild Award
Word Guild Award

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