Beau quickly established himself as a willing and good traveler. It was necessary only to say the word “car” and he was at the door ready to go. Any short hop or long trip did the trick.
He traveled far and wide – to the Mediterranean, to Alsace, to Austria and Germany – complete with border check of his papers to enter Germany. Other day trips included the chateaux of the Loire valley. It was here, on hilly terrain Beau almost met his waterloo tearing down a hill when his front feet were going so fast that they gave out and Beau was sent skidding along the ground, his nose almost ploughing up the turf in front.
Beau’s most notable trip was the annual visit to check out the camps with the family. This particular summer John stayed in Paris to work at the Palais du Peuple, a large social institution in the centre of the city. After a stop at a couple of camps to visit the staff we left Elizabeth near Le Chambon-sur-Lignon so she could join her friends as a camper. Eleanor and Glen continued the trip towards Paris, arriving in the Lyon suburb of Dardilly at the end of the afternoon. It was clearly too late to continue on to Paris, so we stopped and checked into the Hotel IBIS in Dardilly.
The hotel was built on a steep hillside. It was four stories high, with a parking lot and entrance on the third floor level and a smaller lot and entrance at the main floor level. We parked the car at the top level and registered for our room, taking the stairs down to our room on the first floor – note: in France the first is actually the second floor; the first floor is the ground floor or the rez-de-chaussee (pavement level) in French.
We fell asleep with the windows open to enjoy the beautiful summer night. Early in the morning we heard some movement as Beau stirred. Motivated by his need for relief, he went to the window and jumped out to find a place on the hill to do his business. We rolled over, confident that the faithful dog would regain the room.
About twenty minutes later we heard a scratching at the door. We were a bit slow to recognize the signal and respond. As we opened the door the pooch greeted us with a stare as if to ask why it took so long for us to open up the door to him. Unable to come back through the window – the jump up precluded such an entry- he had gone to the entrance, either on the ground or third floor, walked into the hotel and taken the stairs to find our corridor and come to the room.
We were quite flabbergasted by his ingenuity and spoke words of lavish praise to the dog, saluting his intelligence and creativity. Beau looked at us, a mixture of bemusement and disgust. The only thing he wanted to know was when breakfast would be served.
|Word Guild Award|
|Word Guild Award|