Monday, April 5, 2010

The Rolling Dog of Place Monge

When I lived in the 5th arrondissement, it was hard for me to go five minutes without laughing. Everything from the shop owners to the school kids to the traveling minstrels made my day. But there was one particular discovery that really pushed me over the edge— into the realm of pure, unadulterated elation:

A real, live dog on wheels.

These specimens had long existed in my imagination, but to find one in my neighborhood was almost too much excitement for one person to take. In addition to being... how can I put it nicely?... "infirm," this dog looked mangy, unkempt and completely down-n-out. To his credit, he didn't seem to know it.

He wheeled around Place Monge like he owned the place, which maybe he did. Who am I to know? I'm just an ex-pat interloper. This is clearly his terrain.


This winter, I was retracing my old steps, when whom did I see? None other than my dog on wheels, zipping around (ok, plodding along in little jolts), just like in the good old days!

How refreshing it is to learn that I can leave, move across the world, come back and find that Old Mr. Wheels is still charting the same daily course across the Place.

My excitement soon gave way to calmness, to a settling of my heart rate, to an organic feeling that things are in balance, that there is order in the world. If this ratty little dog strapped to a mobile harness contraption doesn't symbolize something good, I don't know what does. All I know is: everything's going to be ok. I have rolling proof.

5 comments:

Gustavo said...

Ha! Je l'ai déjà vu...

Simony said...

I love the way you write! It's funny and at the same time makes us think about life. Love your blog!

Anonymous said...

We have lots of dogs on wheels here in NYC. Just saw one in Riverside park! These owners LOVE their dogs!

Res I(p)sa said...

You have just made my day. I lived right off Place Monge years ago and I remember that dog! I'm so happy to see him again!
Oh, and in answer to your questions re: Paris these days, sun sets late, peaches on their way, la vie est belle...

aroundtheworldin100days said...

I know EXACTLY how you feel. I returned to Paris this past summer (after living there the previous year) and was happy (no, elated) to see "my hobo" (as my 10 year old sister named him)... was back after being removed near the end of the previous summer (as a result of a particularly boozy party for one) by a combination of the "men in green" and the pompiers. Something about him still being there, still with his pop-music playing radio and tall boys of beer... that just made everything feel right in the world. BTW - i LOVE your blog!!!

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