A Parisian Sidekick
This is Shakespeare, a spirited 13-year-old poodle-shitzu cross who was living out his twilight years in Paris. His owner Jen – a friend of my aunt’s – was living in Paris for work, but spent much of her time travelling as part of her job, meaning Shakespeare was in need of a companion in her absence. Anyone who knows me well will attest to my love for pooches of all kinds and so it was the perfect match – but first I had to gain Shakespeare’s approval. Jen warned me that he didn’t always warm to everyone straight away, and so I prepared myself to be rebuffed by his pint-sized personality. But on that first day – my first in Paris – when the three of us when for a celebratory lunch of french onion soup and champagne on rue Mouffetard in the fifth arrondissement, little Shakespeare rested his head on my knee in approval, and we forever became firm friends. And so he became my Parisian sidekick. For approximately two weeks each month, I would take the train up to Paris to keep him company while Jen was travelling. Shakespeare was a cheeky old pooch who knew what he liked and didn’t like being told otherwise. He had a penchant for smoked salmon and prawns, and for listening to Adele and Duffy (but pawed at the speaker in disgust when I put on Billie Holiday). Whenever I played my guitar, he would jump up on the couch next to me (except for when I was practising scales, in which case he would vacate the room). And when he wasn’t perfecting the art of napping, we spent our days exploring the streets and cafes of the Left Bank. Jen and Shakespeare soon became my Parisian family, and shared many of the adventures in France.