Jade a Dog’s view of France

Ginger and Nutmeg are out celebrating the New Year, so it is finally my opportunity to write a blog post.  For those of you who do not know, I am Jade a 9 + something year old black Labrador.  I love food, people and smelling stuff – in that order.

At the coffee shop

So way back in September we head out for a little car trip in Calgary, I love the car.  We go to “big-box dog heaven” sometimes known as Pet Smart. I am really excited there are lots of my favourite things, see above.  Ginger is busy moving big plastic boxes off the shelves and I oblige when asked to run in and out, it’s kind of fun.  So we all head home including the plastic box.  The box is OK and I get to sleep in it for a few days.

However, there is something clearly greater going on, I know as I have seen this kind of action before. There are travel bags, piles of clothes and technical gear on the basement floor, counters and living room floor. Nutmeg is not very happy as the house is not very organized and Ginger is still clearly still deciding.  So what is a bit of healthy tension? – I am still getting fed, so no need to get involved.  Looks and smells like a trip to me.

One fine morning, Nutmeg is up early to go to the gym then takes me for a dog walk.  Shortly afterwards a nice man comes by and starts moving all the bags and my box out to his car.  This is a good sign, I think.  We drive for a bit and arrive somewhere new, it is really noisy and there are lots of new people.  There is no grass in sight and I really am excited about whatever is going on so I think I will go right here…oops! Nutmeg is not too happy about my choice of location.  So we go for a little walk.  After a bit of time, Ginger reappears and it looks like I am into the box, only this time it does not feel quite as comfy and it is quite noisy.  I have no idea how many hours have passed by I am really happy to see both Ginger and Nutmeg in a place called Geneva.

A short car ride to a new place called Chamonix. I have a feeling we are here for a bit, the bags are unloaded and I get to swim in the stream – Yeah! Food, walk, new smells and some new people.  It feels good to me, it is a bit like Canmore.

Chamonix peak

So a few more days pass, some long walks, swims and it looks like we are going somewhere for a while, the car is full and I do not have much room back here….

Jade-ready-to-go

It was a long drive in the car and I did not have much room.  We end up in a new place in a nice warm room and a big comfy bed (for those two), the floor was fine for me.  The next day we meet some new people and two new dogs, the black one does not like me too much.  It is a bit hot out so I take a little swim in their pool. Nutmeg is not too happy with me. It’s OK though because I am sitting on the back-seat with Ginger, all snuggled up.

It is at this point where I lose track. Those two are on bicycles peddling behind my comfy ride (see below).  We see lots of new places, new people, great smells, some food and a few new rooms with big comfy (looking) beds.  My driver is a really nice man who takes me for lots of walks, while those two riding the bikes catch-up with us.  It all seems like a lot of of moving to me; bags in, bags out, bikes in, bikes out, new hotel rooms, old hotel rooms.  I make lots of new friends along the way, so what is not to like?

jade-the-princess

So now we are settled in Aix en Provence and I have decided that it is my job to help Ginger and Nutmeg with time of day.  They are on vacation and sometimes I think they have no idea what time it is.  So every morning and afternoon I make sure they know what time it is, so I can get fed.

I do not need to tell you that Nutmeg loves coffee, she has told you that enough times.  So part of the routine in the mornings is to go to the coffee shop for “deux grande cremes”.  We usually go to the same place right next to the market, which satisfies my list:  food, people and smells.  Sometimes we sit outside and other times Ginger and Nutmeg stand at the counter inside.  In either case I am always on the look out for some “low hanging fruit” – so far these French people are pretty smart though as I have been constantly thwarted from getting anything out of their market bags.  Stay-tuned though as I am not giving up yet.

Talking about markets, I love them; there are lots of smells and quite a bit of food that I can pick off the ground.  I have developed a bit of a taste for olives and grapes, but not at the same time.  Unfortunately, Ginger is not too much fun as he keeps me “short-leashed” through most markets.

I like Aix en Provence; our house is nice, there is a pretty garden and I can sneak down the alley to eat a bit of the neighbour’s cat food when no one is watching.  The problem with Aix though is I have not seen any grass; we need to pay close attention when we are walking to avoid the results of some irresponsible dog owners. So when we are in Aix I am on my lease.  The good news is we have been on some great hikes, starting in Chamonix.  The hikes in the Haute Savoie are either straight up or straight down.  After that we did a hike from St Remy to Eygalieres, it was pretty although very windy and Ginger was afraid of the cliffs (he needs 4 feet like me).  Other hikes have been around Aix en Provence, including:  Barrage Zola (below), l’Ermitage Saint Jean de Puy (below), La Croix de Provence and no doubt more to come.

Barrage Zola

l'ermitage Saint Jean de Puy

So the good news is we have all settled in to the good life here in France. When you read this post we are most likely enjoying our first 2011 morning coffee, having a hard time keeping track of the days and trying to decide on our dinner options.

We miss you all and wish you a very Happy New Year from Provence!

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