Barking Blondes: In search of Briget Bardot, pet passports and poochy Paris
Post jubilee blues have set in and the transit of Venus has left us exhausted. The impending Olympics could make living in east London one challenge too many so we are thinking its time to plan a doggy get away. Rather than our dogs Molly and Matilda ever spending a night in a boarding kennel, they become the focus of our destination every summer.
This year we are determined to take them to St Tropez in the hope that the four of us may meet Bridget Bardot. In the same vein as the movie In the Hands of Gods (in which five young footballers traipse across South America in search of their idol Diego Maradona) we feel the anticipation of an audience with this onetime French sex kitten will be life enhancing. Besides we have loads in common. Fading glamour, blonde regrowth, eccentricity and a passion for dogs. The fact that she declines interviews doesn’t matter. Apparently the famous blonde beehive is often spotted behind the wheel of her truck so it’s a certainty that when she claps eyes on a British bulldog and a miniature bull terrier, both in sun glasses on the promenade, she will make her presence felt.
The relaxation of The Pet Passport scheme, this summer, will take away some of the strain of travelling abroad. Instead of planning at least six months in advance, the passport may now be obtained three weeks before departure. This is providing that all documents are in order and that your pet is micro-chipped. Passport photographs are optional, but they are cute and enthusing over them is a great way of whiling away the time waiting at customs. Remember that you must visit a vet for worm treatment no sooner than 24 hours or later than 48 hours before your home bound journey. So it’s advisable to check the opening hours of local vets. Without proof of this treatment you will not gain entry back into the UK.
Eurostar doesn’t allow pets, so for us by far the most fun way to travel to Europe is through the tunnel. All the pet paraphernalia can be stuffed in the car boot and we can turn the air con up and sing along to ‘Lonely Goat Herd’ on our favourite cassette!
Travelling with your dog means you are never alone. Travelling with two dogs and you become a tourist attraction. Especially in France. Whilst on our trip to Paris last year locals were literally queuing up to photograph our girls. We were entertained in bars with stories of Jane Birkin who apparently owned bull breeds whilst married to Serge Gainsbourg. Her Parisienne apartment was proudly pointed out to us and it was this that spawned the Bardot adventure. It’s a passionately dog friendly city and not only are pooches welcome in most restaurants and hotels, but on several occasions we found our two crawling around with children! The familiar, over reactive, parent found in London parks is a rarity here.
One word of warning. A change in water may play havoc with your dog’s bowels. Be prepared to pack more pooh bags. Parisiennes, in this aspect, are not quite so rigorous! The steps of Monmatre needed a good old going over with a Pooper Scooper.
We believe you see the environment through fresh eyes whilst travelling with your dog. So wish us bonne chance in our imminent road journey to the Cote D’Azur. It will be the furthest we have ever travelled in our mini. The greatest threat to Molly and Matilda is certain to be the high Mediterranean temperatures. So we have proudly purchased doggy T-shirts specifically designed to be soaked and retain water. The dogs’ body heat, therefore, will remain low.
What a great way to bump into Bridget Bardot! Dressed in wet T-shirts. The dogs. Not us. Woof! Woof!
BARKING AT THE MOON /THURSDAYS 10pm til MIDNIGHT BBC LONDON 94.9fmTagged in: bark at the moon, barking blondes, holidays, pets
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