We weren’t in France long enough to really understand their curious affair with dogs—it is definitely a unique relationship. Dogs are an outlet for the affection the French may be too proud to show to one another. The French are a lonely people; many live by themselves. Owners claim their dogs as a member of the family and use the word enfant to refer to their dogs. Dogs are also an outlet for that little streak of meanness. Dogs can be excellent for challenging strangers.

During the ‘60s there was the French poodle stereotype which everybody thought was cute. But since the late ‘60s there has been a phenomenon of “dog snobbism” leading to more and more dogs, bigger and bigger in size and each dog absolutely unique.

But pity the poor dog. Fed a very low-calorie diet of fruit peels, he is content to pass his existence mostly sleeping or in repose. He has energy enough only for his daily walk to soil the sidewalks, and perhaps take his customary place under the table at the restaurant. He is trained incessantly—spanked like a child until he is a shadow of his master.


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