Chapter 15 
(July and August 2016):

"World's Best Traveller Dog!"
(So Daddy says)

They packed and packed and packed. I watched and watched and watched. Then Daddy said the magic words: „Are you coming along?“ 
Is the Pope Catholic?

This was weird: I was handed into my crate facing sideways in Daddy’s car (instead of facing the back in my own car), where I stayed  silently for 7 hours with four piddle stops ( I piddle at once on command.) before we arrived at my first hotel ever. With Google Earth, Daddy had found fields within 10 minutes‘ walk of the hotel where I could run off-leash. People speak French here; Mummy can barely get by, Daddy does a lot better. I understand everything. I did my jobs on command and gobbled my meal down from a new folding bowl. Never say I’m not flexible!

The second evening they carried all my stuff into a renovated old stone house with a fenced-in yard. Oh, so we’re going to live here now?
I settled right in. Mummy was glad she only had to open the kitchen door to the yard so I could do my business. I was glad Daddy had found paths again right behind our house, where I could run off-leash after our sightseeing excursions.

Good thing we had practised city walking for the Begleithundeprüfung (last chapter). We went to a market at least every second day and I walked comfortably between Mummy and Daddy, even when it was really crowded. They bought all kinds of veggies, fruits, cheeses, sausage, pastries, bread, you name it! But nothing for a doggie. They made up for it by making sure I got to go to a beach and run with the waves. These were my first experiences with the sea and I loved it! I was careful not to let the big waves catch me; however, I got a bit bolder with them as they ran up the beach. Mummy lost my aquatoy before I even got to try it out in the sea but I found branches to tote around and Daddy threw a pine cone for me to chase. I found a friend named Satie to play with one day. The first two times they put Gráinne’s life jacket on me, but when they were sure I wouldn’t go in too deep, I could run without it. It didn’t matter to me. 

Sometimes we did sections of a cliff  walk. I had to stay on the leash there, partly by decree of the authorities, but Mummy wouldn’t have risked my falling over the cliffs anyway.

Other days we drove to cities or small towns for sightseeing. I showed everybody how a Begleithund walks politely. They took turns waiting outside with me and going into churches, cemeteries in Normandy or a museum. A great many people stopped to ask my breed and to say what a pretty and well-behaved kid I was, lying patiently in my frog position.

One day we were in a city and there was no grass. In front of the cathedral there were some plants waiting to be put in the garden beside the church. I took advantage of the situation and lifted my butt over one to water it. Later in a smaller town we walked down to the harbor. All concrete. So on the way back  to the car I squatted over a sewer grate and tinkled. Mummy and Daddy burst out laughing. Wrong? „It’s fine, Róisín,“ they assured me. „Good, clever girl.“ They thought it might be a coincidence, but the next day I did it again in Bayeux. I have good manners.

On this first vacation with Mummy and Daddy I won Daddy’s praise: Best Dog Traveller in the World.

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