Saturday, December 15, 2007
Place Paris, France
My wife and I were in a café in the Latin Quarter. We were about done with breakfast when we noticed a bulldog standing at the door to the café. The bulldog fidgeted while staring inside with his baleful eyes.
“He really wants to get inside,” I said. “If the people coming in aren’t careful, he’ll slip right in.”
Sure enough, when the next customer opened the door, the bulldog pushed right past him and ran to the back of the restaurant.
Nobody reacted. The lone waiter didn’t budge when the bulldog ran past him. There were no shouts in the kitchen about a dog running loose.
After we paid our bill, we got up to leave and that’s when we saw the bulldog. He was sitting at table in the back as if he were waiting to be served.
Since my wife could speak French, and I didn’t, she asked the waiter about the dog.
“He works here,” the waiter said.
I had to remind myself that in France, where the people adore their pets even more than Americans do and don’t get all freaked out about a dog in a restaurant, seeing a bulldog working in a café was not that unusual.
My wife and I were about to walk away from the café when I decided to take a photo of the bulldog. We went to the window he was sitting next to and tried to get his attention so that he would be facing us when I took the photo. The waiter saw what we were trying to do. He snapped his fingers at the dog and pointed at us. The bulldog refused to accommodate us. I guess he didn’t feel like going to work until he’d had his breakfast.