23 January 2011


Dog 1

Soon after we arrived at our little house in Le Grand-Pressigny on Boxing Day, we heard a dog barking that seemed pretty close by.

It was beginning to get dark and we were busy unpacking, getting the fire going and generally settling in so we didn’t pay too much attention. However, later in the evening we realised that the barking was still happening and was definitely very close. In fact the dog was still barking at 10 pm.

The next morning all was quiet but by 11 am the barking had started again. We soon worked out that a dog was running to and fro, along the path between us and our nearest neighbours up the steep hill, which meant it was on a level with our bedrooms.

I spoke to Mme André about it and she was obviously annoyed and upset. Apparently the dog was with a visitor to the neighbours behind our house and the dog was simply left outside all the time.


The lady who lives in the house above ours was also upset – the dog would have been within a few feet of her house and therefore quite a nuisance. The three of us talked and she said it was supposedly there for the weekend but so far had stayed for a week.

It was annoying and unsettling. How could anyone be so inconsiderate as to leave a dog to run up and down a pathway, barking loudly all day causing a huge nuisance to their neighbours? And what about the poor dog? It was there pretty much constantly from late morning (presumably when its owner got out of bed) until gone 10 pm at night even though it was well below freezing. It barked every time there was any movement on the street or outside the house and continued barking after dark into thin air. The poor thing must have been frozen stiff and bored out of its mind.

It went on like this the whole week we were there. I was concerned that it might be a permanent fixture but Mme André assured me it was a visitor “from Paris” – something always said with a knowing look, as if people from Paris are expected to behave differently, like aliens.

We began to almost get used to it. Then every time I thought I hadn’t heard it for a while and hoped it had gone home, back to Paris, it would re-appear. When I got close enough to have a proper look it turned out to be a beautiful German shepherd with a lovely coat and didn’t look at all scruffy and neglected, which is what I expected. Once, I started talking to it, in English of course, explaining that it was such a shame that it was left outside to freeze when its owner was probably inside no doubt enjoying warmth and hospitality. At that point a man’s gruff voice called the dog away; presumably the owner. Interesting – I wondered if he spoke English too.

The next day, the dog was gone, thank goodness.


  1. I don't know why people do not take responsibility for their animals, but at least all is quiet in your part of the world again.

  2. Vera - we're hoping the dog does not come back again when we are chez nous. I would feel very sorry for Mme André if it becomes a regular visitor.

  3. Le pauvre chien. Leaving a dog outside, alone, for a long time, is really unfair to any dog. I'm glad Bear doesn't do that to me!

    At least you've got some peace and quiet now chez nous. Delightful, I'm sure.

  4. poor dog it must have become very hoarse by the end; and poor you!

  5. I just do not understand people, one wonders if they go deaf when it suits them. There is nothing worse than a dog who barks all the time. Not much fun for you when you are only there for a short time. I hope there are no repeats. Diane

  6. gordy and georgieSunday, January 23, 2011

    How did Lulu react to all of this? Our dogs get really upset when neighbor dogs have a barkfest.

  7. Sadie, N & A, Diane - I agree, it was not fair to the dog, or us, or our neighbours. I was amazed that anyone could be so all-round thoughtless.

    Gordy & Georgie - It didn't seem to bother Lulu too much. She was mildly curious and quite aloof. She has a good bark herself when it's needed, such as when there's someone at the door. But she's above that kind of thing most of the time. In fact she spent most of the time on the sofa, being regal and ignoring the poor dog...we felt it was probably barking for attention being left out in the freezing cold and dark, and was probably hungry as well, I shouldn't wonder.

  8. Hi Jean
    We have knowledge a similar experience very close by. A dog is left tethered outside in all weather all day and every day by the owner. All kinds of authorities had been informed, but nothing could be done to improve the situation. Apparently, as the owner is a farmer, and the dog a 'working' dog, everyone is powerless and the injustice continues.
    So frustrating and so sad.

  9. So typical of the French, they just leave dogs outside all day and night, sometimes tied up too.

  10. Ken and Elizabeth - It's so sad that dogs are often treated so badly.

    Leon - I agree - so does princess Lulu, from her favourite cushion on the sofa.

  11. Jean, your comments about Paris'ians' is well founded, they are not liked around here!
    Apparently they are bossy, over-bearing, and selfish... and totally inconsiderate of the ways of the countryside. I am also led to understand that the same dislike of them is nationwide!!

    WV is "contor".... so sit down and light a pipe and have a "Contor" moment [sorry that should read Condor!]

  12. There used to be some dog breeding kennels about half a mile away from us, and the dogs barked all night and every night. Luckily we were only badly affected when the wind was in a certain direction, but others weren't quite so fortunate. On one particularly bad night, by 2am, we had reached the end of out patience and decided to telephone them. We thought that if we couldn't sleep through it, neither should they. Trouble was, we'd got the wrong number!!

  13. Tim - I wonder what the Parisiens have done to deserve their reputation.

    Gaynor - oops !!!

  14. Must've been very annoying I agree but I'd rather have a dog barking than music blaring which is what I had virtually every blimmin' day for two years at our last home. Gangster rap crap. I work from home and it was one of the reasons we decided to move. We've let the house out to someone else (who doesn't seem to mind as they've stayed put!)

    Good, kind and considerate neighbours are a valuable asset wherever you live.

  15. What a handsome dog! It would scare the hell out of me if I saw it coming running towards me. But seeing it like this, in the photo, it looks very noble and distinguished. I can't understand why people would leave such a beautiful dog fend for itself for the best part of the day and even well into the night. Shame on them!

  16. Sue - speaking of loud music, these particular neighbours are not entirely blameless in this respect either.

    Martine - shame on them indeed.

  17. I hope they're better behaved on your next trip.

  18. It's a very French thing I think Jean. Dogs are simply for security or hunting. When we lived in Cognac we experienced a similar situation with a neighbour.
    Our pampered pooches don't know how lucky they are!