Friday, November 5, 2010

'Heavy on the bolognaise, heavy on the spaghetti'.

Off to Paris on the Air France shuttle. Mid afternoon departure so thankfully quiet. En route an experience that serves as a reminder that I'm no longer in the anglo-saxon world.

Five minutes before the aircraft doors close a rather attractive lady in her mid-40's scurries on. Blue suit, old fashioned bee hive hair do, one row of pearls, Hermes scarf and the inevitable array of shopping bags. She takes the window seat in the row directly across the aisle. After we're airborne and the seat belt signs go off she's down delving around on the floor. First emerges a small blanket that is carefully spread on the empty middle seat next to her. Then after more delving a little cushion appears. Then after yet more delving a small white Maltese with a diamante colllar and red ribbons is produced and gently positioned on the seat.

When the snack trolley arrives the steward asks the woman if the dog would like some biscuits. He asks this as though having a dog sitting on an aircraft seat is the most natural thing in the world. For the rest of the flight the woman feeds morsels of biscuit to the Maltese, all the time keeping up a conversation with the dog and the unconcerned stranger in the next seat . Prior to landing dog, cushion and blanket all disappear back onto the floor. Try doing that on United and see what happens. Wilf would be a nightmare on a plane. He'd sniff out the galley and do his best ' I'm an orphan dog that's never been fed' routine.

A long chat with 'the font' before turning in. Why had my hosts put me up in a hotel next door to where the Chinese President was staying ? Streets closed, security a nightmare and the charming, baton wielding gentlemen of the Compagnie Republicaine de Securite on every corner. Wilf continues to defy his prognosis and enjoyed a healthy helping of slow cooked spaghetti bolognaise -' heavy on the bolognaise, heavy on the spaghetti' - with his dinner kibbles. One happy, mucky muzzled hound.


  1. So interesting about the dog on board. Certainly won't happen on Alaska Air. You can have a small pup in your lap (I've done it picking up a puppy) but letting them have a seat and a treat no way.

  2. I hope the rest of your trip is uneventful!

  3. Oh how I wish I could fly! In my country you can't even take a dog to the airport to great someone. Traveling inside a plane (unless as an assistance dog) is unimaginable.

    This is being typed as the sky is filled with fireworks (for Guy Fawkes) with lots of bangs and dogs barking around where I live, but I'm following your diet Wilf as after reading your enjoyment at new foods my family have started letting me have samples of what they eat for dinner, so I'm happy amongst the noise and quite content contemplating the meal that we have all just shared.

    Wishing you a good weekend.

  4. So glad to hear Wilf is still enjoying life.

    What an incredible story. It could only happen in France.

    Lulu would be a total nightmare on a plane. We once took her into a restaurant in Valencay, just because you can and we wanted to give it a try. The ladies at the opposite table started slipping her titbits and we were doing ok until they decided they wanted some of their lunch for themselves. Unfortunately a standard poodle's nose is exactly at table height. We haven't tried it since.

  5. Thank you Angus for this funny post. Funny in a way, because, if this girl was authorized to have a dog seat on the plane, be sure it is not the same for person with motor disability. In France, they have to fight to obtain seats, believe me.
    Happy to see sweet Wilf is enjoying this new day. Cuddles to you beloved boy.

  6. No dogs on planes here either....except Guide dogs. We'd rather stay home and have the spaghetti bolognaise anyway!

    XXXOOO Daisy, Kendra & Bella

    There was a little doggy area at LA airport.

  7. I don't consider dogs like this Maltese a 'real dog,' but more of an accessory. I just hope this 'acessory' gets to be a 'real dog' sometimes!

    It's heartwarming to read that Wilf feels great and is defying the prognosis! I'm sure he knows that there are still so many things that need to be sampled and enjoyed, both in life and on the menu!

  8. Perhaps they'll allow dogs on aircraft carriers now?

  9. Lilly would love to be the dog on board. That would never happen here though - they must be stowed under the seat in front of you. The rest of my crew would stay behind for the spaghetti bolognaise.

  10. Hmmm, we rather think 2 Airedales and a Welsh Terrier on an aeroplane would cause mayhem. We will keep our paws on terra firma.

    Wilf's dinners are truly scrumptious, does he receive guests at any time...................

    MOlly, Taffy and Monty

  11. Love the story of the dog on the plane. It sounds as if the dog was well behaved. I've flown a dog only once - when K was 8 wks old and I brought her home. She caterwauled for the entire trip, except when I sneaked her out of her bag and onto my lap, with a blanket hiding her. I thought that the first class passengers were going to kill me for most of the flight!

    Wilf's embracing of life post-prognosis has been the definition of "defiant". I admire the little guy and hope that he keeps defying the odds!

    BTW, we don't have any partridge or quail. We do have lots of grouse, who I suspect eat those berries.

  12. Love it! You are a wonderful writer, I felt as if I was sitting in the isle observing...

    In fact, after discovering Wilfs blog a few days ago I was inspired to start one featuring my own four legged little companion as well! Interesting to attempt to see the world from their eyes!

    All the best for continued good health for your Wilf!

  13. I think I was born to live somewhere besides the States! I wonder how they'd have felt about a small Greyhound sitting on the seat...

    Oh Wilf, I love spaghetti, and it loves to sit on my thighs. I envy you more than you can know right now!

  14. Ah, since both of us are half a rump too big to fit into an under-the-seat sherpa bag -- and even if we could, we'd probably bark our heads off at the slightest unsettling noise -- the chances of our ever going anywhere by plane are ZERO. And since our mom is an old meany when it comes to most people food, the chances of our ever hacving spaghetti bolognese are ZERO too.

    We are very very happy though that Wilf is getting to enjoy these delicious foods and are even happier that he is defying the original prognosis and continuig to enjoy life.

    Mom gasped when she saw the photo of the Palais Garnier. Good memories.

    Loving woofs and sniffs from Jake and Just Harry

  15. We are overjoyed that Will continues to feel well. And that he keeps his appetite is answered prayers. He looks handsome and fit.

    I used to fly LAX/JFK with my cat, Arthur. My usual flight crew got to know and welcome him, but never did I get to take him out of his travel bag. Occasional, we'd get a really ugly crew who would refuse to let me hold his case on my lap even though the other seat was empty. Arthur was an excellent traveler, quiet and calm. He had probably logged more in flight miles than many of the other passengers.

  16. Those little floofy dogs that fit in little cases get all the breaks! Neither Scout or Freyja would make it into a carry on bag - well, maybe a foot! They'd also be right next to Wilf checking out the buffet!

  17. gotta love the french... would Monsieur Maletesse prefer du vin blanc or rouge?

    was she really having a conversation with the dog? if so, what did the dog say back? that's the $52,000 question.

    You keep feeding Wilf that way... and can I come for dinner some night?

  18. that was an interesting flight and a well behaved maltese.

    glad to hear that Wilf is well fed and happy.

  19. if only the U.S. would have the same attitude about dogs as france does. we can take a small dog on board a plane, but they must stay in their travel bag.
    i'd love to see some pictures of wilf's spaghetti covered snooter! :)

    the booker man and asa's mama

  20. I've toyed with the idea of starting my own airline. For people and their dogs. There's no way I'm putting Edward in with the luggage, but I'd so love to take him with me.

  21. What good news to hear that Wilf is enjoying himself with good, warm treats!! Keep up with the good news! Sending pats and scratches his way!

    Your pals in Canada,
    Dianna along with Tor, Willow and Tucker

  22. I was amazed when an American friend reported that she had found an abandoned border collie puppy locked in a mail box when visiting her brother in Seattle, and a few days later flew home to Houston with him on her lap. Interesting that dogs are allowed to travel with the passengers in France too. Not so in the UK, I'm afraid.
    Glad that Wilf's enjoying his food. An important quality of life indicator, I'd say!
    Cheers, Gail.

  23. That's a really interesting post. We have not seen dogs on board a plane in the passengers' cabin here but it would be fun if we can all hop aboard one and just order treats away.

    Spaghetti is so very yummy! More happy moments and yummy treats to come.

    Piappies Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Pai & Wai-Max

  24. I've had bologna before, but never with spaghetti...maybe mom should try that.


  25. I couldn't even begin to imagine how my two dogs would react. I think Chico would bark at everyone and pee everywhere. I think Shiver would probably try to hide, he gets scared easily.

    Spaghetti - yummmmmmmmy! Haven't had any of that in a long time.

  26. So glad Wilf still has the bib on and is tucked up to the table.

    The airline story sure is interesting. French security [or is that an oxymoron on French airlines?] obviously knew the dog was there. Or don't they x-ray all your carry-on items there? Anyhow, there is an airline in the U.S. that is devoted to pet passengers, mostly dogs & cats. The human companions can't fly with them, but the animals fly in comfort & safety in pressurized cabins WITH continuous service, and there is playcare at either end so their human companions can schedule a people flight and join up at the airport. Much safer for the animals than being shipped in cargo on a regular airline or crammed into a small bag and shoved under a seat. Not that expensive, either.

    Jed & Abby

  27. Pamela Terry and Edward, please, give me a call when you start this airline of yours! I have never taken my Bougalou Bear with me on my yearly trip to Europe because I am scared to death of what could happen to him in the airline's "care". No way am I ever flying him cargo...
    Any of you out there old enough, like I am, to remember when flying was actually, you know, pleasant. Sigh.

    You go for the spaghetti and bolognaise, Wilfee! Can't wait to see what tomorrow's menu brings; duck a l'orange perhaps?

  28. We've been busy posting a long, copied and pasted comment on the blogs of everybuddy who is on our bloglist. Somehow we can't bring ourselves to do that on your comments. It feels impersonal and simply, insensitive. HOWEVER we really want to be sure you know about the Worldwide Moment coming up next Sunday, 14 Nov 10. If you don't have the details yet, please come read about them on our blog. Certainly we'll be thinking of, praying for and holding Wilf close to our hearts during that Worldwide Moment.

    Wishing you the best. Always
    Jake and Fergi

  29. Chuckling - I could only imagine any member of The Herd on an aircraft.

  30. So much to read and absorb here; a blog as rich and substantial as, well, as a plate of spaghetti bolognese. It's wonderfully written and really captures the atmosphere of France, in its country life and city life. Thanks for writing, and many more long and happy days for Wilf and you all.
    - - - - - - - -
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