When I was fourteen years old I had the unbelievable privilege of going with my dad on a vacation to Paris, France during my spring break. Overall it was an incredible week that I will never forget until I’m older and have Alzheimers and I’ll be sure to write about all of the great experiences but today I would like to focus on a night when things didn’t turn out so great. It was one of the last nights before heading home and we went out to dinner with my dad’s friend, Brian, and his girlfriend at the time Laurence (pronounced Loo-honce) at a french restaurant in the neighborhood of Montmartre. I ordered duck which had been one of my favorite entrees throughout the trip but this one was quite disappointing. It had a hard outer crust that it was baked in, like a pot pie but with duck inside and mostly all I remember about the meal itself was the overly salted crust and how hard it was. All in all it was probably my second worst meal of the trip but that did not factor into this being a bad night.
As we were eating a local woman walked into the restaurant with a dog, a pretty big german shepherd. That is the only time I have ever seen a dog in a restaurant to this day but it must not have been a big deal over there as she casually walked in with it and nobody gave her a second look. When we were done eating and getting ready to leave Laurence walked over and started talking with the woman and petting the dog and then she walked back over to us and asked if I wanted to go pet the dog. It wasn’t like doing so was something I was dying to do but sure I would go pet the dog on the way out of the restaurant.
As I approached the dog and owner Laurence continued talking to her presumably explaining that I was about to mimic her actions and pet the dog. As I reached out to touch the seemingly gentle animal it snarled at me and bit my arm ripping but green button down shirt. It was my only long sleeved shirt that I had brought and was something of a necessity on the cool spring mornings and evenings in Paris but now the shirt was completely ruined. My dad saw the injustice take place and taking a stand for doing the right way used Laurence and Brian as translators to the woman and trying to get her to pay for a new shirt since it was her dog that had ruined mine. I don’t remember how long the negotiations went on but in the end we left the restaurant with my bit arm, ripped shirt, and no restitution money from the woman.
I didn’t realize it at the time but it was sort of a traumatic experience for me as I’m now afraid of german shepherds. When it happened I had thought that it had been a bad night, maybe the worst of the trip but looking back now I’m glad it happened. Until I die or forget I’ll be able to tell the story of how I was attacked by a dog in a French restaurant. I don’t know the actual numbers but I doubt too many people at least those that I will ever encounter have had that happen to them and having a good story is worth so much more than the price of a green button down shirt bought at JC Penney.