Ella, my eight-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, is a very popular pup. She’s not just adorable, she’s also personable. So, in Miami, she pretty much has the whole city eating out of her paws. She’s been welcomed in stores both large and small, at outdoor restaurants and in every single public space there is.
Knowing that Parisians would also fall in love with Ms. Ella – and in preparation for moving her to the French capital – I began to consider just where she’d be welcome in Paris.
There’s a scene from Sex and the City where the fabulously-frocked Carrie Bradshaw – who followed her lover Aleksandr Petrovsky to Paris – is sitting inside a restaurant, next to a big dog (that looks like a Mastiff). That restaurant is actually the Cador Salon de The (2, rue de l’Admiral-Coligny), and while I’ve never actually seen a dog in there, I have dined in many a restaurant throughout Paris where dogs sat at the feet of their owners. Granted, I’ve never seen a big dog perched in a chair, but I’ve seen Labrador Retrievers lying on the floor beneath the table and small dogs nestled in laps. (And you won’t find anyone, no matter how fabulous, smoking inside any Paris restaurant these days. Sorry Carrie.)
Who hasn’t seen a dog on the Metro? While I’m told that dogs can “legally” ride the metro inside a bag of a particular size, most of the ones I’ve seen are either in their owner’s arms or on a leash. I’ve seen dogs on the RER trains heading out to the ‘burbs, too.
Ella loves shopping, and Paris’ boutiques and grands magasins are likely to, if not welcome her, at least tolerate her tiny presence. But bigger dogs will have a bigger challenge being allowed through the doors. In this case, size does matter.
There are a few places where no pooch, no matter how cute, small or inconspicuous, will be tolerated. Chief among them are any market or shop selling food. This means supermarchés, boulangeries, fromageries and patisseries.
There are a surprising number of restrictions in the city’s parks and gardens. Dogs on leashes are allowed in many of these public spaces, but only in designated areas. In the Jardin du Luxembourg, for instance, dogs on leashes are allowed in a small area near the entrance on rue Auguste-Comte. On the Esplanade Quai Branly, only on the “alleys”, while the Parc Montsouris allows them only on the pathways. You can find a complete list of dog-friendly parks on the Paris.fr website.
Top photo courtesy of HBO and HBO.com.