Since we are leaving town soon, I have been working really hard to tie some loose ends. Getting the tooter her annual vaccines was one of them. There is a vet right next door to our apartment that we went to a few months back and I liked him just fine until he started doing all of these tests on my dog. Before I new it, I had a 150 euro vet bill! And all I needed was some medicine for her because she had some kind of "champignon" translates literally as "mushroom", but we would say the dog has a "fungus". So anyway, I didn't want to go back to the guy who just took the liberty to give me whatever test he felt like doing and instead found another vet two blocks over. In the process I met someone I will never forget.
You couldn't see inside this place and it was a good thing or I probably wouldn't have made an appointment. The place STUNK awfully horribly disgustingly nasty like bird droppings. Oh, wait, because he had about 15 birds in two cages that hadn't been cleaned out since, hmmmmmm, before WWII! I didn't think that I could wait and had I been pregnant, I would have turned my tail around and plunged back into the fresh city air. Luckily though I didn't have to wait too long.
The vet looked over the tooter, gave her a couple shots and put the vaccination stickers in her French passport that she acquired after one year of living here. Oh yes, my DOG has become a French citizen! If my child wanted to become a French citizen it isn't enough that he was born here. He would have to live here for five consecutive years under the age of 18. More proof that the French are more welcoming to dogs than they are to children.
Back to the vet, I managed to answer his questions about the tooter, mon petit fee and our life here before he asked me if I was English. I almost said yes. Usually when someone here asks me if I am English, I very cautiously reply that I am American, waiting for an abundance of overly ripe tomatoes hurled at me. But that never happens and it surely didn't in this case. He had one more test to do when he broke out with a little English. As he shoved his paper towel covered finger up the tooter's butt, he told me what a nice dog I had. Um, ok. Thanks. His daughter is married to an Englishman and they live in London with their two kids. That explained why he knew a little English. And then he pointed to an Amerian flag he had hanging from his cabinet. I hadn't seen it until then. He happily shared with me that he was liberated by the Americans in 1944 just eight miles outside of Paris. What? Double take. Quickly he finished business and I collected mon petit fee's things. He took out his wallet and showed me three very very old photos, pointed to the pictures and said that he would never forget. Just eight miles out of Paris. He would never forget. My grandpa served two years in WWII. Why didn't I get any more details? One of those times you really don't know what to say. He was expressing his appreciation to me just for being American, and I hadn't done anything. I left that office with so much more than I had paid for, so much more than I ever expected. I wanted to hug him, stinky finger and all.