Say bon jour to Chula, our latest jet set pet of the month. We had the pleasure of meeting this sensational Sheltie during our recent stay in pet-tastic Carmel-by-the-Sea, before Chula jetted off to Paris for yet another fabulous stay in Provence with her humans Sheron and Bob Long. During their journey, Chula had a little time to answers our pet travel questions, which we hope will help you and your petsetter plan for your trip to France or elsewhere.
The Jet Set Pets: How have you managed such a life, to live in pet paradise Carmel-by-the-Sea AND spend four months in France?
Chula: I was born to travel! My love of other countries and languages must have started when my humans named me Chula, which means “pretty” in Spanish. From the time I was a pup, I got to go all over California and east to New Orleans. But to go to France I had to wait until my humans, Sherry and Bob, got through with all that work stuff. When I’m in France, I answer to Jolie, which means “pretty” in French. (Even so, I’m no relation to Angelina Jolie.)
TJSP: What do you miss most about Carmel when you go to France and vice versa?
Chula: When I’m in France, I miss the looong curve of white sand on Carmel Beach where I can run with my pals off-leash and always make a new friend. When I’m in Carmel, I miss the markets of Provence. You can make a lot of dog friends there, too, but the sniffs are unique—spices, fleurs, pungent olives, paella, and all different kinds of sausage. Truth to tell, sausage is my passion, and my refined palate can even tell the difference between donkey and bull sausage. That’s because every Wednesday when I go to the market in St-Rémy-de-Provence, my friend the sausage vendor lets me do blind tastings under his table!
TJSP: How do you handle traveling in the pressurized baggage compartment? Any tips for your fellow furry friends?
Chula: Of course, I’d rather fly First Class, but I’m too big for the cabin. We’ve learned a few tricks to make the trip in the hold tolerable.
- Sherry and Bob always choose an airline that lets me stay in the lobby with them until 30 minutes before flight time.
- Bob freezes water in my water bowl so that I can board without spills, and then I have water all through the flight.
- Sherry outfits the crate with a comfy pad and a little something that carries her scent.
- About four hours before the flight, I have one of Bob’s good dinners (no sedatives, please), get some exercise, and visit the Animal Relief Area at the airport. (That’s a fancy name, but to me it’s a patch of welcome grass.)
The rest is up to me! It’s a long flight, so I scratch out a good spot in my carrier, curl up, and go to sleep. And, a tip for my other canine friends in the hold—during the flight, don’t be howling and carrying on—it hurts the imperfectly tipped and tender ears of this little Sheltie.
TJSP: What pet travel products do you never leave home without?
Chula: Big news! I have a new crate with a door that closes at three points and steel rivets (instead of plastic) to hold the top and bottom together. It’s a new regulation, so I can’t leave home without it.
And here’s what else I always pack for the flight (in Sherry’s carry-on):
- Roll of paper towels (just in case)
- 2 leashes (because Sherry always loses one)
- Microchip reader (if I’m going to France where they can’t read the kind of AVID chip I have)
- Bottled water obtained by Bob in flight and saved for me. Taking a good drink is what I need first when I land.
- A plastic water bowl that folds flat
- A tasty arrival treat
My soft soccer ball and tug toy travel in packed luggage. They make me feel at home at my destination.
TJSP: Any advice for dogs traveling to France for the first time?
Chula: Make sure that your humans travel at a time that’s not too hot or too cold, book a non-stop flight, and have all the paperwork in order. Regulations can vary by airline and country. For the details, check out Sherry’s tips for air travel: When Your Pup Flies, Too.
- When you’re in Paris and need a taxi, look small and sweet as you wait at the taxi stand. Technically, regular taxis aren’t supposed to transport dogs, but about one in every three will. When you hop in, go for the floor and not the back seat!
- Practice your “under-the-table manners” because you’ll get to eat out with your humans all the time. When waiters bring you a bowl of water, nudge their legs to say “merci” and position yourself so you don’t spill. It’s fine to sniff out the dogs at the tables next door, too, as long as you stay mostly under yours.
- Learn some French—When you hear the words bon appétit, it’s not that you’re about to get a bone, but do get in position to catch the tasty tidbits that will fall your way.
TJSP: What is your favorite restaurant in Paris?
Chula: That’s easy. It’s Christian Constant’s flagship restaurant Le Violon d’Ingres in the 7th at 135 rue Saint-Dominique. Alex, the maître-d’, likes me. One time he saved our table while we went outdoors to see Barack and Michele Obama arrive for dinner at La Fontaine de Mars, a restaurant next door. The restaurant is small and beautiful. I always try to look my best, but I like that I don’t have to dress up too much to go to Le Violon.
TSJP: What’s on your bucket list as far as destinations?
Chula: I’ve been most everywhere in France, but not to Annecy or Alsace. And I sure do want to cross the border into Italy. I’d love to drive down the Amalfi Coast with my nose out the window and trot through the olive groves in Tuscany. I bet I could even get a sausage pizza there!
Chula Wula D’Augue and Sheron Long are co-authors of the Dog Trots Globe, which covers their adventures in Paris and Provence, including an encounter between Chula the Shetland Sheepdog and 3,000 sheep. Available from OIC Books and your favorite online retailers. An enhanced eBook with embedded videos and music is available from Apple for iPad. Keep up with Chula’s continuing adventures on her Facebook page.
As a free gift, The Jet Set Pets is offering Poochcards from Provence, an ebook of Chula’s travels. May his journeys inspire you to travel to France with your chien.
Thank you Sheron for allowing us to use copyrighted photos of Chula and thank you Chula!
Does your pampered pet have what it takes to be a jet set pet of the month? If so, send us a one or two photos of your pet in “travel mode” along with a few lines telling us where your pet has been to email@example.com. Your coddled canine, fine feline or other furry friend could be featured here like Uggie, who stole the show in the movie The Artist, Giggy, who steals his mom Lisa Vanderpump’s show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills or Aleister, whose mom Dita von Teese steals the hearts of men when she performs.