Dog Trots Globe (and Pens Memoir)

Pet Travel Thursday

Destination: France

Book: Dog Trots Globe – To Paris & Provence (A Sheltie Goes to France)Book cover Dog Trots Globe by Sheron and Bob Long

Chula the Shetland Sheepdog poses with colorful baskets
Would these colorful baskets look half as beautiful without a Sheltie to reflect their bright colors in her lush coat?

By Pamela Webster

Dog Trots Globe – To Paris & Provence does what every travel book aspires to: it convinces a reader who has never visited a place to want to go and evokes memories in those who have already been there. Toss in over 150 colorful photographs and a beautiful Shetland Sheepdog and you have an enchanting travel book.

Dog Trots Globe and Writes Book

In 2010, Sheron Long and her husband Bob took a two-month family vacation to France. Their family included nine-year-old Chula, a Sheltie who found herself taking her first international flight and writing a memoir of the trip. Yes, Dog Trots Globe is written by a dog. Or, rather, is “barked to Sheron Long.”

Yes, I hear you. I’m not generally fond of books written by dogs. Their obsession with disgusting smells and their lack of opposable thumbs makes their writing challenging to say the least.

But Chula’s narration of the trip made the book a fantasy of sorts—the kind of book you curl up in your favorite chair to read on a miserable, rainy day. It’s written simply because everyone knows that Shelties aren’t pompous or condescending. And the dog’s eye view of the trip along with the exquisite photographs make you feel like you’re walking alongside the Longs through village markets, sidewalk cafes, and windswept lavender fields.

Arriving in Provence

Little did Chula know what was waiting for her when the Longs left their home in Carmel, California. Fourteen hours later (including 11 long hours in the cargo hold of a jet) found Chula and her people looking for a spot of French grass to serve as an impromptu dog potty.

Dog people know that no conversation about dogs fails to mention elimination. Dog Trots Globe is no different. Unlike, say Ackerly’s My Dog Tulip however, this book touches on the necessities while quickly moving on to what’s most important—the sights and smells of Provincial France.

For their stay, the Longs rented a house at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence on the Avenue de la Libération, which Chula took as a sign that off-leash adventures were in her future. After the long flight and the next day’s train trip to Southern France, Chula was ready to stretch her legs on the grassy lawn. When not chasing cats from the yard of her rented house, Chula explored farmer’s markets (the book includes a list of market days for nearby towns in the Alpilles region) and sidewalk cafes.

Olives at a market stall
And you thought olives were those bland things that came in cans and accompanied martinis.

Dog Trots Globe features mouth-watering photographs of market stalls piled high with locally-grown olives, garlic, and spices. As a matter of fact, you probably shouldn’t start reading this book without a snack close at hand—perhaps a piece of crusty bread, a few olives, and a glass of wine. You’ll start salivating over the photographs, and a Twinkie would be the wrong accompaniment to your reading.

But as exquisite at the markets are, I was most excited when Chula explored the countryside. The limestone cliffs of the Alpilles sandwiched between the shocking blue sky and periwinkle fields below looked like nothing I had ever seen before. Or, rather, something I had only seen in Van Gogh paintings. Never having visited Provence, I could see from the photographs why this region draws visitors from places where the sky features more gray than blue.

Puppy in Paris

Chula and the Longs explored Paris from their temporary quarters on the Left Bank. And although Paris is widely regarded as one of the most dog-friendly cities on earth, Chula reminds us that dogs are not allowed in most parks, the Metro, or art galleries. That limited Chula’s Paris adventures to strolling the streets, watching the world go by from a seat at an outdoor cafe, or napping in the hotel while Sheron and Bob got their share of dog-free culture.

One gets the sense that Chula was happy to return to her temporary home in Provence to breathe fresh air and roam in the grass before making the long return trip to California.

Dog Trots Globe as Travelogue and Guide

Although Dog Trots Globe functions mostly as a travelogue, it does contain some practical information about traveling with a dog. The book’s “Afterword, How to Take Your Pup to France,” describes the process of flying with your dog and details the paperwork you’ll need to complete to make the trip. You’ll find a PDF of those instructions at the “extras” page on the publisher’s website.

And if Chula’s descriptions and the Longs’ photos piqued your interest in traveling to France, you’ll find more pictures, videos, and tips at the OIC Books website.

I loved the fantasy of exploring the French countryside, Provence villages, and Paris streets with my Golden Retriever, Honey. After all, there is no better walking companion than a dog. They’re usually game for anything and never complain about their feet hurting. And, they’re excellent conversation starters.

But I can’t see myself expecting my dog to travel for 11 hours in the noisy cargo area of a plane. The risks of an accident are too great and even if all goes well, I imagine most dogs would find the experience terribly stressful. If you make the choice to travel overseas with your pet, the Longs provide an example of the best way to do it—with a long, stable stay in one place at the end of the trip.

That said, Chula doesn’t look any worse for the trip, does she?

Chula the Shetland Sheepdog nuzzling a cow and sign at a Butcher's display
If she hadn’t made the trip, Chula would not have met her new friend.

SPECIAL: You can win a copy of this book, just click over to Something Wagging This Way Comes to find out how.

Disclaimers: It is the policy of A Traveler’s Library to disclose affiliate links. The link to the book title in this post links through “Something Wagging This Way Comes” affiliation with Amazon. If you buy something through those links, you will be helping Pamela’s blog pay the bills. THANKS! All photos used here are provided by the publisher with © Sheron Long.

 

9 thoughts on “Dog Trots Globe (and Pens Memoir)

  1. I’m intrigued… I doubt I’ll ever be able to take Bella on any fantasy vacations, as she’s not a good traveler. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll even get to take myself on any fantasy vacations. For now, I’ll just have to live vicariously through books. I’m often leery of books written from the canine point of view, but this one sounds very interesting to me. I’m especially interested in all the photos.

  2. Ha, I wonder what dogs *are* pompous and condescending — maybe Afghans? They look like they would be snooty. I too am usually opposed to books written from a dog’s point of view but this one sounds like fun. Aside from the stretch you need to make — what with the lack of opposable thumbs, as you point out — bad things seem to happen in books I’ve read from that perspective (A Dog’s Purpose, the Art of Racing in the Rain).

    1. I agree with you about the dangers of letting dogs write their own books. I avoided your two examples like the plague.

      I think Long’s books is successful because she doesn’t go overboard with the text. Chula’s comments serve more as captions for the photos. So it’s light and charming without taking itself too seriously.

      You’re probably right about the Afghans. We have three in my neighborhood and two are quite imperious. :)

  3. My family had a sheltie for many years; we still miss her terribly. What a cute dog Chula is, and her story is probably adorable. Much success with the book!

    1. Shelties seem to be such a nice blend of hard working dogs and family companions. Sounds like many of them would be good to travel with. Perhaps you’ll have a new friend some time in your future.

  4. This sounds like such a terrific read. I love the concept behind putting together a travelogue with a dog book. Chula’s unique perspective sounds highly entertaining. It’s wonderful they included photographs as well, something other travel books often leave out. As I don’t think I’ll ever be venturing to Europe with my dog, I appreciate the chance to live a little vicariously.

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