Is this the most traveled dog in France? Pearl (her insanely long full French name is at the end of this post) was born three years ago today.
We are inséparable and travel all over France together. There are thirteen regions in Metropolitan France, and she has been to ELEVEN. Pearl has never left the country. I can count on one hand the number of nights we have been apart (one due to my hospitalization), and I plan to keep it that way.
STORY! When Pearl was six months, I worked myself into a stupor and was so sick. I was trying to build a business in France, move across the country, and help my son move to university in Lyon. I was doing all of this alone and with a puppy. I “project managed” myself into illness – it was a series of miscalculations, an obsession with perfectionism, and a lesson that is so hard for an ex-pat/immigrant to learn – to ask for help.
It’s late September 2020; moving permit in hand and all the street barricades in place, I crawled back in bed with a triple-digit fever. I was leaving Burgundy for good and moving permanently across France to a whole new life. Pearl was six months old.
She cozied up next to me, and I passed out. So went the next few days on repeat. Pearl never asked anything of me, and I could barely take care of her – I crawled out of bed to feed her and use the terrace to potty her. The moving company driver had disappeared, and I had to keep returning to the Mairie to adjust the paperwork. It was the only time little Pearl had a chance to be outside.
She stayed next to me – as she always has. What was a brief illness ended up as a double ovarian torsion and emergency surgery three weeks later.
Pearl never leaves my side. Good or bad. She entered my life just five months into my immigrant journey. Pearl is my left hand, my sun and moon, and my whole heart.
Happy birthday, my sweetest girl. “Pearl” Legende Pratuch des Aghates de Chamrouge du Sablé-sur-Sarthe, France born/née March 8, 2019. 200 grams.