Friday, November 5, 2010

30 Chic Days - Day Five

Day 5: Breaking News

In the back of my mind, my ideal French girl Sabine walks her poodle along the Seine river and often sits outside a cafe with her black coffee, poodle at her feet. After all, what is more French than a pet poodle? I even mentioned poodles in my make-believe magazine interview when I first started this blog.

I knew I would never have a poodle though, no matter how stylish I thought they were. The reason is that I could never have a 'bought' pet, when there are so many unwanted ones that are waiting for a home at rescue shelters. And in my days of volunteering at the SPCA (every month for four years until we opened our shop) I never saw a poodle in the dog adoption area once. Mostly they were bigger dogs, and the little ones were snapped up immediately.

A customer in our shop on Monday of this week was carrying the most delightful tiny toy (more a teacup really) poodle as she was trying on shoes. I fell in love with the wee dog but told her what I've just told you, no fancy bred dogs, only rescued ones etc. Not judging her, just said I couldn't do it.

She then told me about an organisation called Poodle Rescue. Can you believe such an entity would exist? Apparently they deal with poodles that need to be rehomed due to situations such as marriage breakups, changed circumstances and elderly owners not being able to care for them anymore.

I asked her to keep me in mind for the future as that sounded like it could be something I could do one day.


Yesterday this same lady called me to say the Poodle Rescue person had called her to ask her if she knew anyone that could give a home to a 12 year old small poodle whose elderly owners had gone into hospital. What she was worried about was the owners had already surrendered him to the SPCA who were planning to put him to sleep despite his good health, because they considered twelve too old to rehome.

Naturally I could not let this happen, and luckily my husband agreed. So this morning I met with the Poodle Rescue woman and the lovely lady who introduced us, at the SPCA to uplift little silver poodle Atlas.

Here we are blogging about it tonight.

Poor little Atlas has had a big day (a big week really, spent at the SPCA on death row) and is quite tired. He really is a sweet boy, so gentle and affectionate. If he could spend all day asleep on someone's lap he'd be happy.

You will note he doesn't look particularly poodle-ish, because he hasn't got the traditional poodle grooming with short cropped bits and longer bits like a top-knot on the head. I think he looks really lovely with a short clip all over, but I reserve the right to change my mind and have him made over into something worthy of a pen drawing on the cover of one of Mireille Guiliano's books. If you've got a lovely curly coat, why not have a little fun with it I say.

And he gets to be a shop dog too! Atlas will be travelling into work each day with us. He will have a little bed out the back, and can venture into the shop once he gets used to his surroundings. We have a grass lawn out the front, and a park (with a fenced leash-free area) just around the corner.

Some days I believe in serendipity more than others. Today was a good day for combining French Chic fantasies and helping a homeless dog.

Normal programming for 30 Chic Days will resume tomorrow.


  1. Aaawww. Atlas is so cute! How wonderful that this worked out for you (and for Atlas) the way it did. Enjoy! I look forward to more pictures of him in the future. (I need to check on such rescues around here).

  2. Omg he is so cute! what a precious little boy! I have a 14 year old little angel named Jasmine, she is my baby and the light of my life hehe she was jet black when I got her and now she is just as grey as Atlas is they look so much alike actually. I have always loved poodles too, they are so sweet and loving and extremely smart. My little girl has so much personality haha. She is very sneaky and she she knows when I am around she won't get in trouble no matter what she does, she just runs and sits my feet for safety when she has done something she knows she shouldnt. Congratulations on the new little additon to your family!

  3. What a lovely blog post! Your dog is so cute. I can't wait to see updates on him. I will have to look and see if they have rescues such as this in my area. I have a yorkie that was given to me by a friend that was going to give her to the SPCA and she's a sweetie. I am loving the 30 days of chic by the way.

  4. Congratulations! I love him. I'm so glad you rescued him.

  5. hi fiona,

    and here i thought you were a person. you are an angel! how sweet. i grew up with poodles and have always been partial to them. they are so smart. atlas is a darling name. our first poodle was fifi and my last one was
    mei-tu. don't ask why my mother spelled it that way but we all thought it was exotic. how sweet that he gets to go to and fro with you everyday. i'm so happy for the both of you. you just made my day.


  6. How lovely!
    And your life will be fuller because of this new fluffy addition.
    I hope that you are already enjoying some cuddles and have had a chance to walk with Atlas and introduce him around. I know a local shop owner who brings her Golden retriever to her shop and when I go there I enjoy a good pat before I shop!

  7. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!!!! he's so adorable and I am happy that he found a family to love him!

  8. Vintage Dreamer, we weren't even looking, it was just pure chance that this lady brought her poodle in and we had the conversation, right at the time a little dog was in peril. People say 'they come to you' and it's true.

    Jen, Jasmine sounds like a sweetheart. We're looking forward to hopefully years with Atlas. He has some health issues - cataracts mean he has limited sight, bad teeth which he is having looked at next week and is a bit thin. He's so placid and has settled in pretty well though, considering how bewildered he must be feeling.

    Robin, I love yorkies (don't tell Atlas). The Poodle Rescue lady here is a retired breeder (who has such a love for poodles she is actually quite dotty!) and because of this people ring her if they need help. So perhaps contacting breeders and putting your name down could be the first step.

    Thanks Stephanie, me too!

    Hi Janet, little Atlas was split up from his two other companions/siblings (not sure which) three years ago when his original-original owner died. He had a brother called Samson! My husband thinks it's pretty cute that a 4kg (9lbs) poodle is called Atlas, who held the world on his shoulders. Of course Fifi is a natural name for a poodle.

    EuroChic, I feel blessed that it all happened this way and we get to enjoy his company and look after him.

  9. Atlas is beautiful..I'm so happy you got to rescue him. He looks so content in the photos.

    (You look so pretty too!)

    I had tears reading the story and seeing Atlas' photos. So sweet.

  10. Thank you Sunny! We're all pretty happy here.

  11. From death row to arms of one of the most gentle, loving and caring person on Earth… This is a miracle story! I am so happy for Atlas! I wish his previous elderly owners new that their dear friend of 12 years is loved and cared for. It would give them a great peace of mind.

    I have been thinking about a pet-friend for a while. After reading your story, I will only be getting pet through adoption. Thank you, Fiona.

  12. What a lovely little dog!! And aren't you lucky to have found him in time. I'd love to have a little dog, but DH is adamant about no dogs or cats (although we do have a little parakeet). It's great that you are able to take him to work with you every day. I'm sure he'll love it once he's settled. Looking forward to hearing more about him.

  13. Thank you Russian Chic for your lovely words. I think this story is a bit of a miracle too. Just the way the timing worked out. Some things are just meant to be. Thank you for making adoption the only way - spread the word! Hopefully his former owner does 'know'. For some reason I like dogs to have middle names, like people. His original owner was named John, I found out yesterday. So Atlas John is his full name.

    Jackie, it's hard when your other half doesn't want a pet. My husband did not want us to get a dog while we were still renting, but when he heard this little one was going to be put down, his face changed and then he agreed. Now he is besotted, after less than 24 hours. Even more than me I think! I asked the Universe for lots of help, and I still am, so that he fits in with us at work and is happy to be there.

  14. What a wonderful and lucky doggie. I have a toy poodle - King George that comes to work with me. He sits on a chair next to my desk and watches people come and go. He even has his own car seat so he can see out the windows and stay safe. Poodles are so very smart and loving. I'm sure he will be a perfect family memeber. Your both so lucky to have each other. I want to add I love your bolg and read it every day - I've been using your techinque of pretending to be in Pais when life seems dull here and it brightens my outlook.
    P.S. We also have a poodle rescue here in Northern California and my sister in law has adopted 3 toy poodles from them that have been the love of her life.

  15. How adorable is he! Dogs really do make your life sweeter. Mine are currently sandwiching me in bed, both passed out (as they are most days, I swear I have the laziest dogs). And what a great way of getting Atlas!

  16. Cokie, thank you so much for your comment. I love pretending I live in Paris too, I think I need to do it more often. How adorable that your love goes to work with you. I'm sure Atlas will get used to it and be a valuable and happy staff member. The woman who introduced me to pet rescue has a doggy car seat like yours. Her poodle looks so adorable and comical up high so she can see out. I'm going to get Atlas a little clip for his harness which attaches to the seat-belt to keep him (and the driver) safe. When I left the SPCA yesterday he sat on my lap most of the time, even on the busy motorway. We're lucky we're both still here!

    Yay for your sister in law. Sounds like once you've been bitten by the poodle bug...

  17. Thanks Kalee! I thought of you with your dogs.

  18. Fiona,

    I was so happy to read your post this morning! I told Daisy and Coco and they are really excited about Atlas too.
    I just have to know: Does Atlas sleep with you and your husband?
    For me, snuggling with my doggies is one of the best things about having a small dog - or a big one, for that matter.

    I am looking forward to more stories and pictures of little Atlas.

    Congratulations on your new addition.


  19. What a sweet dog-and so nice of you to adopt him! Sounds like he will have a wonderful rest of his life with you.

  20. hi fiona!
    i think your small poodle is absolutely adorable!
    i am a dog owner/ dog lover as well!
    and you will be happy to know that both of my dogs have been rescue dogs! =)
    One I believe is a rottweiler/german shepard mix and the other (who unfortunately passed away a couple years ago =[ ) was a german shepard/lab mix.
    so both are of the big variety! <3
    my chic Londoner would also own a dog.


  21. Adrienne, I was hoping Coco and Daisy would see Atlas' post. Yes, of course he slept on top of the bed last night, between our elbows/shoulders. He was no trouble at all. Our two cats when we had them were real fidgets, and one used to like to sleep on your head, so Atlas is a dream, literally.

    Trish, thank you for your comment. I'm hoping he will have a lovely, long retirement with us.

    Lenna, your rescued dogs sound like darlings. What might your Chic Londoner have? More of the same?

  22. You will love having an inside dog. We have a maltese (my daughter gets allergies easy) and he is the sweetest thing - everyone wants a female to put bows in their hair so we was "unwanted" You will feel very French - I do when I take him to the park for a walk - Can't help to be reminded of the opening scene of the original 101 Dalmations when everyone is walking their dogs and you can tell personality of owner by their dog! very true in some cases. Seat belt of course and mine has a booster seat so he can see out the window. When I get made fun of I just think of the alternative if we were ever in a wreck! Enjoy!

  23. Anne Marie, Atlas and I walked around the corner to a cafe to get takeaway coffees today. I did feel French! My husband said 'You're going the long way aren't you'. Of course we are, we want people to see us! It was fun. Your Maltese must look so darling in his booster seat.

  24. What a lovely story. That doggie is so lucky to have such a chic owner!

  25. Thanks very much Jo. It's hard not to be chic with a poodle at your side!

  26. Fiona,
    what would my chic londoner own?.. i do adore my mutts and big dogs <3
    but there will be no surprise here if a teacup poodle comes into the mix ;p
    or a husky! those blue eyes are just.. ::melt::

  27. Lovely! Huskies are beautiful dogs too (poodles go without saying).


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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