Ringo’s Big Adventure
Les Quais de la Seine
by Dallas Doctor
Ringo’s favorite part of Paris is the quay across from Notre Dame on the left bank. That’s the only part of Paris where it’s both sort-a-safe and sort-a-legal for Ringo to run off-leash. He loves it. Doc takes him down to the quay early in the morning when there’s usually no one around except the men picking up garbage from the night before.
Ringo loves that moment when the leash comes off. He runs free and fast and it’s fun. But he doesn’t run far; he always checks to make sure Doc’s always close — he doesn’t want to run away, but he loves the feeling of freedom.
Of course, there’s always risk involved with that kind of freedom.
Ringo’s favorite activity at the quay is to hunt for rats. There are wastebaskets every 20-30 meters or so and Ringo’s figured out that sometimes there’ll be rats in the wastebaskets. He systematically runs from wastebasket to wastebasket in search of excitement and adventure. Doc doesn’t know what’ll happen if Ringo ever actually catches a rat; it’s never happened. So far, the rats are faster than Ringo — they always scurry into or under some obstacle that keeps Ringo’s plans frustrated. But Doc has to keep an eye out to make sure Ringo doesn’t get into any serious trouble. A rat-bite doesn’t sound fun.
Another risky thing about being off-leash in this part of the city is that discarded baguettes don’t scurry away the way rats do; it’s common for Ringo to find all or part of a potentially nasty treat on the cobblestones. Even though Doc’s explained many, many times that baguettes are “not for doggies,” Ringo’ll still grab one every chance he gets, which is often whenever he’s off-leash. Fortunately, Ringo is an expert at the “drop-it” command. He looks up at Doc with his droopy eyes in silent protest, but he always “drops-it” anyway. Because he’s a good boy.
There are other risks as well: Parisians are typically not early-risers, so most mornings Doc and Ringo have the “Quais de la Seine” all to themselves, but every once in a while, an early morning jogger or someone stumbling home from a party will trespass across Ringo’s playground. When that happens, Doc never knows what to expect. Ringo always wants to check out what’s goin’ on with the newcomer — and sometimes so does the newcomer — which is fine and good — but sometimes, the unexpected sight of a big, brown, off-leash dog frightens the trespasser. Sometimes people shriek, freak, or freeze when Ringo begins to approach, so Doc has to always be ready to come to the rescue should such action become necessary.
So there’s always a certain amount of anxiety whenever Ringo runs free, but it’s worth it…
Because it’s good to be off-leash sometimes.
(Scroll down for a quick 6-second video of Ringo running off-leash in Paris.)
Please share this story in any way you consider appropriate. This is part of a collection of very simple short stories called: “Ringo’s Big Adventure” which is NOT to be confused with a similarly titled, but entirely different set of more complex stories with the working title “Travels with Ringo” which are ONLY available to my awesome supporters who are making these adventures possible over at patreon.com/dockity … If you’d like to become part of the team and receive cool rewards in return, please visit: patreon.com/dockity … Thank You! Sincerely, dockity.