Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rufus in Paris

You probably know that I have a gorgeous son named Rufus. Well it turns out there is another gorgeous tibetan terrier named Rufus and he lives in Paris.

Rufus' mom, Sarah Hay, is a thirty something English fashion journalist living in Paris where she reports on fashion shows and cultural events in the city for magazines such as UK GQ Style, i-D magazine, Financial Times Style and edits which is an online micro-magazine for W Hotel Paris that's opening in February 2012. Rufus is a nearly eight year old TT who likes to walk around Paris and the forest of Fontainebleau. He likes to eat raw carrots, dislikes mushrooms and enjoys socialising with packs of dogs in large green spaces.

Sarah on Rufus:

My dog, a Tibetan Terrier called Rufus looks cute but he and I both know that he’s not an ornamental toy, he’s an everyday, hard working guy. I’m a freelance fashion and culture journalist who has no qualms about spending endless hours and days at my computer writing, researching and thinking; it’s my dogs job to tell me when it’s time to get away from the screen, go for a walk and engage with the real world again, which he does twice a day. Because he needs to eat, pee and exercise, he’s really the one who reminds me to do the same for myself. Before I met my dog, I’d be surrounded by towers of pizza boxes during deadline. I’m proud to say, since meeting Rufus, those days are over.

Sarah, centre, between Alban Adam from Mugler and DJ Mimi Xu

A huge part of my livelihood comes from attending opening parties, socialising and knowing what’s going on in whichever city I’m living in and during my twenties I had a lot of fun. It’s no secret that drink and drugs are present around the fringes of media and entertainment industries and now in my thirties, I have a few friends who went through the painful process of finally reaching AA or NA which fortunately I never had to do but my dog has played and continues to play a part in that too. Since I got Rufus I’ve never gone out and come home two days later, I have somebody waiting for me now, I have a responsibility to a little dude who’s a lot of fun to be around, he keeps me grounded and shows his love for me in ways that are so clear as to never be misinterpreted. You could argue that this eight kilo bundle of jumping fur has saved my life.

So how did Rufus and I meet? By accident. I had just moved to Paris, was looking for an apartment and went to see an English girl who was letting go of her place. She had rescued an adorable if eccentric dog that looked like a Lhasa Apso but had a big character, we got on right away but he was a handful for his owner. Rufus constantly yanked on his lead, he was too insecure for his owner to even go to the toilet in a restaurant, he didn’t care to be petted and was known to bite. The dog was a bundle of nerves and the owner said that she had a new job where she would be travelling. To cut a long story short I took the apartment and the dog too. I moved out of that apartment a few years ago but Rufus and I are still together! He's come a long way from the lost dog that he used to be.

I don’t know if Rufus is a pure Tibetan Terrier but he definitely has the character of one. He’s an agile guard dog. My understanding is that the breed, nicknamed Little Lion by Tibetan monks, was raised to possess a bark that, when heard from behind doors, suggests that the dog is bigger than it actually is. Tick that, his bark is certainly sharp and deafening. Tibetan Terriers are naturally happy, playful and comical little dogs and Rufus is certainly that too. He’s the little joker in the pack and since being sterilized he’s never had one single fight with another dog. I always tell nervous dog owners in the street or in the park that even if their little terriers, Chihuahua’s or Jack Russell’s growl or snap, it’s no bother to Rufus, he moves too quickly to get nipped and just carries on with his own business; that of being happy.

This quality is another part of his “job” as the life of a freelance journalist comes with a rollercoaster lifestyle. A huge high can be followed by a deep plunge and it’s priceless to have a presence around you that’s impervious to all of this. His mood is constant, his needs are grounded and simple and he really doesn’t care if I’m late because I’ve been interviewing Angelina Jolie, Karl Lagerfeld or Justin Timberlake, these excuses and these people don’t mean anything to him. He doesn’t care how I look, he doesn’t really care if I’m feeling lazy and don’t feel like walking either. All Rufus cares about is that I’m there, we’re together and we’re going for a walk, preferably for a run in Vincennes, the forest and lake that lies to the south-east of Paris. Everything else is boring to him, he’s not interested. That said, if Jolie, Lagerfeld or Timberlake had pieces of cheese or chicken in their hands then that would be a very different story – this dog has a lot of love and energy to give, especially if you’re packin’ cheese.