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The American dog doesn’t know how lucky it is.

It does not understand that many other dogs in this world do not receive the same affection from their owners and from strangers on the street, it does not understand that the pretty little collar it wears is much more comfortable than those made out of rope, and it certainly does not understand that it is only an animal in the eyes of many, not loved even as a pet and certainly not as a child.

The American dog is also a spoiled brat.

It seeks attention by barking and yelping until someone finally submits to its wishes, it hops on its owner’s bed at its will, and it demands to be groomed and kept like a little princess.

But the American dog is also a bird in a gilded cage.

It cannot go with its owners to many establishments around the country. When it can enter, rarely can it go leash-less. And it certainly travels less with its owners than its counterparts.

But mostly, the American dog is really a (wo)man’s best friend.

It comes to you wagging its tail and waving its paws, asking for a little scratch here and a little nudge there, and in doing so, brings happiness to your daily life.

And that’s what I miss about dogs the most in France. I love that they can go almost anywhere with (or without) their owners here, but I hate that dogs here have almost no human connection. They pass you by as if you didn’t exist and many even act annoyed if you pet it. They are very well-behaved dogs and listen to their owners’ every command, but rarely do I see a lot of affection between owners and their dogs (or dogs and strangers). I almost pity them because they are in fact treated as animals instead of as family members and friends. Perhaps it is a cultural thing, perhaps not, but I miss my American dogs.

A French dog on the tram. Notice the obedience and collar. (And it's in the tram.)

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