Amour and Puppy Love

vitruvian_man-001Here is a maxim to live by: Never watch a depressing French film with a puppy.

My friend Chuck raved about Amour. It won lots of awards. I decided to set aside my distaste for subtitles and watch it.

My son has a black lab puppy, Baxter, three months old.  He was going to a wedding and needed someone to watch the pup. My first opportunity to be a grandparent.

Andy arrived on a hot July afternoon laden down like any new parent. Baxter had a crate, a blanket cover, a tin of food, a packet of treats, a leash and a toy.  Andy set him up in the basement, where its cool. The puppy eyed his master with love and longing as he exited.  Then Baxter gave me a dismissive glance and oozed his furry body over the cool concrete.

imgres-1Three hours later I took Baxter for a walk.  He was fine with the idea, except I forgot to bring the treats he is supposed to get as a reward every time he goes to the bathroom outside.  He peed, moved to the side, sat obediently and looked to me for his treat.  When none was forthcoming, he gave me a dismissive look and moved only when I tugged his collar.  More disgust when he successfully pooped. He liked the spray fountain in the park, but it hardly compensated for my lack of treats.

After our walk I put Baxter in his crate and went to yoga.  When I returned we took another walk – this time with treats.  His attitude was much improved.  Afterward I gave him dinner and became his BFF.

I turned on Amour but there was no turning off Baxter.  He was no longer content to chill in the basement. He had to be with me.  He raced around the den during Emmanuelle Riva’s initial stroke, struggled to climb on the sofa when she returned from the hospital, succeeded in getting onto the cushions as she mastered her electric wheelchair, chewed on my sandals when she was getting her diaper changed, licked my ears while Isabelle Huppert fought with Jean-Louis Trintignant, and flopped his hot and sweaty belly over my lap when the old man finally smothered his deteriorating wife. Puppies lack gravitas.

imgresAlthough it is hardly fair to pen a critique of anything more serious than Turner and Hooch with a puppy cavorting during a film, Amour made two impressions on me. First, I loved their apartment. So did the director, whose lingering stills of the quiet rooms and the severe art made the sumptuous, Parisian living space an integral character.  Second, I realized the importance of a movie title. Amour. We know, going in, that they love each other. Imagine if the movie had been called Smothered, which is actually what happens.  No awards for that movie. Nada.

When I put Baxter back in his create he whimpered, sorry to see me go. A few treats and a bowl of dry food were all it took. Baxter loves me for life.  Dogs are so much easier than people.

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About paulefallon

Greetings reader. I am a writer, architect, cyclist and father from Cambridge, MA. My primary blog, theawkwardpose.com is an archive of all my published writing. The title refers to a sequence of three yoga positions that increase focus and build strength by shifting the body’s center of gravity. The objective is balance without stability. My writing addresses opposing tension in our world, and my attempt to find balance through understanding that opposition. During 2015-2106 I am cycling through all 48 mainland United States and asking the question "How will we live tomorrow?" That journey is chronicled in a dedicated blog, www.howwillwelivetomorrw.com, that includes personal writing related to my adventure as well as others' responses to my question. Thank you for visiting.
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2 Responses to Amour and Puppy Love

  1. Lisa Hoffmaster Hess says:

    Love (err amour) the Cliff Notes & critique of the movie; and totally agree on the dogs vs people observation. Congrats on your new grandson!

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