By Georgie Gurl
PARIS—Sometimes, when the world goes a little over the top, I have to find my happy place. This week, that place was Paris—or more specifically, The Louvre.
See that stunning piece of artwork? That’s the Mona Lisa—and that’s me, Georgie Gurl, soaking it all in. I’m pretty sure I overheard someone say that the Mona Lisa was painted by the legendary actor Leonardo DiCaprio, star of the best movie ever, Titanic. Isn’t she simply magnifique? That Leo is so amazing. He can act and paint.
What was it, you’re probably wondering, that made a 30-pound Wheaten jump on the first flight to Paris she could find? A very scary place called The Guggenheim.
I’ve never been there. In fact, I haven’t even been to New York yet, although it is on my bucket list. But this week, I heard some of my dog friends fretting over the fact that The Guggenheim was planning to show a controversial video exhibit entitled “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other,” that features American Pit Bulls running furiously on treadmills with all their might trying to get to each other, but never engaging.
I learned something even more awful: That apparently, some humans use this method of torture to train fight dogs. Ugh.
The title alone stressed me out. I mean, I know how frustrating it is when I can’t touch my friends, give them a wet sloppy kiss, or romp around in the grass. And treadmills really aren’t the best exercise for dogs. We honestly prefer a nice stroll through the neighborhood, a good game of fetch or chasing our friends around a nice, safe, fenced yard.
Anyway, I thought a good long time about the poor dogs who appeared in that video and how awful and frustrated and confused they must have felt. And after that, I decided that I really didn’t like this thing called “Art.” So I focused on my peanut butter-filled Kong, slept a lot and avoided looking at the paintings and photographs hanging on our walls.
My human could tell something was wrong and eventually she hit upon the problem.
“Georgie, you heard about The Guggenheim, didn’t you?”
I nodded and flashed her my big, sad, puppy eyes.
And then she explained to me that art isn’t supposed to be a bad thing, or a cruel thing. She said art comes in many forms—music, painting and sculpture—and that when it’s done right, it can inspire and touch you in ways you never thought imaginable. “Art can make you happy, or sad, and that’s okay,” she said, “but it should never be cruel or exploitative.”
That’s when I whipped out her credit card and booked my flight to Paris. I’d needed to find out more about this “art” thing, and make sure it wasn’t all bad.
My trip’s been delightful. I’ve enjoyed more ham and cheese baguettes than a dog could ever want, I’ve been flirting with poodles all day and I’m planning to pee at the Eiffel Tower later. I’m also going to hit the Musee D’Orsay tomorrow if I have some extra time since I’m really digging this painting thing.
And I heard earlier today that The Guggenheim decided not to show the “Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other”—but that they were “dismayed” about having to withhold “works of art.”
I’m hopeful they’ll come to their senses. Maybe they just need a trip to wonderful Paris, a city that appreciates its dogs, and understands the difference between a DiCaprio and piece of garbage.
NOTE: This column is dedicated to my two-legged friend Meredith, who cares about all living things and lends her voice to others who can’t speak up.