Prof has become a fixture around our transplanted yard. He’s been coming with me everywhere since the neighbors complained that he was howling when I left him home. Turns out it was only one neighbor, and several other people in the building have since told me he’s causing no trouble at all. He cries for the first five minutes after I leave, then he’s fine. That said, when a basset hound cries, I’m sure most of the building knows about it. Anyway, I’ve decided to take him back home to Maisons-Laffitte tomorrow, when I have to come to Paris to speak at the American Chamber of Commerce. I was going to fly back, but instead bought us both a train ticket – his cost nearly as much as mine. I will miss not having him here, even though the trip from the apartment to the track entrance is frustratingly slow. Prof is 13 and hasn’t spent very much of his life on a leash, so when he gets hooked up, he puts on the brakes. Once he’s loose in the stabling area, though, he can really move. He likes to visit the trotters in their paddocks, and once we get to our area, he waddles around and visits everyone before taking a nap in the hay. He waits patiently in the saddle room while I ride out, and he sits in front of each box as I muck it out in the morning.
George also went back to Maisons-Laffitte, to make room for Strictly Rhythm, who arrives tomorrow morning. He seems happy to be home, I’m told, and actually was asking for food, which is something he surely didn’t do down here. I’m still trying to get a box for Turfani. Every day I go see the guy who is in charge of the boxes. Every day he tells me to go away and come back tomorrow, just like the guard in the Wizard of Oz. Yesterday, he suggested he was thirsty, and today he insisted I have a shot of slivovitz with him. I did, and suggested that perhaps a decent Kentucky bourbon might be better. He agreed. I believe that if I can produce a bottle of Maker’s Mark tomorrow, I just might get that spare box. I am learning to do business the Marseille way.