Queen of Le Chable

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Pebbles is an Entlebucher Sennenhund Swiss dog who lives in Le Châble, Switzerland.  Like most Swiss dogs she is keenly aware of her own self-importance.  Having lived most of her life as the ‘Lodge Dog’ in Richard Branson’s Lodge in Verbier, this trait is not surprising.  It earned her the proud title of ‘Queen of Le Chable’!

Despite her regal demeanour Pebbles does have some rather ‘doggy’ habits.  Her owners blame this on her penchant for eating cow pooh!  Jo has even gone so far as to put her on a gluten free diet, like herself, to reduce the problem.  But Pebbles and I have an agreement!  She puts her head on my knee, gives me the big doggy eyes and begs a piece of toast.  While Jo is not looking, I slip a piece of toast in her mouth.

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Queen of Le Châble visits Annecy

Pebbles does know how to choose her moments.  Like when she is seated on the back seat of the car in between myself and Accidentally Cultured.  To make matters worse she has to sit, curled up on my lap. This means we all freeze to death with the windows down!  Our worst experience was during a day trip to Annecy with the first snow of the season. On arrival we discovered there was a huge festival,  ‘Le Retour des Alpages’, celebrating the return of the mountain people from the Alps to bed their animals down for the winter.  Here is Jo, clinging to Pebbles, dreading the idea of all that cow pooh for her to eat!

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Pebbles can hardly be blamed for loving cow pooh, she is after all an ‘Entlebucher Sennenhund”  otherwise known as an ‘Entlebucher Mountain Dog’.  The ‘Senn’ in her breed’s name refers to the ‘Senn’ people who are herders in the Swiss Alps; and Entlebuch is a region in the Canton of Lucerne in Switzerland.  So clearly it is in her genes to seek out cow pooh!

Her habits can lead to some rather embarrassing moments, which might typically occur when eating out in restaurants.  Strange to say, dogs are most welcome in Swiss and French restaurants, something totally unheard of in Australia!

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Queen of Le Châble visits Chamonix

On a recent visit to Chamonix, whilst dining in the exclusive Cap Horn restaurant, Pebbles was sound asleep under our table when AC suddenly yelped,

‘Did she do one?’

Then he leapt up and opened the window.  Strange to say most people in the restaurant took no notice.  But then, maybe they didn’t speak English.  Pebbles was actually sound asleep under the table, dreaming about the marvellous time she could have exploring Mont Blanc!

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Queen of Le Châble visits Martigny

My favourite restaurant in Martigny is Crêperie la Rustique.  This restaurant is always full at lunch time, a testimony to how much the Swiss love their crêpes.  Eating my favourite ‘Popeye’ crêpe, I was a little shocked to discover a woman on a nearby table popping little bits of her crêpe into Pebble’s mouth.  Jo, of course, was mortified fearing the results of breaking the gluten free diet!

The other surprise in this restaurant was that Pebble’s Vet was also there enjoying, not a lunch break from her canine friends, but saying hello to her patients in the restaurant.  She gave Pebbles a very warm welcome, and another bit of crêpe.

Queen of Le Châble visits Verbier

I think our favourite outing with Pebbles was to the Nelson in Verbier.  Here she is enjoying a beer with her favourite person, Accidentally Cultured!

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We met lots of people in Verbier that day.  The Queen of Le Châble is known and loved by the dog lovers of Verbier, and only after they made a huge fuss of her,  were we able to introduce ourselves.  After a while, we found ourselves doing the same thing.

Pebbles does have two very endearing qualities.  She loves to cuddle up next to us and watch TV in the evening, and then get tucked into her bed for the night.  When she wakes up, with child-like joy, upon being let out to go to the toilet, she heads straight for the nice soft green turf of someone’s front yard.  The odd thing is, the Swiss love dogs in restaurants, but leave the droppings on their front lawn and all hell breaks loose!

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Taking Pebbles out walking is such a pleasure because we get to see amazing scenery, like La Ruinette shining gracefully down on Le Châble like a giant guardian goddess keeping watch over the tiny hamlet of Le Châble huddled around the church tower.

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  1. Oh Pebbles! I remember her being a naughty dog once. Escaping down the stairs as I took her down to the laundry room. She burst free into the snowy wild and went mad dog, running circles in the snow. Due to my non-snow-worthy attire of t-shirt and thongs I was unable to capture her. I ran upstairs to grab a jacket and shoes and came down to an eerily silent snow field. Pebbles was no where to be seen. I stalked the snowy field, crouched low to avoid the peering Swiss eyes from behind their curtains; then I spotted her perched on the crest of a slope. She had dug up something in the snow and was ripping in to it, on closer inspection it was a dead chicken she somehow found. I thought to myself, I have one chance of catching her, rugby tackle! With flashbacks to my schoolboy days I took off at a sprint, still crouched low and braced for impact. Pebbles sensed my approach and looked up in shock, her wide brown eyes met with my intense blue, she didn’t even try to run she knew I had her. We collided, I wrapped my arms around her and the three of us tumbled down the hill, chicken carcass with feathers flying, mottled dog with ruffled fur and my bony bare white legs cartwheeling through the snow. I could just sense the judging Swiss eyes saying “stupid English people!”

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