The poodle gracing the cover of this month's EnRoute magazine is elegant, poised and, it's safe to guess, better than you and me. In every way. Although I wasn't present during the shoot, I imagine she smells like the inside of a fancy lady's vanity drawer. But, alas, she is also an impostor, a model meant to represent my poodle -- a rescue poodle from the wrong side of the tracks-- and the adventures we had on vacation in Montreal.  With these photos, I'm hoping to give you a glimpse behind the curtain to the real Boosh Goldstein and me.


 

A typical Saturday morning means estate sales, and that means beating the rush. I wake up at 5:15 am and, after a simple breakfast of melba toast and hard-boiled eggs eaten over the sink (why dirty a dish?), I pick up a copy of the paper and start researching. Boosh and I like to wait in the apartment lobby so we can be the first in the door. Waiting around is a good time to catch up on your mobile phone emailing or making small talk with the door man. In this case Roger, a retired gym teacher who, as I learned, was a Cesarian. 

(Estate sales around the city of Montreal, various locations) 


Wine goblets for 75 cents a piece or a hardly used toilet brush for 25 cents? Estate sales are my favourite way to shop: No loud dance music or commission-hungry salespeople applying cage match-worthy pressure holds.


After a morning of furious shopping ($1.50 worth of egg holders and two Las Vegas souvenir shot glasses, thank you very much) I make some calls while Boosh receives a call of her own-- the call of nature!


Boosh and I fuel up on samples at the Jean Talon market. Sausage slices on tooth picks. Salted tomato slices. Orange wedges. All of it healthy and free, and whereas at some markets you have to practically get up on your hind legs and beg for samples, that isn't the case here. They're quick and easy with the freebies. And that's good, because begging isn't our style.

(Jean Talon Market, 7070 Avenue Henri Julien, Montreal)  


When you're trying to enjoy a midday slice of pizza on a patio, Boosh's chick-magnetism can sometimes be a nuisance. But for those whom God has blessed with great cuteness there comes great responsibility. Boosh seems not to mind it, though. 

(Pizza Pinoli, 5224 Avenue Monkland, Montreal) 


For me and the Boosh, nature is a place best enjoyed on the Discovery channel; but sometimes a spirited romp through the grass is the perfect balm for the stresses of the rat race. While properly leashed, of course. And with a fanny pack full of vanilla scented waste bags. Does it look like rain? Where did I park the car?

(Beaver Lake, 1260 Chemin Remembrance, Montreal)  


Looking down upon a city gives a person and, I'm guessing, a dog, a real sense of perspective. It's also fun to imagine Boosh as a Japanese Claymation monster with a name like "Poodlezilla" stomping on buildings. I crush you!

(Mount-Royal Mountain, Montreal)


Finally, it's on to a terrace with my god-daughters Helen and Katie and their friend Annie. An ice-cream nightcap times out well as we all share the same 8:00 o'clock bedtime. But it'd be foolish to laugh; it's a wise man who hits the hay early. Especially when he has a Sunday morning step class at 7 am. 

(Ben & Jerry's, various locations in Montreal)


(Jonathan Goldstein is the author of Ladies and Gentleman, The Bible! and the host of CBC's WireTap, which airs on Saturdays at 1:30pm and Thursdays at 11:30 pm.)