Thursday, May 10, 2012

La Contessa and the Ford Focus

Mon dieu, the things they expect from a simple chien. Just because I have a pedigree as lofty as the tour Eiffel, I am an expert in all things mechanical?

Let me introduce myself. I am La Contessa, a very rare Princess Johanna's Court Dog. In the old country, I am indulged and flattered for my blue-blooded link to the crowned heads of yore. But on this common continent, I must work like, well, a dog, to earn my keep.

And so it is that I have been dubbed the Designated Dog, and schlepped around in a 2012 Ford Focus SEL for a full week. As I was thrust into the comfy leather seat, I was mesmerized by the centre control panel – it could rival the cockpit of La Concorde, where my cousin Olga often criss-crossed the pond.

Such a luxe European ride, it took me back to the old days in Gstaad. I was almost lulled into a sleep, when – ach du lieber! Such bumps! Was I in the backlanes of the Red District? No, it was merely Dufferin Street, which was recently voted by the CAA as one of the worst roads in Canada. We slalomed our way around the potholes, rather than schussing through.

As luck would have it, the torture test continued. There are cobblestone streets in Amsterdam that are smoother than Lawrence Avenue, another title-holder in the CAA worst roads listing. I feared we would disappear into one of the potholes, but our luck held. Actually, it was not so much luck as the well-heeled chassis and suspension on the Focus, which has been tested for its durability on a Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium and Michigan Proving Ground in the U.S. Anyone who has driven in Brussels (dear cousin Sasha and I romped there regularly) can attest to the brutality of the roads.

Then it was on to my favourite park at Cherry Beach. Here I could examine the Focus from every angle, as was my job. A clever set of wheels, it was, stylish and roomy – I could accommodate a whole litter of puppies in the hatch! But mamma mia, the beeping back-up system hurt my sensitive ears – they really must change the tonality to something less aurally invasive.

And then - какого хренаWhere was the gas cap? I sniffed high and low but couldn’t find a knob or switch for the life of me. But my aristocratic snout (which can discern a fine merlot from 100 metres) led me to success! There it was, cunningly hidden behind a rear quarter panel.  Bravo, Ford engineers, you almost had La Contessa.

A light rain fell on our way home, but the rain sensing wipers – moving inwardly – kept our windscreen clean. It made me misty for cousin Manuel’s Benz, which featured the same wiper pas de deux.

It’s late now. The Focus is gone and I need to count my names. I remember there being 16, but I’m not sure about the last one. Now that I’m in America, perhaps I should cut down?


  1. Awe... so cute. Well done. Love the post! :)Cheryl from LinkedIn

    1. Merci bien, we are tickled - so nice of you to stop by!

  2. What a fun approach to review a car. I never read automotive stuff, but I read all of this!

  3. That's lovely to hear! As you can imagine, we always find a way to have fun - squirrels, cars, travel - the world is just one big dog toy.

  4. This is really well done, Krystyna, Informative and fun, hitting the important points for those who care more about how a car does than how a car works.

  5. Gee, thanks! It's so much more effective to get information across when you have some fun with it...

  6. How cute, Your dog is adorable and your story about the ride in the car from the dogs point of view was just as good. I very much enjoyed reading it. :-), Susan Cooper

  7. Thanks, Susan! So many folks have dogs that we thought it would be appropriate to get a dog's point of view, and Contessa was happy to oblige ...

  8. What a great way to start the morning and what an innovative way to do a car review --- purrfect ( this is from my cat Poohka) he was glad to be given the heads up about "beeping back up system" and will be sure to wear earplugs -_^

  9. How lovely of you and pophka to come by! We're most flattered that a feline friend approves, because you know how finicky they can be ...

  10. Ls Contessa is clearly more than a pretty face, although the picture with her head out the sun roof was quite fetching indeed. She's is one smart cookie to be able to type out such an excellent review of her trip in the Ford Focus SEL. I used to live in Chicago and I guarantee you we had potholes that would rival anything found on Dufferin Street. People used to regularly break an axle hitting Chicago potholes. (Their cars fared no better either.) (Sorry about that.)

    Kay in Hawaii

    P.S. Did ;you note how cleverly I slipped in that pun about Contessa looking "fetching?" Fetching/Dog. Get it? Chortle.....

  11. Nyuk nyuk! We DID catch that adorable pun - and yes, La Contessa even looks fetching when she's fetching. And kvetching. Thank you so much for your clever observations - we will be suitably wary if we ever take a road trip to and through The Windy City.