Soufflé, the Toy French Poodle:
Handicapped, But Not Disabled

Article and photos by Patricia B. Mitchell, January 1975.


Soufflé is a five-year-old toy French poodle who shares the home and bed of Jill and Brad Roberts. Jill owns the Quarter Stitch Needlepoint Shop at 532 St. Peter. Soufflé usually comes in to work with her. Soufflé has a curly gray coat, a sweet disposition, and three legs.

Community Standard: As a handicapped individual, do you have to restrict your activities?

Soufflé: No, not at all… I was hit by a car about three and a half years ago, and the doctors tried to save my leg. It was in a cast for months, which was really a drag. When they finally took off the cast and my leg, I felt that I had been relieved of a burden.

Community Standard: Do people react strangely when they discover your handicap?

Soufflé: You know, it's funny… Jill and I will be walking down the street and people will whisper as though we don't realize that I'm an amputee.

Once a lady and I were having a delightful conversation in the shop. I was sitting down. Well, when I stood up and the lady perceived my infirmity, she burst into tears and ran out! Most people don't act that way, of course. She was probably in a melancholy mood, and I just set her off.

Community Standard: Were your feelings hurt?

Soufflé: Not too much. I guess I just make people wonder why they are so blessed.

Community Standard: You seem to have a healthy outlook on life. Do you like people?

Soufflé: I love them. Being French, I frequently take the liberty of kissing their hands.

I'll tell you, though, people with cameras or beards or hats get on my nerves. They look un-human.


“Now I feel wonderful and sexy.”

Community Standard: How do you spend your leisure time?

Soufflé: Surprisingly enough, I enjoy walking and running, and traveling in cars. I like to stand on my leg and look out the window.

Community Standard: Are you planning to have babies?

Soufflé: Definitely! About five months ago I had a hernia repaired with which I had been afflicted since the automobile accident. Now I feel wonderful and sexy.

Community Standard: We have heard that you are a health food enthusiast. What are your favorite foods?

Soufflé: I love pineapple and grapes — all citrus fruits. — Very healthy, you know. Those of us who have been through a lot of trauma can especially appreciate the value of a sound body.