Today Le Monde Magazine is going to interview the family dog, Buddy.
Le Monde: Buddy we understand that you live with the Stalcup family in Reston.
Buddy: Yes, I am their only pet. There was another dog when I arrived, but I got rid of him!
Le Monde: You got rid of him?
Buddy: Yes. Buster was okay, as dogs go, but he lacked the essential charm of a miniature poodle; he was too calm, too aloof, too . . . big.
Le Monde: How did you manage to get rid of him?
Buddy: Oh, little things. It wasn’t hard. I pranced on my hind legs, and hopped onto empty laps and looked fetching. The next things I knew, he was gone. Rumor is, he is buried in the back yard under a pile of white rocks.
Le Monde: How did you come to live with the Stalcups?
Buddy: I was rescued. It was quite dramatic really. My first home was with a family of Jack Russells. A despicable breed. While the Madame was home, she carried me everywhere and I was a happy pup. Then she began leaving the house for hours at a time and the Jack Russells refused to follow my instructions. Those dogs made my life miserable. I really don’t want to talk about it. Poodles rule!
Le Monde: So you were happy when the Stalcups brought you home?
Buddy: Not at first. I growled at them and tried to bite Monsieur. I thought they were a bit odd. I am convinced that Monsieur believes he is a dog. It is most unsettling. He gets on all fours, barks and tries to take my bone. I try to humor him. Poor Madame! I do not know how such a kind lady married such an imbecile. But I gradually warmed up to them. I have my own sofa now in their bedroom and am loved by all. All for very little work!
Le Monde: Work?
Buddy: Yes. I work hard. I have to guard Madame and the entire estate. She is not very discerning and invites all sorts of people onto the property. It is a big responsibility for a little dog but I take it very seriously.
Le Monde: Estate?
Buddy: Yes, when I arrived the family was living in a typical suburban neighborhood but I have considerably expanded their holdings. We now have extensive property.
Le Monde: Expanded their holdings? What do you mean? You don’t mean to say that you, a dog, have purchased property?
Buddy: No, in the canine world you simply annexed property by marking it. It is a boundary anyone with a decent nose would recognize. I have worked very hard leaving markings of both types, if you catch my drift. We now own many acres.
Le Monde: I see. How have the neighbors reacted?
Buddy: Neighbors? We have no near neighbors. Just this morning I was out with Madame and Monsieur while they worked in the yard. They are so careless. There was an intruder just 20 feet from Madame and she did not see the danger. But I barked valiantly and he went away. Madame is so fortunate to have me protecting her.
Le Monde: Wasn’t that your next-door neighbor, Steven?
Buddy: Neighbor? No, I am quite certain it was an intruder. We get them occasionally but I always take quick action and they leave. Some try to pet me which insults my dignity but I always let them know that I mean business. I want Madame to know she can count on me. I will not betray her for chew toys and tasty snacks. Even though they smell wonderful, and they taste . . . I mean I am sure they would taste delicious. If I took them, which I don’t. I mean . . .
Le Monde: Speaking of chew toys, I understand that a very sweet little girl brings you toys and treats.
Buddy: I am afraid you mean Jayden, since she is the only young child who frequents our estate. Yes. She does bring me toys, but she likes to give me baths and sometimes lifts me in the most awkward ways: hands tight around my tummy. I am not amused. The tugging and pulling is hard to bear. I do not understand why Madame and Monsieur let Jayden eat at the table while I am relegated to the floor.
Fortunately there are others who see my plight. A lovely woman named Miriam lives on our estate, and she sneaks me food under the table when Madame is not looking. I adore Miss Miriam. Once she cooked liver and the smell of the delectable morsels on her breath was enough to make me swoon.
Occasionally the Stalcup are out and I sleep downstairs with Miriam and her husband (I cannot recall his name). Sometimes her husband even warms up the bed for me before I hop up on my side. Bliss! They know how to treat a dog.
The Stalcups do not let me sleep on their bed, though sometimes Monsieur lets me up behind his rather broad back. If Madame sees me, off I go. I do not understand why she is so unsympathetic about sleeping arrangements since she is otherwise muy sympatica.
Le Monde: Spanish! You’ve learned to speak Spanish?
Buddy: Yes, well there are many languages spoken in our home. Italian, Hindi, Spanish, French. To be quite frank I don’t understand the attraction. All this yammering is enough to make a dog’s head hurt.
And the resident who speaks Italian, Daniele, is a wicked man. I am so grateful that he was eventually banished for stinking up the home with dehydrated spinach. For a shot time Madame blamed me for the awful stench, but a quick search revealed my innocence. Daniele did not appreciate my efforts to guard the family and even took to rapping me sharply on the nose for barking. I was pierced to the heart. Does he not see the danger? All day long people walk through our property on the dark path and I must sound the alarm to chase them away. It always works. They all leave. Eventually.
Le Monde: You must get lonely at times, no?
Buddy: Until recently I had two girlfriends living in a home across the dark path, Kali and Sasha. They adored me, though at times I questioned their devotion. Did they love me or my food? They ran straight for my kibbles when they came to visit. I have of course annexed their home as well, inside and out.
Le Monde: Rumor has it that you were sporting a Mohawk earlier this year.
Buddy: Yes, Madame was feeling playful with the clippers, but I quite liked the look. The Mohawk, paired with the rugged good looks of my Harley Davidson collar (complete with metal spikes!) made quite a fashion statement. I hear that my predecessor was dyed each Fourth of July red, white and blue. It sounds so undignified. I would never allow such liberties to mock the honor of my breed.