Napoleon’s Pet


Napoleon didn’t have pets, but he genuinely appreciated other people’s dogs. The first such dog belonged to Josephine. “Millions of kisses to you and even your beast, in spite of his ill will, “he wrote her from Italy. The mean little dog, called Fortuné, shared the conjugal bed with Bonaparte; the general was even once bit at the most inopportune moment; but there was nothing he could do, for the pet had earned that privilege through years of loyal service: they say that during the Days of Terror, when Josephine was incarcerated, Fortuné served her as a messenger. The future Emperor respected that. Finally a bigger dog did Bonaparte a big favor; no happy ending though, for even with Fortuné out of the picture, Napoleon’s family life did not improve; and it’s not like he was disliked by other dogs, quite the contrary; and from the dog’s perspective, it was just Napoleon, for I’ve never heard any other guys complain.

chien_blanc_des_abruzzes_de_napoleonThe story of this stuffed animal, today at the Invalids, is apocryphal, but he looks convincing enough next to the Emperor’s stuffed horse; the story of the horse, I will tell you next time.

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