Down and Out in Paris and Wigtown

Dear Orlando,

My nerves are shot to hell, please help!

After being born and raised in Paris, I was abruptly moved by my human to southwest Scotland. I dealt with the shock of being wrenched from my stylish apartment in the 4th arrondissement and hurled into rural life, then the horrifying discovery that all the new local dogs were massive. I’m a Chihuahua you see, and my daily walks are filled with the near-constant trauma of Border Collies, German Shepherds and Lurchers. I miss my French companions.

There is also a vile cat who stalks me all over town. He’s a well-fed, rather angry chap, and larger than me by some stretch. The indignity of this is almost insufferable, but my human added insult to ongoing injury by acquiring Jacqui, who is both a Jackahuahua AND a teenager.

I’ve learned to get on with her for my human’s sake, and she was rather sweet when she was little, but now that she’s old enough to go out I suffer the humiliation of being walked alongside her and her fashion sense is awful. She wears these dreadful, loud woollen numbers. I thought it was a phase she’d grow out of, or they’d disappear in warmer weather, but no.

People stare and comment. She’s been sent garish knitted gifts by admirers and gets more ‘likes’ on social media than me now. Not only am I living with the canine equivalent of Gyles Brandreth, but people seem to like her more than me. I am a proud and dignified Frenchman, but this is intolerable.

What do I do?

Aged 52, Wigtown

Orlando the Cat

Dear Narco,

What an interesting name! You sound like a drug lord, but I digress . . .

This is a tricky one for me to advise on as I rarely comment on the attire of my fellow creatures. As my dear father used to say, ‘clothes do not maketh man, Orlando’ and he was right, they do not, so a lurid jumper should be neither here nor there. 

Jacqui, however, is not human. She is a dog, and I’m afraid I belong to the school of thought that outerwear on animals is necessary only in specific circumstances. I once went to Canada in the depths of winter, and the local canines wore bootees on their paws. I fell about laughing at how ridiculous they looked until I realised it was to protect the pads on their paws from the salt and chemicals used to grit the pathways, and then felt rather foolish. This is not that situation. 

Jacqui, like us, has fur. Unlike us, she has no standards. She is clearly ruining your ‘street cred’ as the kids say. You are elegance, and she is vulgarity. This must be rectified. I suggest you shred her accessories at the earliest opportunity and viciously attack anyone that attempts to re-dress her in crocheted material. 

I have no other advice.

Yours Purrfully,

One thought on “Down and Out in Paris and Wigtown”


    A heron in the river Nith
    Was lonely in November
    His mate was nowhere to be found
    Because he couldn’t remember.
    It’s not just folk who have bad days
    When everything’s forgotten
    All creatures are the same as us
    And think it’s really rotten.
    Now I’ve provoked a truth not known
    Well, hardly ever said
    Because us folks unlike the fauna
    Are just more widely read.
    And as our dreams are often dreamt
    Does the heron not dream too?
    I suspect the fauna dream as well
    Like cats and dogs, don’t you?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *