France has a new “first dog” – a two-year old black labrador-griffon cross called Nemo adopted by Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron from an animal rescue centre.
The French president paid €250 (£231) for the animal in what French media have dubbed a “canine reshuffle”, after he and his wife spent two hours picking one over the weekend.
Nemo fait ses premiers pas dans le parc de l’Elysée avec Brigitte Macron pic.twitter.com/vLFDdfGtOv
— T Quinault Maupoil (@TristanQM) August 28, 2017
Captain Nemo commands the submarine Nautilus in the Jules Verne classic Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, said to be one of Mr Macron’s favourite books. Verne is from Amiens, Mr Macron’s native town.
The name also follows French Canine Society rules that all pedigree dogs named this year should start with the letter “N”.
Nemo’s official duties have already begun – he was there at Mr Macron’s side to greet Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou.
In a politically ironic twist, the dog had been abandoned in Tulle, in the southern Corrèze region, the home base of Mr Macron’s predecessor, François Hollande.
Mr Hollande had a female labrador called Philae during his tenure at the Elysée Palace, which has a large garden for the pet to cavort in.
Political commentators were quick to speculate on the message behind the latest addition to the Elysée Palace.
For Olivier Pérou from Le Point, the pet was chosen for “a bit of tradition ‘(labrador), a bit of renewal” and as a crossbreed because it reflected his “neither Left nor Right ” stance.
“Communication, yet again and always,” he tweeted.
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