Little Bullo of the Neighborhood

They may be tiny, but you’d underestimate French Bulldogs if you’d think of them as such. Merci, mascot dog of Ninaleuca Concept Store in Lecce, Puglia, is the best example for a Big Soul in a Tiny Body. Benedetta Rossi, her master and human mother, got her for her twin daughters, secretly knowing that she would be “her person” (not only because she feeds her). This and other secrets of Benedetta’s all female household in a quick Q & A

Merci, french for thank you. Is that what you feel when you look at your 11 months old French bulldog?
I suppose so. Because it was pure luck that brought us together! I had no real intention of getting a dog, I’m too busy anyway. But my girls had always asked for one so I decided to give it a go and went to check out a litter of French Bulldogs in Bari, 2 hours from where I live. I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist once I got there… The rest is history.

What’s so amazing about Merci?
Her liveliness and sweetness I would say. She’s also meant to be very polite, but I believe that is because she is used to be by my side all the time. We do everything together: I take her to the lawyer or shopping, to my daughters’ sports lessons or for long rides in the car when I’m working.

Who is she more attached to?
I’m the breadwinner and she seems to understand that I’m the boss in the house. I’m providing for her basic needs and I take her to the vet (quite often, actually, they’re known to be very delicate). A piece of her big heart belongs to my daughters though. They are the ones who had wanted her so badly for a long time.

Who would she be if not a dog?
A bully in the neighborhood! Everyone knows her and her somewhat challenging character, but they also know that her attitude is fake: Merci is good from the top to the bottom of her soul.

I guess she’s got her proper role in the family?
She does! And, frankly, I didn’t think I could bond with her so much. I thought I would be different from all those dog owners who treat their animals as equals. To tell you the truth, I fell for it, too! We are 3 women in the house and we are ALL crazy about her.

Anything that annoys you about her – at least a bit?
There is something that makes me really angry but Merci doesn’t care: When I get out of the car for a few minutes and come back I’d find her sitting or sleeping on MY seat. She knows she’s not allowed to do that, she knows she’s supposed to move immediately, but he gives a damn.

What do you enjoy doing with her the most?
Well, unfortunately I don’t have much time to dedicate her, having two young girls and a challenging job. What we both enjoy are our daily visits in my atelier in Lecce. The taylors welcome her like a queen every time we show up! And then, of course, the long and cosy Sunday mornings in bed, all four of us together: Those are incredible moments for everyone!