The Artist in the Family

The best things in life are not things, they say. And it’s particularly true for what happened to Aleksandro De Michele, 31, from Monopoli, on holiday in Salento a couple of years ago. Not that he was actually looking for a dog. But he overheard people sitting closeby telling the story of a dog that … needed help, from his point of view. And how he helped! That dog, a beautiful French bulldog named Monet (5), became his: a friend for life    

Aleksandro, you and your french bulldog Monet seem inseparable. How did that come about?  
Well, our story is a bit bizarre. Monet came into my life by chance. One summer I was in Salento with a friend. On the beach we heard people lying next to us talk about a family who had taken in a french bulldog as birthday gift for their kids. Those two, however, after playing with it for no more than two days, immediately got tired of it. So the poor dog had gotten locked up in a closet because the twins’ mother was afraid of dogs. I didn’t think twice, found out where the dog lived and drove the 20 km from Santa Cesarea Terme to adopt him. We’ve been together from that day on.  

What’s so amazing about your dog?
His cute little face! Just kidding. His character I would say. Monet is very sociable and playful, especially with children.

How would you describe your relationship? 
We complete each other: Wherever I go he’ll come with me.

Do you know about his secret passions? 
Taking naps on the veranda in the sun or hunting for lizards.

How do you “understand” each other? 
It was super easy to train him. Monet is very intelligent and seems to understand everything I say.

What makes him listen no matter what? 

If your dog were a person – who would he be? 
An artist (Monet) – or a comedian!

Why do you love him? 
He manages to make me smile even when I’m having a bad day.

Where do you leave him when you have to go away for a couple of days? 
When I have to leave Monet stays with my parents (his “grandparents”) and he is very happy to be with them, especially with my father… He always has extra treats for him!

Is there anything that annoys you about him? 
Sometimes he can be very stubborn, especially when we go out. He wants to decide where we go – that’s so annoying!

What are your favourite things to do with him?
Lying on the sofa, watching TV series, as close to each other as possible.

Any dreams you’d like to come true with your dog? 
One day I would like to take him in the snow.

Any advice you would like to give to someone who wants to get a dog but can’t decide?
A dog needs its space, its time and its considerations. It is a responsibility and not a game. But if you’re sure about what you’re doing and manage to create a feeling between you and the animal during the first, most important, couple of months, you’ll have a friend for life.