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   My dog, Bolshoi the Boxer, was saying... (June 26, 1986)

My dog, Bolshoi the Boxer, was saying: "The papers are all the time doing life in the day of various people. Why can't they do mine?"

"Please, don't get over-ambitious," I said. "The people the newspapers do are all celebrities. By no stretch of imagination you can be called a celebrity. You are just a house dog, a domestic pet."

"I am not a per," Bolshoi said. "And, besides, not all the people in high positions," I said. "The importance of Rohini Hattangady's husband is that he is Mrs. Hattangady's husband. And Mr. Cahill speaks Hindi, which your Russian consul-general does not."

Bolshoi said: "I speak English and Russian, what about that!"

"You don't speak Russian, you just, imagine you do," I said. "And speaking English is nothing great, even little boys at the Cathedral School speak English, and better than you, so why should not a dog speak English."

"One minute you boast among your friends that you have the only dog in the world who speaks, next minute you say that speaking for a dog is nothing much," Bolshoi said. "why don't you just say that you don't want my photographs to appear in the papers, sitting in front of my book-lined wall, my pipe next to me. Perhaps, I should wear a silk dressing-gown."

"Now, now let us not allow our imagination to run wild, we don't have book-lined walls in this house, not with all the rainwater seeping in through the walls, and no dog poses in a silk dressing gown, you will make the paper look ridiculous."

"But I have so much to say," said Bolshoi said. "How I grew up in a small town outside Leningrad, how my mother went to the Bolshoi Ballet and named me after it."

"Newspapers may not publish the truth all the time, but they don't tell all lies," I said. "If you do want to appear in the papers you will have to tell the truth."

"Very well," said Bolshoi. "I get up at 8a.m., sometimes at 8.30 a.m., after breakfast I have a nap at 9 a.m., getting up in time for lunch."

 
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