version française Voyage au Pays d' Hazel Karr Hazel Karr's Picture Book

Contemporary painting

My name is Leo

I am a dog. You could say that once that is said, there is nothing to add.
Before being born I was taught up there together with all the other puppies how to put my head to one side in an appealing manner, widen my eyes, look soulful and generally cute as hell. Also of course how to wag my tail in an eager way and jump for joy at the prospect of a walk.
A simple matter of survival if one is to be born into a world dominated by the human race.
I do all that very well, as a matter of fact. I am the soul of soulfulness.
My little girl loves me.
So --all should be well --but I have a problem.
I get taken out to do my -you know- what comes out the other end.
And my problem is I'm supposed to do it in the street, in public, in front of everyone.
I don't like that.
I feel ashamed, I look around for quiet corners. I look around to see if I'm being watched.
All the humans laugh at me.
The other dogs don't seem to mind. Am I a freak ? Am I really a dog ?
What will they tell me when I get back up there ? To go down again and this time act like a real dog ?
In the meantime I have to share my life with three cats. We ignore each other. Only when they fight do I go and make it known that I like my peace and quiet.
I am a free dog. No leashes for me. When a road is to be crossed my mistress and I look at each other. She says "Wait " or "attend ", we wait, she says "quick, quick, quick " or "vite, vite, vite" (we are both bilingual) we go.
There is one sentence I don't like and this for some reason is only in English "Back soon" That means they are going without me. In that case I don't even bother to look soulful. I turn my back and pretend I have other urgent business to attend to.
I know every pavement stone, every strreet corner, every tree in the neighborhood and everybody knows me. I am what the French call "Un Peepol", that means a star. I meet people who say "hello Leo" and my mistress wonders who they are.
I have had a long and interesting life and it will soon be time for me to go back upstairs . What will they teach me this time, I wonder.
How cute can you get ?

Leo did go back upstairs and I am inconsolable.


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Leo the dog