The Dog

They say Elena Ceauşescu used to watch porn films and make love with Şarona and Corbu. The two labradors only ate real sausages, in contempt of a whole nation that didn't even know the taste of meat, gorged as they were with sausages made of soy, grissle and mouse tails. The dog world out there also talks about Zoia Ceauşescu, the daughter of the sinister presidential couple. When she was arrested and put in an armoured car to protect her from the fury of the crowd, she apparently asked if there was room for her little doggy as well. There wasn't. Hundreds of thousands of dogs got let out after Ceauşescu's death, left to their own devices on bare grounds, behind blocks of flats, and on streets: "the aftermath of his demolition craze." The dogs woke up more quickly than the people and formed hungry, terrorist packs. They would howl at night, attack people, leap after bikers, force the setting up of charitable NGO's. Man responded to the ruthlessness of Romanian capitalism by acquiring dogs for fighting, bull-terrier-like, difficult to control, very keen on biting babies or women. Outrage. Dogs are to be muzzled by law. The law is not enforced. During his first term as mayor of Bucharest, Băsescu put his foot down. He started an extermination campaign, later turned into a neutering campaign after the visit to Bucharest of actress Brigitte Bardot. Dogcatchers in scruffy flip-flops became the terror of the four-leggeds. The law favoured the barker: if it got adopted by a human, given a collar, neutered, and sanitised, it went free. The wave of canine sympathy-castration lasted a few months. Then dogs simply went on with their lives. Those who made it, enjoyed either their collar or their freedom. In 2009, the new dogs shake lice in the old city. In 2006, Romanians inexplicably unleashed their fury upon dogs. A dog bit a Japanese businessman. If one is to think of the theoretical definition of a news item, something like that should have passed unnoticed. And that's what happened, but only two months later, during which time Bosquito, the naughty doggy, went through a trial and was almost put down. She was saved by Paula Iacob, Nicu Ceauşescu's lawyer, who defended the poor dog and had her dispatched to Germany through certain charitable organisations. The Japanese, an investor in Romania, became the symbol of how foreign business people are being treated. But, to cut a long story short, he was unlucky. Definitely unlucky when compared to the thousands of Romanians getting anti-rabies shots. Dilema veche, 23-29 July 2009 Translated by Dana Crăciun

by Eugen Istodor