Chirac's dog struggles with life after the Elysée

3rd October 2009, Comments 0 comments

President Jacques Chirac's little white dog underwent treatment for depression after leaving the Elysée palace and bit his master three times before being sent off to a farm, said reports on Friday.

"Sumo", a Maltese Bichon, apparently couldn't cope with life after the Elysée, Chirac's wife Bernadette told Le Parisien newspaper.

The Chiracs moved into a spacious Paris apartment owned by the family of the late Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri in May 2007, when Nicolas Sarkozy became the new resident of the Elysée palace.

"He just never came to terms with leaving the Elysée," Bernadette was quoted as saying. "He was just little, he was a newborn and after some time, he started getting depressed in that apartment," she said.

The dog bit Chirac's leg twice and despite undergoing treatment with anti-depressants, Sumo made a third attempt a few months ago, this time attacking the 76-year-old ex-president in the chest.

"A Bichon can jump quite high," said the former first lady. "It was very, very scary because there was blood."

Sumo was originally a gift to Bernadette from the former first couple's grandson Martin, but the first lady said her husband "adopted him immediately and he became his dog."

"He would take him everywhere," said Bernadette. "That dog was very happy at the Elysée."

Sumo was sent to a farm owned by a family friend outside Paris and has not showed any aggression since, said the first lady.


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