Nemo Macron - First Dog of France and Dogbassador Extraordinaire for Orphan Pets

"My story begins with abandonment, but since August 2017, I’ve had a family."

Right before the winter holidays in 2020, an adorable black Labrador-Griffon mutt melted hearts across France and around the world: Nemo Macron, wagging his tail, had his woofs translated in human in a video plea urging people to adopt shelter pets over Christmas, but in responsible way.

"My story begins with abandonment... Like me, 100,000 animals are abandoned every year. So, at Christmas, adopt them. But adopt with awareness!" Because France had one of the highest pet abandonment rates in Europe, Nemo then added: "Mistreatment will be more heavily punished. Because your pet is part of your family, he is counting on you." Nemo is a very smart boy, so he made sure to pawint out that legislators needed to act: "France's parliament will debate a pet adoption bill to combat animal cruelty in January 2021, envisaging roughly €20 million euros to improve animal rescue centers." The legislation passed and the vital $24 million action plan to combat animal abandonment was launched in July. (Who's the bestest boy? Who? Nemo is!)

Nemo Macron and his dad are inseparable THIBAULT CAMUS/AP

President Emmanuel Macron and Première Dame Brigitte Macron, an educator just like First Lady Jill Biden, adopted then two-year-old Nemo from the French Society for Protection of Animals in August 2017. Since the 1970s, most French presidents have had black Labradors, except Nicolas Sarkozy, whose best friend was a golden female Labrador named Clara. Thus, the Macrons are continuing a beloved tradition of French presidents having a First Dog. Nemo was named after Captain Nemo of the Nautilus submarine in the Jules Verne classic "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea", one of Macron's favorite novels.

Nemo and his parents on the day of his adoption / photo courtesy of SPA France

Le Premier Chien de la République Française regularly attends official functions and greets foreign leaders with the president - he is a dogbassador, after all! During one such meeting at the Elysée Palace, bored by the inner-city investments talk, Nemo stole the spotlight and generated headlines when he casually did a pipi on a gilded 1720s fireplace. On camera.

“I wondered what the noise was” said Brune Poirson, junior minister for ecology, interrupted mid-sentence by Nemo’s misdemeanor.

“Does this happen often?” inquired junior minister Julien Dernomandie. “No, you have triggered a totally unusual behaviour in my dog” said Macron, laughing.

The French president, like any loving dog dad, jokingly blamed the people in the room for Nemo's lack of gravitas. This is, paws down, one of the best dog (moments) in history!

Even though First Pup Nemo is now six years old, his lovely, playful personality remains unchanged. He and his parents are more committed than ever to promote adoptions and fight pet abandonment. O October 4 - International Animal Day - Emmanuel Macron tweeted a photo of Nemo, accompanied by this message: "Pets are much more than companions, they are part of French life. For 4 years, Nemo has been part of our lives, Brigitte's and mine. On this International Animal Day, let's all say loud and clear: no to abandonment!" We pawpprove this message. Awoof!

Poppet, Major, Charlie and Winston

The Oval Pawffice

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