ZUT alors! Say bonjour to Henri Hound – the french-speaking dog!
The four-year-old black labrador will only respond to commands barked in French – which gets owner Craig Burton some strange looks as he walks his pet along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.
“When I shout out in French people just think I’m being pretentious,” he said.
Henri le pooch is actually French, born and bred and that is where the language confusion begins.
Craig, MD of The Works Recruitment on Canal Wharf in Leeds, said he bought him when he lived in Pau in south west France and Henri was then more at home in the French countryside than the canal towpaths of Yorkshire.
Devoted to his master Craig, when the Leeds boss returned to England, Henri came too.
And he has settled down well after his journey across the Channel.
Craig said: “He does understand French so all his instructions have to be in French.
“If you speak to him in English he chooses to ignore it.
“He has adapted really well. He loves it here.”
But Henri’s love of his mother tongue has caused some problems. He recently spent some time with Craig’s father who had to be given a list of instructions spelt phonetically so Henri would understand.
Henri le chien certainly displays the French love of luxury and has the run of the company offices, wandering from room to room as he sees fit and acting as a “calming influence,” according to Craig.
“One of the reasons we got this office is because of the dog,” admitted Craig.