“THE MULTILINGUAL PET”

I bet you never imagined that a lap dog could become the terror of the police of a city like New York. Well that was what happened on October 7, 1939, when the Pekingese dog of Miss Madeleine Stockhorn got rabies or went crazy or had a bad day. It all started when, before dawn, the dog stood on his hind paws before his owner and declared that he wanted to go for a walk. Miss Stockhorn was surprised that he made that request so early, but then she did not notice that he had done it in English and not barking like he used to. 

Accustomed to indulging all his whims, Miss Stockhorn took the dog for a walk. However, he behaved strangely. The dog walked backwards and was singing the Marseillaise in perfect French (although his owner did not give importance then to that detail). Suddenly, when passing in front of the police station, the dog broke off from the leash and ran into the building launching revolutionary slogans in a perfect Russian, a language he did not know either, although no one noticed that at the time. The cops started chasing the dog, but soon the papers were reversed and the dog began to chase the cops. Some of them were injured by bites, others by a knife, but only one by a firearm. Then the dog left the police station and met Miss Stockhorn, who was waiting for him on the street. She put the leash back on the dog and scolded him severely for escaping.

They continued the walk in the direction of Chinatown, where the dog insisted on entering an opium den, which surprised his owner because she had no idea that her dog smoked opium. The dog finally managed to convince her through sophistical arguments. But women were not allowed, so his owner had to stay outside tied to a light post while her dog exchanged phrases in perfect Mandarin with a Chinese doorman with a long ponytail. Miss Stockhorn did not understand the Mandarin language, so she did not know what her dog had spoken to the Chinese man. She waited for half an hour until her dog came out of the den completely stunned by opium. 

Then both directed their steps to Williamsburg, where the dog infiltrated a group of rabbis discussing how to find out the beginning of the Shabbat when the day was cloudy. To the surprise of Miss Stockhorn, who did not know that her dog was a scholar in Kabbalah, the dog presented arguments that convinced the rabbis, although she could not say what arguments the dog had proposed because he had spoken in Yiddish (although at that time she did not pay attention to that detail).

In the course of this long walk through the city, the dog attacked all the policemen who crossed his path and even overturned several patrol cars with the sole strength of his front paws. In addition, he assaulted all the police stations next to which they passed, leaving behind a trail of police officers injured by bites, slashes and even some gunshot. 

After nine hours of walking, Miss Stockhorn felt tired and wanted to return home, but the dog refused and threatened to call the Animal Protection Society. He then led his owner to a Bronx gambling den where a convention of Italian gangsters was being held behind closed doors. When the doorman asked for the password, the dog said something in Italian and the man let him pass, but again his owner had to wait outside tied to a light post. It was then when she realized that the dog had spoken in Italian despite being a dog totally ignorant in the field of languages. 

By then, all the police in the city were going crazy in search of the dog. A patrol car recognized its owner who was still tied to the post. She informed them of her dog’s whereabouts and fifteen patrol cars circled the gambling den shortly afterwards. When seeing themselves surrounded, the gangsters surrendered, but the dog managed to escape through the rooftops.

A year later, Miss Stockhorn received a letter from Thailand. It was from her dog, but since it was written in Thai she did not understand a word.

This is a non-profit blog whose purpose is to raise funds for children in need. So if you want to make a donation in exchange for this story, click on this link to UNICEF. I really appreciate it!

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