Hello. My name’s Barry and I’m English. I was born in London, but I moved with my family to Leicester, a city in the East Midlands, and it was there that I went to school.
Growing up both in London and Leicester, our family owned a succession of dogs. They were my mother’s pride and joy and she looked after them, showering them with her considerable love and affection. The dogs in question were almost all mongrels, which she either bought cheaply as puppies from the local dog’s home, or even finding them abandoned in the local park. She had an uncanny knack of coming across these dogs or, as I believe, the dogs had an uncanny knack of abandoning themselves as she approached, somehow knowing that, if picked up by my mum their fate would be a life of warmth, regular meals, exercise, and general wellbeing.
I mention this because, having married a Réunionnaise girl, I emigrated to Réunion 17 years ago. Having built my house it seemed only fitting that we acquire a dog to guard it. Lily is a small crossbreed terrier, in other words a mongrel, or, as she is known here on Réunion, a Royal Bourbon.
A Royal Bourbon: what a glorious name to give to the everyday mongrel dog. Mans most faithful friend. The Royal Bourbon, a metissage of canine heritage, tough, resilient, present, mirroring their human masters of this island.
Until recently I also had a cat. He too was of mixed heritage. He was a beautiful animal, sleek with huge eyes. And I’ve been thinking, if the mongrel dog is known as a Royal Bourbon, what name should we give the crossbreed cat? Indeed, does a name exist already? Or should we, designate a name ourselves. My own idea would be a Regal Mascareigne, but I would welcome any of your ideas.
To own – posséder
Pride and joy – La fierté
Mongrel – Chien batard
Puppy – Chiot
Uncanny knack – sixième sens
Wellbeing – Bien etre
To acquire – acheter
Sleek – lisse, élaçee
Having lived – Ayant habité
Having built – Ayant construit