Yes, that’s right! Besides being a world-traveler, Guiseppe is also famous. I can tell what you’re thinking:

“Oh, no, Kristy has lost it. She is so lonely that she has become one of those people. You know, the ones who spend hours talking with their dog about world politics? Sometimes they even dress their dogs up (gasp!). You know those type of people? Well now she’s one of THEM!”

That may all be true, but I am telling you the truth. Guiseppe can barely walk down the street without people stopping and staring. They point and talk. In all fairness, we don’t understand anyone here, so we don’t know exactly what they are saying, but we imagine it to be something like this:

“There it is…the most famous of all dogs. I never thought I would see one in all my life. And yet, here he is!”

Why is he so famous, you ask? Well, it’s his rugged good looks and charming breath. And the fact that he is a Hush Puppy—you know of the infamous Hush Puppies shoes? Perhaps you are too young to know about this brand of shoes (go ask your parents!) Hush Puppies are still worn over here. In fact, we even found a Hush Puppies store. And on that store was a giant picture of Guiseppe, only dressed in brown and white fur instead of his normal black and white fur.

This explains a lot. At first, we thought people were laughing and pointing at us, being the out-of-place Americans that we are. Then we thought maybe they were laughing and pointing at us because we do something nobody else here seems to do—we pick up our dog’s poop off the sidewalk. Everyone else just leaves it and then you step in it. (I did this once while wearing flip-flops! Gross, I know. Let us never speak of it again.) But we dutifully take a bag and scoop up Guiseppe’s gifts every time we go for a walk. Perhaps they found this funny? Out-of-place Americans scooping poop off Bulgarian sidewalks?

But, no. They were laughing and pointing at the hound. Eventually, people got brave enough to try to talk to us, but that never goes very far due to our inability to speak or understand Bulgarian. It usually sounds something like this—blah, blah, blah, Hush Puppy, blah, blah, blah. Although we have had two HILARIOUS exchanges:

#1: We were walking back into our apartment building when a man with a loud booming voice said, “Oh look at his ears! THEY ARE LONG, BEAUTIFUL EARS! May I just touch them, please?”

Of course we obliged. This gave Mark an idea—let’s start a business where people pay to touch his ears, he thought. Ummmm, no!

#2: I was walking Guiseppe down a very crowded street on our way to a park for the afternoon. A man was walking next to us and I had a feeling he was trying to speak to me. He kept trying to talk to me even though I didn’t answer back. So, finally I turned to him and said, “Sorry, I only speak English”. He said, “Ahhh” and held up his hand, signaling me to wait a minute while he thought of the words in English. Then he smiled all big, pointed at the hound, and exclaimed:


“Yes”, I said. “He’s a Super Star”, and we shared a good laugh.

Well, needless to say, this has all gone straight to Guiseppe’s head. He is even acting like he’s famous now. Take, for instance, this photo, where you can see him lounging on one of OUR blankets.


Of course he would choose the leopard print.

Furthermore, he DEMANDS walks early in the morning and in the evening, not caring if I am too tired to walk a hound RIGHT THIS MOMENT. He steals bread off the countertops and if I try to take it back, he sinks his teeth in further and plays tug-o-war with me. Of course I lose—my hands are no match for his death grip.

I’ve tried to talk to him about his unruly behavior. I told him I thought he was getting a little big for his britches. But he just waved his paw at me (was that flashy thing a pinky ring??) and said something like, “Daahhhhhling, without me, you are invisible in this country. Your only chance to finally make it into People Magazine is as my doggie walker. So, puhleeze, stop bothering me with your complaints and cook me up some fresh meat”, as he puffed on his pipe and straightened his silky, red robe.

And so I did. I mean, he had a point. How else am I ever going to get into People Magazine???