Johnny Depp and Mobutu of Zaire

The fate of Johnny Depp’s dogs has made me think of another celebrity who sneaked his dogs into a country without proper clearance. Now, I thought that the dog-smuggler was Nicolai Ceausescu, but when I checked, I found I was actually wrong. When the Romanian dictator visited the UK in 1987 on a State visit, the Queen apparently had taken some precautions but they were not canine. The sunday express claimed that she removed fittings and ornaments from the official rooms where they were staying in Buckingham palace. The newspaper headline read, “Lock Up the Crown Jewels, Here Comes Light-Fingered Nic”. I don’t know whether that was true, but more alarmingly, and more accurately, in 1973, the president of Zaire, Mobutu, arrived with his dog. The queen’s response was to send her corgies immediately to Windsor in case they got rabies. She then sent word via her private secretary that the offending dog must go at once to the quarantine kennel at Heathrow. 

I fancy the Depps have done quite well to negotiate passage for Boo and Pistol back to the US. They leave today.



Author: timewilson

animator director and teacher

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