Life after staying the at the Elysee Palace in Paris can be tough for former French Presidents and their family, but for Jacques Chirac, it was worse for his dog, Sumo. “Sumo“, a Maltese Bichon who grew at Elysee Palace during Chirac’s 12 year as President, got very depressed after moving out. He got so depressed that he bit the former french president on multiple occasion. Even the anti-depressants didn’t calm him down and in the end the family had to give him away!
It is not like that the Chiracs moved to something small. After Elysee, they moved into a spacious Paris apartment owned by the family of the late Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri in May 2007.
“He just never came to terms with leaving the Elysee,” Bernadette was quoted as saying. “He was just little, he was a newborn and after some time, he started getting depressed in that apartment,” she said.
The dog bit Chirac’s leg twice and despite undergoing treatment with anti-depressants, Sumo made a third attempt a few months ago, this time attacking the 76-year-old ex-president in the chest.
“A Bichon can jump quite high,” said the former first lady. “It was very, very scary because there was blood.“
Sumo was originally a gift to Bernadette from the former first couple’s grandson Martin, but the first lady said her husband “adopted him immediately and he became his dog.“
“He would take him everywhere,” said Bernadette. “That dog was very happy at the Elysee.”
Sumo was sent to a farm owned by a family friend outside Paris and since has never showed any aggression, said the first lady.
Poor dog! I am sure that he was used to the open spaces of Elysee Palace and might have felt claustrophobic and restricted at the new apartment.