Pixel and Replay (and their Person, Olivier, "Pa")
The Pug Sisters cannot begin to express how entertaining the trio of Olivier, Pixel, and Replay were in our Zoom interview; please make sure to read the following with a voice in your head, that of Olivier, a.k.a. “Pa”, speaking in the most marvelous French accent and dropping every bon mot with exquisite precision. We frequently wish Pug People Tales was a podcast and never more than now. Enjoy, Pug Personnes!
PP: Are you a writer, Olivier? Your Pixel captions are quite brilliant.
Olivier: No, I just like having fun with Pixel and writing her thoughts.
PP: You’re also a great photographer! Pixel and Replay glow in all their pictures.
Olivier: Yes, it took me a while to understand how to get the light, for black pugs this is a nightmare.
Olivier: I would also say, never ask the pug to pose, just take the picture when they are already posing.
PP: Don’t tell a pug what to do!
Olivier: Pixel allows me to take a picture. The moment I know is perfect is three hours before the lunch, because half an hour before the lunch you will get nothing. I know them by heart.
PP: We live to serve.
Olivier: Yes, that is why she is called Lady P, because I am serving her; I am merely “Pa”.
PP: Oui, Pa. Tell us, how did you become a Pug Person?
Olivier: I am actually cat people, first. I never wanted a dog. But after years in Paris I finally have a garden and that makes it a little easier because I hate being outside at 7am in the street. Or when it’s raining and cold. No.
PP: Yeah, we’re with you on all of that. We both have back yards.
Olivier: My partner wanted a dog for years and I finally gave in. But, of course, after the first pug, I was the one who asked for the second pug.
PP: The magic of the pug! Did you fall in love with Pixel right away?
Olivier: When we went to get her from the breeder, she was only two kilo. And I said, I don’t want to touch her, I will break her! But yes, love story at first sight. Even though the potty training was very hard. We got her in winter and I am outside at 3am in the cold. But if I didn’t love her, I would not have accepted that from anybody.
PP: Did you get Replay from the same breeder?
Olivier: I took Replay because they are from the same mother.
PP: Oh, so they’re real sisters!
Olivier: Yes, and the mother is also in the garden now, because my best friend adopted the mother, Olympia. And their brother, Petrus. He is named for a very famous French wine.
PP: They have their whole family nearby! So sweet! Tell us, Olivier, what qualities do you love most about pugs?
Olivier: Well, I’ll say it this way, I didn’t choose pugs, I was chosen by pugs.
PP: Ha! Yes, that’s how it works.
Olivier: And with pugs, I like that there’s no aggression. They are really sweet. Well, if you drop a piece of kibble, it is like Game of Thrones, but sweet otherwise.
Olivier: Like me, they are city and countryside animals. I live in Paris and have a house in Normandy, so we share our lives between the two. I find the pugs very funny. They do lose a lot of their hair, but it is okay.
PP: This is a very important Pug Person question: do they sleep with you?
Olivier: Maybe half of the time. When they do, I take them one by one down the stairs to their bed at 4am, which shows my love, and they wait for us to wake up. I really like falling asleep with the pug, I less like waking up with the pug.
PP: Would you consider yourself a pug paraphernalia person?
Olivier: I have things with Pixel on them because I had done some giveaways for raising money for organizations abroad. 95% of my followers are abroad, no one in France likes me.
PP: You are hilarious.
Olivier: Well, you know, Americans will say, “oh, what food do you give them?” and like that, but not French. They are sometimes a little bit… mmm mmm mmm.
PP: Mmm hmm.
Olivier: I started Instagram as a joke, to laugh at people. I’m being honest. I thought, oh, I’ll do the bullshit, blah blah blah. But you know, I met so many people and we speak about so many things, different perceptions of life in our countries, the politics, and I started to care. I did. Some friends want to know why I still do the Instagram, why I still fit it in, and it’s because the talk there goes beyond food, pet, the potty training. If I don’t post for a few days, people will ask if Pixel is okay, if everything is okay. That makes it great and I really like that.
PP: Yes. It’s quite meaningful. And continuing in this very deep vein, if Pixel and Replay were celebrities, who would they be?
Olivier: Pixel is very French with this way of judging, of being above everyone. She looks at you like she is above all beings on earth, so she is some sort of Queen.
PP: Marie Antoinette?
Olivier: Well, I will keep her alive, but maybe. Pixel is very Parisian, always, “Peasant, come.” Replay is the funny girl, the clown. It makes her very lovable. The Ugly Betty, but she is not ugly at all. Living happily in the shadow of her sister.
PP: Pa, do you have a favorite story or memory you’d like to share?
Olivier: Replay loves TV, she watches it all the time. And when she sees an animal, she goes crazy barking and then Pixel starts barking, but Pixel is looking out the window at nothing and barking, barking, and I’m saying, “you idiot, you don’t even know why you’re barking.” It always makes me laugh.
PP: Olivier, you have been so much fun. Our final question is do you have a True Pug Confession?
Olivier: I would say that I never ever talk to anyone at work about this Instagram account, that I willingly created the character of Pixel who is superior to me, who calls me a lazy cow and a lazy shit who can’t do anything—
*The Pug Sisters can’t stop laughing.
Olivier: And when I publish pictures of the renovations of the house, Pixel is saying “I did all of this”, but it is obvious that she is drinking beers and doing nothing. Yes, I rarely talk about this to my colleagues.
PP: Oh, lord. You are killing us.
Olivier: The other thing I would say is that I talk to Pixel and Replay by singing. I sing songs to them that I invent. You would have to pay a lot to get that from me now. But it’s all very basic songs about pee, poo, and such. There is The Song of the Kibble. There is The Song of You Stink, You Stink, because of the poo. Only my sister knows about this. I would not sing this to any of my colleagues.
PP: A very wise choice.
Olivier: I have a great creativity for songs that are stupid. You know the buffoon, the one who makes the king and queen laugh? I am it. I am the one.