With their mutual interests in unkempt hair, humping, and creating a terrible mess wherever they go, you’d assume British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his puppy, Dilyn, would be the firmest of friends. However, tensions are high between man and beast in 10 Downing Street.
It was reported by the Mail on Sunday this weekend that Johnson lost his patience with Dilyn after a string of incidents. Dilyn stands accused of humping the leg of one of Johnson’s advisers, peeing on another aide’s handbag, and, worst of all, destroying antique furniture at the PM’s country residence, leaving him with a sky-high repair bill.
One unnamed insider snitched on Dilyn to the newspaper, saying: “I was at a meeting where Dilyn darted under the PM's feet with an old book in its mouth. The PM shouted, ‘For God’s sake, I'm going to get another £1,000 repair bill! Someone, please shoot that fucking dog!’” The anonymous source reportedly added: “I don’t think he meant it literally.”
A separate purported witness described the scene as a “Laurel and Hardy-style farce,” saying the bumbling prime minister had to crawl around on the floor to snatch the book back from Dilyn’s slobbery mouth.
One clearly anti-Dilyn government source told the newspaper that the pup is “not popular with staff” at the PM’s residences due to “gnawing at the furniture and soiling the carpets which have to be cleared up.”
On Monday, a day after Dilyn’s name was dragged through the muck in the press, Johnson was spotted running with his pup in London. Mail Online reported that the prime minister was seen “puffing his way around St James’ Park” with his dog and two security officers, in an apparent show of solidarity with Dilyn after the negative media attacks.
But there is speculation that the reports go way deeper than the naughty actions of an innocent puppy and a short-tempered owner—it’s been suggested that the negative anonymous briefings against Dilyn are part of a factional split that goes right to the very heart of the British government.
The Mail on Sunday speculated that much of the press negativity surrounding Dilyn can be traced back to ousted Johnson adviser Dominic Cummings, who was apparently left very upset when he was humped by the Jack Russell-cross before he was forced out last November.
One unnamed source recalled to the newspaper: “Cummings was chatting away to his friends when Dilyn ran up to him and mounted him, leaving him absolutely furious. He was raging as he tried to get the dog off of him... Everyone was laughing—and Dom doesn’t like being laughed at.”
The theory goes that Dilyn is much-loved by Johnson’s fiancee Carrie Symonds, who is believed to have been at least partially behind Cummings’ removal back in November. Therefore, attacking Dilyn in the press may be a way to get at her. Cummings is known for going low—his allies famously dubbed Symonds as “Princess Nut Nut” for what they saw as her haughty attitude and erratic behavior.
So poor Dilyn may have been caught up in a fight not of his making—and even his misbehavior can be excused. One government official said, “It’s not his fault. He is a lovely little fellow but does not appear to have got enough training when he was a puppy.”
Moreover, the pup has missed an important appointment because of the coronavirus pandemic. One insider explained: “If it hadn't been for COVID, Dilyn would have been to the vets by now to be neutered.”
They added, “He is basically on heat the whole time.”