FRANCE: X Marks the Spot

"Viens, Xerxes! Viens, Xenophon! Viens, Xénia! Viens, Xénopol!"

During 1949, and for a dog's age afterwards, cries like these will bring many of France's thoroughbred poodles and poms running to their masters. It came about in the natural course of a standing Société Centrale Canine de France (French Kennel Club) policy which decrees that all show dogs born in a given year bear the same initial. This year the club's registry reached the letter X. As France's dog lovers pored diligently over their dictionaries, they were reassured by club officials that it...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!