The news of the attack on the Charlie Hebdo office in Paris, France has taken the world by storm. “Je suis Charlie,” or I am Charlie, has become the slogan for supporters of the satirical newspaper. The attacks, which resulted in the deaths of 12 people, were incredibly tragic and have lead to a great deal of political tension.
There is one individual who is doing her best to brighten the lives of the remaining staff of Charlie Hebdo, though, a sweet cocker spaniel named Lila. Lila was a regular at the office, friend of all the staff that worked there. She regularly attended staff meetings and was sure to greet any and all visitors with a typical cocker spaniel-eque tail wiggle.
The morning of the attacks was no different. Lila enthusiastically greeted all the employees and was following her favorite employee, cartoonist Jean Cabut, around the office. Cabut had a ham he had brought in for the magazine’s first editorial conference of the New Year, so Lila wasn’t about to leave his side.
Then the shootings happened.
In an interview with Le Monde, Sigolene Vinson, a crime reporter for Charlie Hebdo, discussed her story. She told the reporter that she had been in the kitchen when the firing began. She crawled from the kitchen to another office as her colleagues and friends were murdered one by one. One of the attackers found her, and told her that they do not kill women. So she was spared. She stayed still, as instructed, until the terrorists had left. She then walked into the conference room, where the majority of the killing had taken place.
“And then I heard Lila with her tiny steps,” stated Vinson.
Lila was also spared. She was walking around the office, looking for Cabut. But her favorite cartoonist had been murdered.
Lila was an office member before the attacks. Her survival of the attacks along with the comfort she brings the remaining Charlie Hebdo staff, has turned her into the office mascot. It will take a great deal more time for the colleagues, family and friends of the murdered Charlie Hebdo staff to recover, but Lila will be, and has been, there through it all.
Lead image source: Thierry Ehrmann/Flickr