14 March 2006

Collette est partie

Collette died in the car on the way to the vet's for her appointment this afternoon. Or in Walt's arms as he carried her in. We had to wait a few minutes when we arrived, and decided to wait in the car with the dog. I went in and told the receptionist we were there. Then I went back out to the car and Walt said Collette was taking a breath only every 15 seconds or so. The breath was going out of her.

The vet came out to the car, and when Walt lifted Collette to take her inside, the vet, Mme G., said she thought the dog was already dead. Walt carried her into the examining room and laid her on a table. The vet listened with a stethoscope and then touched Collette's eye. There was no reaction. She's gone, the vet said. "You don't have to feel you've rushed things," she told us. There was no need for euthanasia.

Collette's body will be incinerated and we will get the ashes in a couple of weeks. We will scatter them out in the vineyard behind la Renaudière, where Collette spent some of her best days.

I wanted to post a picture of Collette that I took today, but Blogger doesn't seem to be accepting pictures right now...


  1. You are in my thoughts and heart. I will always remember beautiful Collette. I am so sorry.

  2. Oh Ken and Walt, I am so sorry. A true good friend, always there and always loving, that's what a dog is. My thoughts are with you.

  3. Ginny and Amy, I appreciate your messages. It's a rough day. We are kind of numb right now.

  4. Oh I'm so sorry. I know how much pets can mean to someone. She seemed like a happy dog whenever I saw her (unlike my angst-ridden Truffles). I know she had a happy life.

  5. Ken and Walt, Bill and I are so very sorry to have this news. We remember Colette as a beautiful creature, and we've enjoyed watching her joyful frolics in France through your blog. Our hearts are with you.

  6. Ken, you and Walt are in my thoughts today. I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved family member.

  7. Susan H., it is very nice to hear from you. We are doing OK. It's strange to have the house to ourselves. Collette was such a presence.

  8. Barbara, yes Collette meant so much to us. Nearly 14 years of life together, since 1992. Unbelievable... When are you coming to visit?

  9. Bonsoir Ken and Walt,

    Je voulais vous dire que je partageais votre chagrin. Je suis très fière et heureuse d'avoir eu la chance de faire la connaissance de votre Belle Collette en septembre dernier quand tu es venu, Ken, me rendre visite avec Ma... Bises à vous deux. Marie (Normandie)

  10. Ken & Walt, I was so sad to hear your news. Collette was a dear friend to you for so long. You'll always miss her, but eventually, the pain will recede and you'll remember the good times, the silly times. No dog could have asked for a better, more loving home. You were lucky to have her, as she was lucky to have you.

  11. Hello Ken and Walt, have just said hello to you earlier in reply to a December email after finally checking my TV email account (that i dont use anymore), to see reference to your blog. So sorry to see todays news. It was great to meet Collette and you both through Gerri. She was lovely and I feel for you both. Very Best Wishes. Suzannex

  12. She will always be a part of me. It was a hard-earned friendship, but a wonderful one. How happy I was that she recognized me in September 2001! How sad that I will never get to spoil her again!

    Take care,

  13. I loved Collette. I remember her in Sunnyvale and running around in the vineyards on my last visit. You gave her a great life and she was a wonderful companion.

  14. I'm sorry to hear about Collette. I'm glad you guys were able to be with her when she passed. She was definitely a central character in that house and her presence will be missed.

  15. Thanks to all you Collette friends and admirers. If you've been to our house, you know how important Collette was to us.

    In French, we use the term "disparu" to describe someone who has passed away. "Collette a disparu mardi soir" -- Collette disappeared Tuesday afternoon. To me that means that she's still here in our hearts and minds, but she's invisible now. We can still hear her crazy barking, but only in our heads.

    Mimi, thanks for the Byron lines. Beautiful. Be assured that we will treasure that ornament with the pictures of Misha and Collette forever. I wish we could have known Misha.

    Cheryl, you really earned Collette's friendship, and because it was earned it was deep and permanent. You became her best friend.

    Sharon, Collette loved you from that first time she met you at Claris. I'll never forget how she took to you immediately, rubbing against you the way a cat would do. I was stunned, and I don't think she ever had that immediate affection for anyone else.

    S.Ryan, I know how much you have loved your dogs so I know you understand our grief.

    Amy, I don't know if you ever met Collette, but your words are kind as always.

    Ellen and Bill, I know you cherish Rebecca. Enjoy all your moments with her. Life just isn't long enough, especially for dogs.

    Suzanne, you met Collette when she was at her wildest, that first summer in France. She tasted freedom in the countryside and we could hardly manage to keep her still and quiet. She ran more in three months than she had in the preceding 11 years. It was an exhilarating time.

    Luke, you were one of Collette's most recent "friends". Yes, you understood from your visits, she was the queen of the house for sure.

    Marie, merci d'avoir protégé Collette des griffes de ton redoutable Filou ce jour de septembre dernier. Je pense que Collette lui a montré le respect qu'il méritait. Et lui n'a pas cherché la bagarre.

    Ginny, wasn't she pretty? She was just wild enough, and just tame enough. She nearly always greeted new people with wild barking and unrestrained excitement. Once you got to know her, there was no more affectionate dog. She was sweet and loving with us to the very end. I know that she knew we were there to say goodbye on Tuesday afternoon, and she left on a cloud of love. Both the vets who saw her Monday and Tuesday took the time to carress her and said how beautiful her coat was for a dog her age.

  16. Ken and Walt,
    Collette found doggie paradise with you when you rescued her those long years ago. We enjoyed knowing her, and we know how much you'll miss her. --Chris and Tony


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