16 March 2006

Indulge me one more time...

Here is the picture of Collette that I wanted to post a couple of days ago, but the Blogger software wouldn't cooperate.

I took this about two hours before Collette disappeared. She was serene, I think. We had taken her outside and laid her on the ground so that she could feel the earth beneath her and the warmth of the afternoon sun on her coat. Walt says it makes her look sad, but I'm not sure.

Collette, March 14, 2006, at La Renaudière

We had just had the dog groomed a few days earlier, so she looked especially pretty this week. Groomed or not, Collette was my favorite photography subject. She was also the main reason for my walks and photo sessions out in the vineyards behind La Renaudière. It's the end of an era for me. And the beginning of a new one, of course.

Somebody pointed out that in my writing about the veterinarians it was not clear why I sometimes said "he" and sometimes said "she". There were two vets involved, a male vet on Monday and a female vet on Tuesday. That's why.

I'll stop now. I'm in the process of reserving an apartment in Paris over the web so that Walt and I can go spend a week in the city soon. It will be fun to wander the streets for a few days. I always feel younger and more optimistic when I'm in Paris.


  1. I was thinking how losing Collette might change your walking patterns. I hope you'll still go for walks for yourself, but I know it won't be as easy.

    In the picture, I think Collette is very beautiful and dignified. She might be sad, but that would be natural, I think.

    I have that panoramic shot you took of Collette in your backyard as part of my screen saver slide show. She often pops up randomly to remind me of beauty.

  2. No need to apologize--loved the Collette picture. Give each other a hug and know that she is in a better place and is waiting for you both. Thanks again for sharing with us in this painful time. It takes a brave soul to do this.

    Enjoy your trip to Paris. My favorite place is the Rodin museum, especially if the weather is nice and I can enjoy the gardens.

  3. Ken, I'm so sorry your beautiful Colette is gone. Sadness is the the price we pay for the pleasure of having them in our lives. Nearly all dog lovers feel this pain at some time and we all can share it with you. Our 14 year old dog died just under a year ago and I still sometimes think I hear her moving in the house.

  4. Ginny, do you remember back in the summer of 1992 when you brought your then three- or four-year-old son to our house, right after we adopted Collette? You wanted your son to get to know dogs so he would have no unjustified fear of them.

    I told you how shy and stand-offish Collette was with children and with people in general.

    You rang our doorbell and you and your son were standing there when I opened the door. Collette was right behind me (she was 6 or 7 months old at the time).

    Collette, for once, saw a little boy, and ran toward him. She jumped up with her front paws on his shoulders and greeted him with that big mouth full of sharp teeth wide open, happy as she could be to have found a new playmate (I think).

    You stayed a while and your son sat on your lap. Collette didn't want to leave him alone. She didn't bite, but she nipped at his clothes to try to get him to come play. He was not too sure what to think of her, and I didn't blame him.

    You told me later that on your way home you asked your son what he had thought of Collette. "Mom, I thought the dog was going to eat me," he said. I felt so bad. Ken

  5. Glenda J, thanks for your nice words. The apartment I want to reserve turns out to be available for our dates, so we'll soon go spend a week in Paris. The apartment is in the 3rd, near Arts et Métier and therefore near the rue Montorgueil shopping area and the Marais. It should be a nice change of scenery.

  6. Shelli, I appreciate your comment. I think I remember knowing that your puppy "disappeared" from reading about it on PBProvence, right? I know you understand the void we feel now. But we are going to move forward and spend a week wandering the streets of Paris. At least Mlle Collette got to see Paris and the Loire valley vineyards during her short lifetime. I'm still seeing Collette around the house, out of the corner of my eye. She vanishes when I turn my head in her direction. Just another game she's playing, I think.

  7. Ken, So sorry about Collette. The picture you posted of her is simply beautiful. She looks so peaceful. How thoughtful of you to give her time to be warmed by the sun on the beautiful green grass outside your home. It's always hard to say goodby to a loved one, and this is where the good memories help so much. We are thinking of you. B & N

  8. Of course I remember our visit to meet Collette, Ken. And so does Gabe! Yet another lesson in young motherhood, I guess. But the good news is that he wasn't permanently traumatized and now enjoys living with two dogs who both have big teeth (one who uses them a bit too often).

    When I told my family about Collette, they were all so sorry. They send their condolences to you and Walt.

  9. Bob and Norma, thanks so much for your comment and your thoughts. I don't know if you two have pets, but you now realize that I have that same weakness for dogs that some mutual friends of ours have (coucou, les amis!). Yesterday (already?) we started talking about getting our next dog. We'll wait a year; right now, all the comparisons to Collette would be make it hard to learn to love new dog. However, we saw some beautiful black and white border collies a couple of months ago. They were herding cattle on a farm about 5 miles south of us.

  10. C'est une très belle photo de "notre"/"votre" Collette ! Mais ça me donne envie de pleurer... Moi aussi, après que Foxy ait brutalement disparu de notre vie, j'avais l'impression de la voir, de l'apercevoir, j'aime ton interprétation : encore un jeu de Collette...

    Bon, je suis contente de vous voir faire des projets :Paris, une année avec un peu plus de... liberté, puis, peut-être un nouveau chien ;-) Ça veut dire que la vie continue... Bises. Marie (Normandie)

  11. That's a wonderful picture of Collette, Ken. I think she looks at peace, enjoying the warm sun, quietly appreciative, maybe remembering earlier sunny days. She sure was a beautiful dog.

  12. I think, and like to think, that Collette was happy up to the very end. I don't think she was in pain. But she couldn't walk, which meant she couldn't take care of herself any more. It's amazing how fast it all happened. And yes, she was the most beautiful dog in France, we think.


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