15 April 2007

Here come the puppy posts

I wrote to Mme Vincent, who owns the kennel where we are getting the new puppy, and asked her if she could send a few pictures of Callie at the age of seven weeks. She did, and here they are. I'm sure I'll be posting a lot more pictures of this dog on the blog over the next three or four months. Be warned.

Callie's eyes look blue-green, but I wonder if they won't darken as she grows up.

We'll go get Callie and bring her home on Thursday, May 3, when she'll be 10 weeks old. The kennel is about 2½ hours' drive from Saint-Aignan, down near the village of Montmarault in the Allier département, not far from Vichy and Montluçon. So far we've resisted driving down there for a visit, because it didn't seem like the kennel was set up for visits. And it's a long drive for a short visit.

We know this is Callie, and not one of her
litter mates, because of the distinctive shape of
the white patch on her forehead.

Just yesterday I got an e-mail from my friend Charles-Henry, who was my editor when I worked as a translator/magazine editor in Washington DC nearly 25 years ago. He is a very literate man, and he's taught me more about the French language than anybody else over the years.

Charles-Henry (sometimes I call him by his initials, CHM) pointed out in his e-mail that calli- is a prefix derived from the Greek word for beauty, kallos. La calligraphie, calligraphy, for example, means belle écriture, or beautiful handwriting.

Take the Greek-derived suffix calli-, meaning beauty,
add a final E to make the word feminine as you do
in French, and there you have it: Callie.

Another calli- word in French is callitriche, which is the name of a sub-order of primates that includes the little monkey we call a marmoset. In French, a marmoset is a ouistiti (wee-stee-TEE). The word callitriche means "beautiful fleece," belle toison. In other words, "beautiful coat" in describing an animal.

The suffix -triche meaning hair, fur, or fleece comes from the Greek too and is the root of the word tresses, which is the same in French and in English.

The fact is, by coincidence I happened to post a picture of a marmoset or ouistiti in this topic about the ZooParc de Beauval that I blogged just a few days ago. Here it is again.

This marmoset or ouistiti that I photographed at the
ZooParc de Beauval in Saint-Aignan certainly does have
a beautiful coat. Hence the name callitriche in French.

As for Callie's coat, I don't know if it will ever be as beautiful as that marmoset's is (or as our poor deceased dog Collette's was) but we'll see. And I don't know what color her adult coat will be. I believe I saw a picture of Callie's père, Vince, and noticed that he was this same chocolate brown color when he was a puppy. His coat is much more orange-colored now.

« Callie du Vent des Moissons de la Vallée des Géants »

So there's Callie's full name, I guess, in the caption above. Her male parent is Vince du Vent des Moissons — "Vince of the Harvest Winds." Her female parent is Ruby du Berger de la Vallée des Géants — "Ruby of the Shepherd of the Valley of the Giants." So voilà — "Callie of the Shepherd of the Valley of the Giants and the Harvest Winds." It's a big name for a little dog.

Imagine us calling her after she runs away in the vineyard, chasing a deer or a rabbit. « Viens, Callie du Berger de la Vallée des Géants et du Vent des Moissons ! Viens ! »

Maybe we should say vous to her instead of tu, as a sign of respect. Her bloodline is obviously nobler than either of ours is! « Venez, Mademoiselle Callie du blablabla ! Venez ! »



  1. I'm not much of a dog person, but I will indulge! Cute chocolate and milk coloring -- and I guess just about everybody is a puppy person!

  2. Bonjour les Amis,

    Votre petite princesse est magnifique, quel beau regard :-) ! Merci pour les explications étymologiques, tu continues à m'en apprendre, Ken, je ne connaissais pas le nom savant du ouistiti (the word we French say when wanting to smile for a photographer, the equivalent of your "cheese" ;-) !

    Alors, comment prononce-t-on le nom de Callie ? Avec un "a" comme on a envie de le prononcer en français ou bien avec la voyelle de "call" en anglais??? Bises. Marie (il fait un temps superbe en Normandie, et ça fait quelques jours que c'est ainsi, c'est très sympa mais ça fait un peu bizarre à la mi-avril de s'habiller comme en plein été... !!!)

  3. she's adorable.....very laid back looking in pics (just wait till she gets home....haha) I don't know how u can stand the wait !!!

  4. Bonjour Marie, nous on va l'appeler Callie avec la voyelle française, qui rimerait avec Sally en anglais ou avec 'rallye' en français. Ou avec 'Talie, tu sais, ta fille.

    Il fait beau et chaud en Touraine cet après-midi, comme hier.

    Melinda, waiting is hard but we know we have to.

    Betty, it is a nice chocolate color, isn't it? But it may change as Callie grows up.

  5. Merci pour la réponse !

    Est-ce que les chiens de cette race ont cette expression un peu nostalgique dans le regard ? Peut-être qu'elle sera très sage... Bon après-midi ! Je m'en vais au jardin :-) Marie

  6. Lovely looking puppy! She does look somewhat nostalgic though. I bet she's looking forward to move into her new home!


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