10 May 2007

The pup or the prez?

Right now I seem to have two subjects to blog about, the new puppy and the new president. I'm afraid both will bore most people who come here, at least long term. In other words, the new pup and the new prez will both get old very soon. But if I have to choose between the two, for blog purposes, I'll choose the pup.

Our days are completely dedicated to entertaining the new puppy, Callie, and making sure she doesn't get into any mischief. She wants to chew on everything — shoes, clothes, furniture, rugs — except on the chew toys we have provided for that purpose. And she has to be taught not to — comment dirai-je ? — soil her environment. And ours.

Callie, a red border collie at the age of 11 weeks

She's a very smart dog (bet you can't believe I said that?) but she's just a baby. Eleven weeks old today, actually. Like babies of every species, she has a lot to learn. Like how to resist the temptation to squat down and pee on the rug in front of the kitchen sink. Or worse.

The weather has improved, and yesterday we spent a lot of time outside. I took Callie on a twice-around walking tour of our garden, hugging the inside perimeter, along the hedges and fence, early in the evening, waiting for her to do what I wanted her to do. Ça s'appelle une crotte en bon français.

Sunset, 09 May 2007, at La Renaudière

She was content to follow me around, veering off periodically to explore behind the bay laurel bush or a hazelnut tree. Did she do what I wanted her to do while I wasn't looking? Is she just teasing me? Then she found a clump of matted, decaying grass that must have fallen off the bottom of the lawn mower the last time Walt ran it, and that made her ecstatically happy. A dried-up, shriveled brown apple that has spent the winter on the ground, where it fell last fall, has the same effect.

Now what have you found?

It's a joy to see. Callie picks up in her gueule (that's French for animal mouth — don't we have the term maw?) something you wouldn't even want to touch with gloved hands and runs back toward the house with it. "I'm taking this in the house to play with!" her body language seems to say. "Come on, let's go back indoors and start playing!"

Springtime scene at sunset

We are fortunate to have a big enough yard (that's "gahden" in "prawpuh" English) that I'm actually re-discovering it with Callie. When I walk all the way out back and look toward the house, I enjoy views that I had forgotten we had. And there are flowers right now, despite the slightly chilly and damp weather.

The way things are evolving, I'm doing the early morning guided tour. I wake up between 6:00 and 6:30, when the light is just dawning. Callie notices — I think she's waiting — and she bites me on the ear and nose, licking my tightly pursed lips with that who-knows-where-it's-been tongue hers, just to motivate me to haul myself out of bed.

So I pick her up and carry her downstairs. She has figured out how to go up the stairs, but going down them is still too scary. It's a one-way thing for now. Yesterday, I put her down for a second so I could pull my gardening shoes on for the walk, and before I knew what had happened there she was peeing on the rug right behind me. I guess "behind me" indicates the mistake I made.

Callie taking a short rest between chewfests

Today, I put Callie outside before I put my outdoor shoes on, and that seemed to work. Problem is, I don't know if she peed or not. We walked the few steps out to the bay laurel bush in the back corner of the yard, and there I did get to watch her do la grosse commission. That made me happy, because now we can be in the house for a couple of hours before we have to worry about that particular commission again.

Chez nous, 09 May 2007

Voilà ce que c'est que ma vie à Saint-Aignan pour l'heure. That's what living the life in Saint-Aignan is all about right now.


  1. Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

    Warm Regards

    Biby Cletus - Blog

  2. You can blog about anything and I will read it but I LOVE to hear about Callie. I am so looking forward to having a dog again. Check out the house progress

    My best to you--

  3. Et bien, c'est mignon, mais ça occupe bien, un BB chien :-)

    Puis-je redire comme elle est mignonne, cette demoiselle ;-) ? Bises. Marie

  4. Ahhhh.....The life of a puppy! They are so cute, and the things that they bring to you. One day, Windsor, the Corgi, comes out from under the house (Old house with crawl space, now covered over to prevent scene repeat) with the spinal column of some sort of animal. There is nothing quite so disturbing as a sweet little Corgi hauling around some animal's carcass. He was so proud of himself, too. "Look what I found!" Also, I agree with glenda j, you can blog about anything & I will read it.

  5. I made the mistake of reading this entry at the office -- a mistake because I howled with laughter at your descriptions of potty training a puppy. Grand commission, indeed! How delightful.

  6. Félicitations pour votre blog ! C'est très agréable de vous lire et vos photos sont très réussies. Étant un saint-aignanais (récemment exilé :-(), je trouve que votre description de la ville et de ses environs est très authentique. Tout américain intéressé par la France devrait faire un tour par ici et suivre vos reportages.
    Par la même occasion, où se situe la Renaudière ? ^^

    Kind Regards.

  7. da puuuuuuuuuuuuuup! love border collies. will you be buying da puuuuuuuuuup a herd of sheep to keep her busy?


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