28 June 2017

Les condoléances de la vétérinaire

A few days ago we received a letter from Callie's vet, Mme Gueguen. She's the one who welcomed us to the vets' office on Monday June 19, when Callie was ill. She's also the vet who took care of us when our dog Collette died in 2006. Here's the letter. I think you'll be able to read it if you enlarge the image.

And here's my translation.

At this sad moment I would like to send you a short note to express my sympathy. It is extremely painful to lose a pet so quickly, and so unexpectedly. Callie wasn't all that old and you hadn't had time to prepare yourselves for the prospect of no longer having her as a member of your household.

You were very courageous to face the reality of the situation and decide not to let Callie continue suffering. Thanks to you, she left this world with dignity, and tranquillity. This was the final act of love that you could show her.

Be assured that we understand how empty your home must feel, despite the presence of your cute little Collette [sic].

With my respectful sentiments,

Caroline Gueguen

Even if this is a form letter, the fact is that Mme Gueguen took the time to write it out in longhand and send it. She can be forgiven for mixing up Collette, our dog before Callie, and Natasha, our dog now. At this point, we are awaiting the call from the vets' letting us know that Callie's ashes are ready for pick-up. We'll scatter them in the woods where Callie loved to go walking.

Yesterday we also received a beautiful sympathy card from our friends Lynn and Joel, who live in Arizona. They've come to see us in France several times, and their daughters Hannah and Rachel especially loved Callie.

Joel took this photo of Callie, Walt, and me in 2010. Thanks, L, J, H, and R — Callie loved meeting and knowing you.


  1. It is comforting to know there are stlll people with a heart in this world.

  2. What a lovely note, and what a beautiful photo Joel took of the three of you. Treasured memories!

  3. That is a wonderful letter from your vet.... I just can't see that happening in the U.K.
    And I don't think it was a 'form' letter.... it seems normal and free....
    this is France to me... and one of the reasons it is a joy to live here.... people seem to take that extra step!
    From a lovely letter of sympathy.... to the way that unwrapped goods are carefully wrapped and the ends tucked in and under in the shops.... not just stuffed in a bag!
    The picture of you three is very nice... find it a frame!

  4. Beautiful. Good hearts are everywhere, I find.

  5. We were once sent flowers by our vet after putting one of our dogs down, which was nice, but I would have preferred the letter. It was a lovely thing to do.

  6. What a nice gesture by the vet!

  7. well this started my morning off with tears .. how kind of the vet .. we had something similar in Buenos Aires, when Tate died. The vet came to our house that morning, very early in the morning, Tate was in pain, I wanted her to "give him something"... she would not euthanize but she pumped him full of drugs and my sweet Boy drifted off the sleep in my bedroom with his Mama and Daddy and the vet telling him what a Good Boy he was.
    I send my sympathies .. it is a difficult time.

  8. The three of you look so content in the photo- living the French life. When I read the kind letter I thought of your Collette. Our dogs stay with us forever in memories.

  9. What a beautiful, beautiful photo of the three of you.

  10. Your vet has a kind heart.

  11. Such a lovely thoughtful note!

  12. That is a very nice note. Veterinarians have a hard time dealing with a client's death too. I suppose that is one of the reasons that the suicide rate among veterinarians is so high. At least it is high in the U.S.

  13. Oh Ken, so sorry about Callie. I am catching up with your blog and just read this. A lovely photo of the three of you.


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