In winter dogs are allowed on this sandy beach. Out strolling with Mom at sunset last night, we enjoyed seeing 5 cavorting canines--including Ruby the pit bull. She wanted to hop on that surfboard and glide up the coast with the help of a couple of giggling girls pulling the rope. Meet another local pooch in today’s story...
TODAY’S WORD: “le prénom”
: first name
SOUND FILE: Hear Jean-Marc pronounce the example sentence and all French words in this post. Then scroll to the vocabulary section to check your French comprehension.
Choisir le prénom de son animal à quatre pattes n'est pas toujours une mission facile.
Choosing a name for your four-legged friend is not always an easy task.
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE by Kristi Espinasse
Lately, my husband and I have been enjoying morning walks together. Jean-Marc likes to stroll along the waterfront, whereas I prefer a brisk walk inland, away from la foule. So we take turns deciding, or as the French say, à chacun son tour.
Recently we were heading home along La Voie Douce, when an older gentleman and his dog entered the sentier, just ahead of us. Because our turn-off was only 30 meters away, it didn't seem polite to cut around the slow-paced duo only to hurry off the path.
As Jean-Marc and I slowed our own pace, I studied the dog. His white whiskers contrasted against his black poils. He was as old in dog years as his master, and both had a big belly. The dog carried itself with ease and it was hard to miss the jolly bounce in his steps.
That lovely creature exuded joy from head to tail and sent its feel-goods reverberating back to us. When the duo turned off the path, we followed, this being our exit as well. Entering a field, the man unleashed his furry companion.
"That is one happy dog!" I said, striking up a conversation.
"Un chien est comme son maître," the man smiled.
Wasn't that the truth? A dog is like his master. I remembered our sweet Smokey and liked to think he took after me...even if he really was a splendid composite of his three-generational family.
"What is your dog's name?"
"Cachou. Like the bonbons," the man said, referring to those popular black lozenges in the round yellow tin....
"Cachou, that's a clever name for a black dog!" I hunkered down to pet the labrador.
"Where did you get Cachou?"
"From his mother, who we had before him."
"Oh, that's how we got our Smokey," I shared. "Our golden passed last summer at almost 13."
The stranger gazed at his dog. "Cachou is twelve-and-a-half."
"Well, he looks very strong and energetic. He is a happy dog!"
"That he is!" the man smiled before we walked our separate ways.
It was another lovely rencontre with man's best friend. After losing Smokey, these encounters are helping to fill the in-between time, even if I still don't know when or if we will have another dog. I look forward to seeing Cachou again, and all the other toutous in our neighborhood--including Féli, Lilou, Zoe, Joie, Pharos, and more whose names escape me. I am going to do better at writing those names down for the day we have the pleasure of welcoming another dear furball, or petite boule de poils. For now I spend my time dreaming about who he or she will be.
Before we adopted our first family dog, Breizh (a golden retriever and Smokey's mother), Jackie composed a list of favorite dog and cat names in French, including Ombre (Shadow), Flocon (Snowflake), Fripouille (Rascal)... The right column lists some cat names in French, including Choupette (little tuft of hair), Réglisse (Licorice), and Chouchou (Darling)
Breizh and Jackie in 2006
=> Le Chiot: when we got our first puppy, Breizh in 2006
=> When Breizh had Smokey and his 5 sisters
le prénom = first name
la foule = the crowd, mob
à chacun son tour = each person gets a turn
la voie douce = the gentle path
les poils = fur
la rencontre = meeting, encounter
le toutou = doggy
une petite boule de poils = a little fur ball
Breizh = Breizh
Ombre = Shadow
Flocon = Snowflake
Fripouille = Rascal
Choupette (little tuft of hair)
Réglisse (Licorice), and Chouchou (Darling)
We also met “Saga”—the softest, sweetest Ridgeback Rhodésienne. Saga was visiting France from Sweden. Mom and I wanted to take her home with us! Tell me, what kind of dog do you have? And what’s le prénom?
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