petit boulot
la guerison


"Le Roupillon" (The Snooze) : the healing qualities of rest. Smokey, leaning a sore cheek on mamma's fur, so soft and sleek.

argile (ar-zheel) noun, feminine

    : clay

Audio File & Example Sentence: Download Wav or Download MP3

Tous nous sommes faits d'une même argile, mais ce n'est pas le même moule. We are all made of the same clay, but not the same mould. --Mexican proverb

A Day in a French Life...
by Kristin Espinasse


It has been 4 weeks since the attack and our puppy's wounds are still open. After several visits to the vet, who assured us all is well, we are still concerned about our dog's recovery -- especially after the feedback of friends.

One reader wrote in to tell me that her dog, having survived three more months after an attack, eventually succumbed to its infected wounds.... Another reader warned that, due to the location of the plaies* (near to the brain), we must be persistent in clearing up this infection -- lest it get into the blood stream and cause brain damage

Needless to say, we are anxious for Smokey to heal, illico presto!* I will be taking him back to the vet. Meantime, Aunt Marie-Françoise, who helped us with yesterday's mise-en-bouteille,* has prepared a healing pack for our puppy: argile!*

Marie-Françoise related to us several first-hand temoignages* on the efficacy of argile. It began with her own dog, who was scheduled to have its leg amputated after an infection reached the bone and began ravaging it. As a last resort, my aunt applied a clay pack to the wound. The argile, she explained, pulled the infection right out! Each time she changed the clay, she could see the pus. The last few changes of the dried clay contained only a rose-colored liquid: the healing was complete. When she returned to the doctor to view the X-Rays, the latter was speechless: Ce n'est pas le même chien que vous m'amenez, Madame!* My aunt assured him it was. Her dog's bone had reconstituted itself as the infection cleared. The bone went from "cotton" to costaud!*

Marie-Françoise shared two more incidents in which argile treated a deep wound. In one case, a child walking along the beach stepped on a needly oursin.* One of the urchin's needles was driven in, beneath the skin,  impossible to remove. My aunt wrapped the child's foot in argile, which eventually dried, pulling out the needle from deep inside!

A similar case involved a foot injury, this time the foot belonging to a hunting dog who had followed its master deep into a thick patch of roseau.* The bamboo-like reeds were broken in bits along the ground and one of these bits got stuck, painfully, between the "fingers" of the dog's patte.* The long and thick splinter was lodged deep into the dog's foot... until Marie-Françoise made up an argile paste and wrapped the dog's wound. The splinter was sucked right out thanks to the "pulling" properties of clay!

Like that, our Smokey is covered in green argile on the left side of his face and just below his jaw. I will be taking him back to the vet soon, for a professional avis.* Meantime, please keep our pup in your prayers and mille mercis, mes amis,* for your letters, comments, and healing remedies. I have read each and every email and comment and regret not having the chance to get back to you at this time.



In books: Living Clay: Nature's Own Miracle Cure & products: French Green Powder Clay or Indian Healing Clay

Comments are most welcome. Mom and I agree that your words and stories are the best part of French Word-A-Day. We love learning what city you're are writing in from (this was my dad's excellent idea) and the local weather report, too!

Corrections are always appreciated -- and most often needed! Add them to the comments box, or send them to me directly.

French Vocabulary
illico presto = right away; la mise-en-bouteille (f) = bottling; l'argile (f) = clay; le témoignage (m) = testimony; Ce n'est pas le même chien que vous m'amenez, Madame! = This is not the same dog that you have brought me, Madame!; costaud(e) = strong; un oursin (m) = sea urchin; le roseau (m) = reed; la patte (f) = paw; un avis (m) = opinion; mille mercis, mes amis = a thousand thanks, friends; amicalement = warmly (kind regards)

Pizza herbes

Herbes de Provence (Special for Pizza) in Crock:
Herbes picked in Provence with a blend of Oregano, Thyme, Basil & Marjoram

Pre de Provence Lavender Soap. Imported from France: Pré de Provence, literally translated, means "Meadow of Provence." Transport yourself there with this triple milled savon.

Un, Deux, Trois: First French Rhymes:
...a collection of 25 traditional nursery rhymes for children



Pictures from Yesterday's Bottling

That's my gorgeous husband (who recorded today's sound file. Did you listen to it?). If you could put a voice to this photo, that voice would be saying "Veuillez acheter mon vin?" Would you please buy my wine? (Here are some locations, places in the U.S.A. and Europe, in which to buy Domaine Rouge-Bleu!

And, below, Aunt Marie-Françoise (middle), and Babé (bah-bay) right.

It was cold (we bottled the wine outside, on board the rented bottling truck)! We all had our bonnets on! The black and green bonnet that I am wearing was a gift (for my son...) from a reader in New Zealand. Thanks, Sarah!

...10,000 bottles waiting to be filled, three ladies overly chilled! It took all day to do the work.


One of our mascots, "Kiwi" (my cousin Audrey's dog. Buongiorno Cousin Audrey, over there in Italy. Thank you for your Facebook message!)

Uncle Jean-Claude, below (yikes, I forgot to ask permission to post Uncle's photos. I hope that's okay). He turned 70 recently. I wished him belated happy birthday, yesterday, to which he replied, 'I've gotten over a hurdle (in French: "J'ai passé un cap!" Notice he also has a cap on his head. Oh, the cold we suffered at yesterday's bottling!)


Rouge-Bleu Winery Visits: Readers tell their stories
Still up for some stories about life here at the grape farm? Read Larry Krakauer's report about his visit to our winery. He brought his lovely wife, Margie, along with him. See all of the photos at his site.

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


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cynthia caughey

I've been in the US for a month - LA for business and Florida to see family and friends where my Frenchman met me. I didnt have internet much of the time so I missed all the drama with poor Smokey. I'm so glad I read the happy ending before the horrible beginning. I wish Smokey a fast recovery and it sounds like you are doing all the right things and that it will ultimately end happily. What a shame. I had a cat for 16 years who was killed by two dogs that got out of the neighbor's fence so I know how traumatic and difficult this time is for you. Keep us posted on Smokey's recovery. Cynthia in the French Alps


Glad to hear of Smokey's continued recovery. Mamma's fur may be soft, but I've never found anything softer than a puppy's fur!

Jim Hutton

Poor dear Smokey
I don't know about clay as a healing agent, but SUGAR (or honey if it's thick enough) has proven properties. Edinburgh University did a project on leg ulcers (in humans) treated with a thick paste of icing sugar. It worked really well. Scientifically, it's because the high osmotic pressure pulls the water out of the infecting organisms. So they said ...

Jim Hutton

Just googled for some backup on this - found among many others.

Jim Hutton

And found an American report for you over there ...
NB sugar may be easier to remove than clay, and is certainly cleaner, being a refined product produced with strict food-standard controls.

Nancy LoBalbo

I have been following Smokey's recovery and I believe you will find success with the "clay treatment". For many years with our fur AND skin family members we have used a combination of modern and homeopathic remedies for all kinds of ailments and find that the homemade ones REALLY speed along the healing process! In any case, it certainly can't hurt! You, Smokey & the whole family are in our prayers.
On another note....what a cold day for la mise en bouteille! The wine and the workers all look quite chilled! I hope you returned to the house for a warm, mulled glass of spirits when you were done!
Regards, Nancy L

Eileen deCamp

Hi Kristin,
I'm keeping Smokey in my prayers and hopefully the argile will do the trick. I loved the sweet photo of Braise and Smokey! Tell Uncle Jean-Claude I think he is handsome and looks great for 70! I will look for Domaine Rouge-Bleu here in Charlottesville. I was lucky to find some Chateauneuf du Pape last year at Foods of All Nations. I would like to try some of your wine for Thanksgiving!
It's rainy and 48°F here in Charlottesville, VA

Patricia Anzalone

Will certainly keep Smokey in my prayers. Have been enjoying seeing his recovery. Wish I could scoop him up and keep him myself!!
It's 45 degrees and rainy in northwestern Virginia this Veteran's Day.

Jean Marc

You might try infusing the clay with lavender and/or tea tree essential oils. They both have wonderful antiseptic properties, and lavender is known to accelerate the cellular regeneration process. The fresh blossoms can be made into a poultice (with the clay) for wounds. It may not be easy to find fresh blossoms locally at this time of year, though.
Merci bien for this wonderful blog.


Thank goodness for Tante Marie-Francoise and her argile remedy. Let's hope it speeds Smokey's recovery. I know that he still has a long road to recovery as these types of head and face wounds are difficult to cure but with the antibiotics, l'argile, and your loving care ... along with all of our good thoughts, we are hoping the best for him. Our Westies Mr. Darcy and Bijou, along with our Shih-Tzu Boomerang are sending good vibes from New Jersey. In the meantime, it looks like Braise and Smokey have bounded again and that Smokey is managing to enjoy la vie!

Josie Cimini

I was so sorry to read about Smokey's ordeal, but I hope he is on the mend. Dogs bring such joy to life, don't they? It's a sunny and mild (about 50 degrees F) day in Boston this Veteran's Day. Best wishes to Smokey - I'll be sending him "good healing" vibes!

Barbara Andolsek Paintings

The clay sounds PERFECT. It will also keep Braise from licking the wound and possibly reinfecting it. Thank you for keeping all of us informed on his progress. He will be in my prayers.


I'm pulling for smokey. I wonder how you say that in French? Best wishes.

Claire O'Connor

Dear Kristin, I have been following your reports on Smokey and I appreciate how very heart-rending the event was -- and how scary it still is. I am sending healing thoughts to him and I am imagining the clay will work miracles! I am picturing him recovering fully and rebounding into his joyful natural state. Thank you for so eloquently sharing your journeys... I love getting your blogposts in my Inbox! Amicalement, Claire

Diane Marie Samson

Kristin, I think you are on the right track with the clay. Clay has truly miraculous properties! It really does draw out the toxins from the body (humans or dogs) and will certainly help to pull any infection from Smokey's wounds. As for the people who are telling you those negative stories, DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM! There are so many people all across the world who are praying for Smokey (and you and your family), and you are doing everything right. There are always people who show up in times of trouble with a negative story and will bring you down and sap your energy and make you worry even more than you already are worrying. You don't need that! You need to think about all the many more people who love you and pray for you and Smokey. Pray can do remarkable things, and all will be well.
Blessings to you all,
Diane Marie Samson
San Antonio, TX (where the weather is still absolutely beautiful, 50s in the morning, 70s during the day, blue skies--just perfect!)

Angela Sargent

I hope Smokey's infection heals soon.There's certainly plenty of people with experience of the natural remedies,which get my vote. A cuddle to the puppy from me.
Thanks Kristin for your word-a-day which I love to receive-a-day.
Best wishes,
Angela in Sussex,England on Armistice Day,where it's rainy and 50 deg.F

Diane Marie Samson

I noticed you advertise the card game "Mille Bornes" on the site. I must tell you that this game was the mainstay of my college years in the very early 70s! My girlfriends and I would play this game all night! It became an obsession. Even when we were studying for an examination, during a break we would play "Mille Bornes" to relax. But we didn't really relax. Oh, no! There was much screaming in French as we played, since we all spoke French. Many nights the RA had to make a trip to out rooms to warn us to keep the noise down. Who knew a card game about a car trip could cause such a ruckus? I love this game so much that this year I bought it to teach it to my 14-year-old identical twin granddaughters, Jacquilyn and Cassandra, and we will have to pull in either their mother, my daughter Sabrina, or her husband, their step-father Clint (he likes ANY game!). They know no French, only a little Spanish from living here in San Antonio, but they will learn. The tradition continues!


Smokey, dear one, HEAL!!!! There . . . in a word, it is done. AMEN.

I will ask that the long-departed spirit of my childhood dog, "Smokey," whisper gently to your little one doggy words of solace.

Smokey, we will keep you and your family in our prayers. Kristin, stay strong and resist the negative.


Thinking of you all, especially le petit Smokey, and hoping for a recovery soon. I've not heard of the clay treatment (how do you ensure that the clay is clean and doesn't introduce more bacteria?) but I have heard of using honey as mentioned by Jim.

You asked for corrections, so it's "buongiorno" that you say to cousin Audrey in the photo below today's post!

Melissa in Minneapolis

Wishing Smokey a speedy recovery! Kristin, though most of us only get to know you through your postings, it seems pretty clear to me that you have the fortitude and positivity to get through this. You are a great mom and Smokey knows this! Keep up the good work :)

Though it has started out as a chilly morning, it's going to be 60 degrees here in Minneapolis today. Hope everyone else's weather is just as nice.

Barbara Mellor

Pauvre petit Smokey! I do hope he gets better soon, and – with my two labradors, mother and daughter, stretched out at my feet – I do so sympathise. I can strongly recommend from experience the healing properties of Manuka honey from New Zealand (you can find it in health shops), which is routinely used in a number of NHS hospitals in the UK. It's a remedy with a long folk pedigree to which science is now lending its imprimatur. Best wishes and good luck.
PS Many thanks for listing my translation of the inspiring diary of French Resistance heroine Agnès Humbert, "Resistance", some time back – thus leading me to discover the addictive charms of your blog.

Margaret Dennis

Dear Kristin,

So happy to see Smokey looking rested. Do keep on top of that infection. You might ask the vet about injectable antibiotics since they are more potent. I am sure you can do that!!!

Glad to see you smiling after your misaventure in food hell.

Love to all.

Margaret for VERY rainy Durham, NC


A quick addition to the many comments on healing Smokey's wounds. My dog was the victim of a rather vicious two dog attack last year which resulted in several wounds; the worst of which were two punctures wounds in her side. The skin became necrotic and fell off leaving two 5" and 3" open wounds. She had to have surgery but they could not close the holes. For months we tried all the vet's salves and antibiotics. The vet told us nothing seemed to work and he did not think she would make it. I had heard about the powers of raw honey on open horse wounds and tried it on our dog. It took a while but the wounds are now fully healed; the raw honey feeds the healthy skin and acts like hydrogen peroxide and antibiotic in attacking the infection. I washed the wound with warm water and applied gauze pads on which I had spread the honey directly to the open wounds; I then wrapped her entire body in vet wrap. I changed the dressing daily. The vet admitted it seemed like a miracle cure and he has now added to his arsenal. At one point when we thought we were through the worst the wound became black and necrotic again. I soaked it off and treated again with honey ... I have become convinced of the amazing power of the body to heal. Looking at her now it is hard to believe she was ever that close to death. I now keep raw honey on hand just in case (and it makes the wound smell a bit better, too) Good luck!


I think Aunt Marie-Francoise's treatment sounds very cool! Her previous experiences with it give me great hope that it will help. Glad y'all survived the icy bottling ordeal! Many people will appreciate the fruits of your labor! And welcome home! More love for Smokey from a chilly (55) and rainy North Carolina!

Annette Heath

Good morning to the Espinasse family including two precious dogs. It is rainy and extremely windy here, predicted to get worse - a real nor'easter.

I wish I had a secret remedy for Smokey. We were fortunate to live near the North Carolina State Veterinary School when our cocker spaniel was so ill and needed neurosurgery. Is there a vet school anywhere near you? It can be a godsend.

Forgive me for asking...the dogs are always on a cold stone floor. I get a zillion catalogs with beautiful warm and cozy dog beds of all sizes. We always had one with several washable covers. Is that not the custom in France?

I will indeed keep this dear puppy in my prayers. Meilleurs sentiments, Annette

Cheryl Jamison

Dear Kristin,

Hi from Santa Fe. While I'e not been in touch, I have been reading every word about Smokey and Braise, and the family, and the harvest and bottling, and Morocco...I am so glad you have a zillion readers with so much love, concern, and proposed remedies for your adorable pup. I have nothing to add except very best wishes from both Bill and me. We are starting to book our next La Combe en Perigord culinary adventure for June, hoping that the economy perks up enough to make this one happen. We missed seeing all of you this year! We think of you frequently and love your posts and pics.


Dear Kristin,

Using the clay sounds like an excellent treatment and makes sense to me. I've heard the manuka honey has great healing properties as well but I don't think I'd do both at the same time.

And of course, whether you hear from each of us or not, we hear from you thankfully, and you can rest in the truth that loving, healing intentions are surrounding Smokey from around the world!


Jane  Currie

Each day I say prayers for Smokey and then I read your email. I know your concern and pain for his recovery. I too have been there. We have rescued and raised Golden Retrievers - a house is a house until one has a Golden, then the house becomes a home. We rescued from a GR Rescue Organization a young Golden Retriever 3 weeks ago and found her to be heavily infested with heartworms and anemic. Two weeks later our Vet was able to give her one heartworm shot..another in 3 weeks. We find more love and attention we ever thought we had don't we, as we assure our pets we are there for them with love, attention, hope, wonderful Vet and friends who care too. We have 5 rescued pets and so much love surrounds us. Love and Prayers for Smokey, from us all in Houston, TX.

Michael Irby

My Dear Kristin:

My wife Suzanne (herself part of the fifth-generation of a winemaking family in Arkansas) and I have been remembering little Smokey in our prayers every day. The clay sounds like an excellent solution and will, with no doubt, bring him back to complete health.

Even as our two dogs (Julio and Josi) run through the vineyards here, we are imagining Smokey running through yours there!

Love to you all.


Jennifer Jaffe

Good morning from Santa Rosa California. I am so excited about the clay cure your aunt Marie-Françoise suggested. Usually I am more of a traditional medical person but the miracles of clay I have experienced first hand.
A year ago my dog had horrible diarrhea that we just could not treat with anything other than metronidazole. Now metronidazole is a great drug for the short term but using it long term is very dangerous to liver and brain. Everytime we would take him off severe diarrhea would return with could result in pancreatitis which is extremely dangerous! He had three doctors on this case because it was only the best for my little guy. One of the doctors leaned towards holistic medicine and one day after an exploding episode of diarrhea I rushed him in wondering what we were going to do now and feeling so defeated when this doctor said to me "you know I just got this new product in called Rx Clay."
Long story short MIRACLE MIRACLE MIRACLE!!!!!!
I still take my dog in for his acupuncture treatments and inquire about his use of clay on his other patients. He tells me it is very successful. I still use my clay every day with my dog and feel it is such a simple, low cost, and effective treatment. Saying my prayers it works as well for our darling Smokey.
My own case of Minstral wine is in!


I have actually been too shaken up to comment about Smokey. I do pray he recovers, and I am very excited about l'argile. I believe it will work - I have recently learned more about those healing, "drawing out" properties of clay. Thank you for inviting us into your family through your writing. I feel I love you all! Emily


I don't know where in the world you might get them, but if the clay doesn't work, how about leaches? They are being used medicinally to "eat up" infection also. I think the clay is a wonderful idea and hopefully will help. Pauvre bebe!!!!


Chere Kristin,
I think a lot about Smokey and pray each day that his puppy body responds to all the love, and i think it will. I do believe the clay is a great idea, to remove some of the infection and keep his face clean. Smokey is one precious little pup. God bless him.
As for the rest of you, you appear wonderful and happy, and though I do not drink but I will gladly make a gift of wine to someone or I can cook with it, right?

Love to all,


Christine Jackson

Oh Dear Kristin and Smokey! I have been so sad this past month thinking about what happened:( Thank goodness for Tante Marie-Francoise and her clay! I am very hopeful that it will work!

Sending all my love and prayers your way, from Salt Lake City where it is cool (55 degrees) and sunny.

joie  carmel,ca

The clay just might work. Even maybe with some garlic mixed in.(It acts as an antibiotic.) I think it depends on what the bacteria is. Has it been cultured?? If it is Pseudomonas aurignosa (which is contracted from soil) one of the stronger antibiotics must be used. None of the penicillian derivities will not touch it. These along with erythromycin will kill the gram positive cocci (ie Staph and Strep), but not the gram negative rods such as Pseudomonas. Many years ago I tried something that was a tar like substance that worked the same way to remove a very nasty splinter that had gotten infected. I hope the little guy does a turn for the better.....tummy rubs for him from me.
Carmel, CA...foggy and cool today.


Iam sitting at my computer with a sinus infection and wonder if a clay pack on my nose would work?!?! Until I feel better I will be reading from Maumee, Ohio (near Toledo, just south of Detroit Michigan) which is certainly not my beloved Paris.

pamarama in Dover, NH

I have a cataplasme d'argile (clay poultice) on my back as I write ... put it on last night in an effort to allay discomfort in my lower back. Clays can be healing, internally as well as externally! As can antibacterial miel cru (unheated, unpasteurized honey).

Have you tried washes with eau oxygenée (hydrogen peroxide) sur les plaies de Smokey? Good wishes for his quick healing!


I recently read about sugar used to heal wounds. Although I can't find the original article, I did find similar directions on

Best of luck.

Joyce Hoover

I pray for you all, and Ditto from Hampton, VA.

Denise L. in the PNW

Happy Veteran's Day from here in the U.S. - and to those everywhere (especially in France) who have known war ... and peace.

Kristi - Tante Marie-Francoise is a keeper - I learned so much from her in the fields during vendage, I have no doubt the clay will do the trick. And never, never underestimate the power of positive energy - and Smokey's got that in massive amounts. :)

In the meantime, I am sorry I wasn't around to help with bottling (because I love cold weather!), but to everyone: definitely think Domaine Rouge-Bleu at Thanksgiving - and consider the rose with your turkey (should that be your bird of choice) - it's crisp fruit is a nice compliment. Of course, you won't go wrong with Mistral, either ...

A warm hello to you all, including Kiwi - the best, most clever vendage dog ever (Kiwi always managed to find shade under the canopy of the leaves, no matter the time of day)! Cheers -

Leonora Rianda

I shall be very curious to see if Smokey is healed by the clay. I know how anxious you must feel for his health, poor little guy! I read your posts all the time now, and it's delightful to get back in touch with the French language, but also to see pics of Smokey and his mum.

Saint Roche, I believe, is the patron saint of doggies, and I shall put in a petition for Smokey's recovery!!!
Leonora (from Corvallis, Or)

Leonora Rianda

Me again. Here's a St. Roch site. He's a French saint, doncha know???

Kisses to Smokey.

Bill Facker

Smokey .. you are going to be great, little buddy. The very worst I can imagine is that you may have a slight lift at one side of your mouth and become the Billy Idol of the canine crowd! So gather 'round Fido's & Fidette's while the magnificent Smokey "lays one on ya!"


We're having a stretch of warm weather, in the 60s here in Northern NY near the Canadian border. No coats for us today! We know the snow will be coming eventually so we'll just enjoy this last treat.
Your photo of Braise and petit Smokey is very good. I'm glad to read he's improving.

Jeanne Robinson

Smokey's ordeal reminds me of numerous times when, as a small child, my mother applied a poultice called Antiphlogistine to infected wounds on my body. I looked it up in an old medical dictionary and found it is a "cataplasm of glycerine, kaolin (hydrated aluminum silicate)and aromatics." I remember that it didn't hurt (like iodine - ouch), it smelled good, and the next day when removed it resembled the description given by your Aunt Marie-Francoise. I am praying for dear Smokey and that your poultice works as well.

My husband, a Viet Nam vet, was honored along with other vets at an assembly of the students from the Christian Academy at our church this morning. Tonight will be more of the same at our evening church service, and my husband has been asked to speak about the cost of freedom. Great thanks to all who serve and those who gave all.

Jeanne in Oregon where it is 48 degrees and sunny.


I have never posted to a blog before, but all you're going thru with Smokey and his ordeal have touched my heart. The healing clay is a brilliant idea - tried and true for centuries. Braise's licks are dogs way of healing - something in their saliva has healing properties, which is why they lick their wounds! Mama Braise knows what she's doing, but the clay will work even faster and deeper. Keep on loving the little guy, and hopefully all your readers will concentrate on sending positive, healing vibes to Smokey. Of all god's creatures, there is nothing more precious than a puppy, which is why GOD spelled backwards - DOG. Thoughts and prayers to you all, with virtual hugs to Smokey.

Lisa Stanley

Kristin! We have heard good things about clay for healing & will be praying for the puppy! In the meantime, wanted to share with you a funny franco-american story about "argile" - when I lived and worked in France occasionally I'd send packages of French goodies home to Michigan, with things like savon de Marseille, spices for couscous, scarves... One time I sent a tube of facial mask : "Pate de l'argile verte" and my parents, who were hosting Thanksgiving that year, thought it was edible "paté" so they served it up on Trisquits and everybody ate it! hahahaa! Comments ranged from "this is weird" to "hey, not bad!"
~ Lisa, from Michigan, where it is 55 degrees F -- almost an Indian summer here!

Anna Cosford

I have have just started French- Word- a- Day, I am finding it is addictive! I am sure your Puppy will be fine can he not be with so many positive thoughts and care.
I am in Perth W.A, today it is 30 degrees and humid, I don't enjoy humid!we are coming into Summer.Anna


I can't offer any additional medicinal tips, but me and my own little dog are sending best wishes and high hopes to Smokey! I'm sure he will be fine. Puppies are very resilient.

Marcia from Iowa, USA

Kristin - We have been keeping Smokey in our thoughts and prayers. The clay sounds like the right way to go!! Our dogs (our herd!) are part of our family, too. We are a farming family in Iowa, and having a hard time getting the crops out this year due to unseasonably wet weather in October. We usually have all of our crops out by my birthday or before (November 8), and this year we are barely halfway through harvest. The weather has, thankfully, been unseasonable warm here for November. Today it was 60 degrees, sunny and breezy - perfect harvest weather. We enjoyed following your harvest stories this year. Best wishes for Smokey's healing and health.

Pauline Lowe

We would apply a poultice and there are many recipes for different conditions. Similar principle and they work! Thinking of you all,we can empathise,knowing the distress if it had happend to one of our two labradors, one black and one cream.
Weather in Adelaide is 39C, day number 4 of the same in a very early start to the summer heat waves. The weather bureau have promised a cool change to 29C early next week.

Karen - Maryland, USA

All of these wonderful stories about the healing power of clay make me angry that the doctors don't recommend it. There are holistic vets here in the states. I wonder if you have any nearby. They may be more helpful. I'd assume that the antibiotics can weaken the immune system.

When my dog had her 2 knee surgeries, she tried constantly to lick the suture area. It's not that she was getting it dirty - as we know that is not the case - but it does irritate the area and will prevent the area from healing on its own. It's difficult but sometimes you have to use one of those cones. :'(

All the best for quick recovery. Chin up!

Rainy, Rainy in the no Rouge Bleu state of Maryland

Nikki Tureen

Kristin, my husband and I are devoted dog lovers and moved by both Smokey's - and your - ordeal. Jay's an infectious disease doc at UCSF Medical Center and he thinks the wounds were not sufficiently cleaned and are still draining. Please clean them with 3% hydrogen peroxide twice a day, before you apply the clay. By the way, we have an apartment in Vaison and can visualize just where you are when we read your blog. Many thanks for keeping us all close by sharing the authenticity of your life.
Nikki Tureen


Lisa: excellent story about the "argile sur toasts" :-) !!!

Jeanne : Remerciements to your husband! Wonderful to read about the ceremony and his speech.

Annette : great idea about the washable bed covers and, yes, our dogs share a cozy, soft mat. They move around for their naps --or "roups" (roupillons), and always end up on the blanket/mat for the night. Re veterinarians -- yes, we have one nearby and there are others in the neighboring towns.

Thanks, everyone, for the excellent tips. I am reading each and every one and learning so much!

madonna meagher

Dear Kristin, the story of Smokey has been passed on to my friend who is a breeder for Labs, she in turn has shared your story with an herbalist. here is their email. Clay is good and lavender! We're all pulling for Smokey

Dear Madonna,
I sent the latest report on the pup to an herbalist I know (who also bought a dog of mine 12 years ago!)...the following is her advice. Do you know how to send this to the French Word A Day lady? If I find out anything else, I will get back to you. OH, pup!

Be well.
--- On Wed, 11/11/09, Bonnie Rogers wrote:

> From: Bonnie Rogers
> Subject: RE: It's me...the Lab lady in Hunter!
> To: "'elisabeth Henry-Macari'"
> Date: Wednesday, November 11, 2009, 6:46 PM
> Elizabeth,
> I think clay is a wonderful healing tool. Since she
> has access to it let
> her try it. I might mix the clay with some plantain
> (plantago major) or
> some yarrow (achillea) which she may be able to get.
> She could even mix
> some lavender powder into the clay mixture, easy enough to
> get that in
> France as lavender is very healing.
> Hope all is well.
> Bonnie Rogers
> -----Original Message-----
> From: elisabeth Henry-Macari [mailto:[email protected]]
> Sent: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 6:17 PM
> To: [email protected]
> Subject: It's me...the Lab lady in Hunter!
> Hi Bonnie...
> I am going to forward to you a blog entry. It
> is "A French Word A
> Day"...or something like that...a woman moved to France,
> met a guy, and now
> has her life there, as a writer, translator...and her
> family had a litter of
> Goldens. They kept one, and the Mom. One day,
> Mom and son were out
> playing, and a pair of "attack dogs" attacked the
> puppy! Now the puppy is
> having difficulty I thought of you, and maybe
> you could
> recommend something to them. It is such a charming
> blog, and this horrible
> attack came after weeks of beautiful postings about the
> birth of the pups,
> their development, how they found new homes, etc...and then
> this terrible
> thing happened. Once you read it you'll see how ideal
> everything
> seems...and the poor little puppy has been through so
> much. So...anyhoo...
> I hope you and yours are all fine and
> happy. I love your website.
> We are, but it's chilly.
> TAke care, and thank you.
> Love,
> Elisabeth


Such nice pictures, and especially the one of Braise and Smokey. My little 7 mo. old daughter is growing up so fast, and I'm glad that Braise got to keep one of her pups. Hope that Smokey's wound heals soon! Those are impressive stories about it working on Tante's dog and the others. I think you're right to worry and try to figure out why the wound isn't closing. Monica in Idaho Falls, Idaho, where it is coldish (45 F), but not too cold to go jogging outside!

Lee Ann

My prayers are with little Smokey. My puppy, Bailey, was attacked by another dog. 4 years later she is healthy and sociable. It is only me who has suffered long term trauma and panics whenever a strange dog approaches us!

Sharon Butryn

Prayers for Smokey. I have two Labrador Retrievers and blog just about them, wish I had thought of that before Marley and Me- I could be the millionaire instead of him. Anyway hope Smokey mends quickly. We're now on our 5th Lab and just love dogs!! Just purchased your Rouge Bleu Mistral, delicious, in Naperville, IL. How cool is that!! Blog is [email protected].

JacquelineBrisbane (Oz)

L’argile verte est un remède Superbe!
Many decades ago, my cousine Paule in Belgium cured her infant boy of severe eczema by covering his body with green clay. It is also excellent taken internally.
Jacqueline - 26C in Brisbane, storms predicted - fervently hoping for rain.
PS: Went to see Soeur Sourire this week. Starring Cécile de France (who is Belgian!). What a great depiction of her life. I went to Fichermont "en retraite" with my class from Ste Ursule. Soeur Sourire sang a few songs for us. She didn't smile once. I remember her eyes, e looked dead.

JacquelineBrisbane (Oz)

Woops, pushed ze wrong key! Last sentence should read: I remember her eyes, they looked dead.


Passante: thank you for "buongiorno"! Re the olive cake (with broiled peppers) -- I'll see if I can whip one together this weekend (though I used the last of the feta in yesterday's attempt at "pepperade" (tapenade with peppers... and feta!).

Thanks again, to all, for your very caring words and ideas about how to heal Smokey's wounds.



The tears were running down my cheek so hard when I read about the horrible incident. Your sweet little Smokey has been in my thoughts. And poor Braise, what a horror for her to see her baby go through such pain.

I'm glad Smokey is on the mend, but I know you have to be ultra careful about infections. I'm sending you lots of hugs and good wishes. I'm sure with all your TLC, Smokey will be fine. Keep us posted.

I'm opening a bottle of Rouge Bleu tonight and toasting to everyone's Sante!


Rocket French

Great pictures. "Kiwi" is so cute :)
Thank you for sharing your daily life in France...


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