Through thick and thin. Photo of Braise (pronounced "brez") and son Smokey--or one of his five sisters? Photo taken over two years ago. Braise still cleans her 30-month-old's face, still lets him rest his head anywhere on her fluffy pillow of a body. She'll never run away without him, and vice-versa, which is why we can keep one dog chained and the other free (they take turns being attached when out in the yard). Still, once in a while they manage to foil the system, and off they go on another escapade....
un comprimé (kohm-pree-may)
: tablet (medication)
Si votre enfant a du mal à avaler un comprimé, mettez-le dans un petit bout de fromage.
If your child has difficulty swallowing a tablet, put it in a little piece of cheese.
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
Braise and Smokey are fine--good as new, in spite of another run in with l'inconnu. The dogs snuck out around 7 pm, during the chaos of Monday evening, when I was away at the kiné's... (and while the kids were, soi-disant, in charge of things!)
We now suspect that the wounds (this time Smokey returned with a few...) might be the result of the dogs getting into something they shouldn't be getting into--like a compost bin! Out here in the campagne, people get creative about keeping wild animals out of their trash. I have heard about the use of scrap (read sharp, jagged, pointy) fencing to prevent charognards from rooting through the poubelle.
Our dogs have been known to dine on OPC (Other People's Compost)--even after a well-balanced meal here at home! An old, jagged fence or gate--used as a "keep out" cover for a compost bin--could explain the wounds which appeared, this time, on the dogs' faces. (We will need to walk the property when Jean-Marc returns, to search for the source. Some of the land around our farm has been used as an unauthorized dumping ground--where all kind of "sharpness" reigns.)
Meantime, the dogs are comme neuf: and we have tripled our efforts to keep a rein on them! On Sunday, the wounds closed enough so that Jackie and I could give the runaways a needed bath. Outside, in the shade of the mulberry tree, we scrubbed the dogs. By the time we were done, we were as soaked as our furry clients.
Once the dogs were dry (they took themselves through the spin cycle, dashing toward the closest patch of grass, diving through it like bullets), I gave them their antibiotics.
As any dog-owner or parent knows, administering medication to an innocent can be tricky. Braise, our 6-year-old golden retriever, will spit out anything that isn't sweet or savory. Her son, Smokey, will eat anything--only, once he's seen his mama take her pills, he wants his candy-coated too...
Like my Grandmother Audrey before me, I use a tried-and-true method to dispense those bitter pills: la confiture! In the absense of Smucker's Strawberry, I find that sweet Chestnut purée works very well (we had a can of it in our frigo, I use the it for a simple and delicious cake. Only the can was left open and the purée had solidified. Instead of tossing it out, I discovered it makes a great pill-coating!
Another recent discovery is leftovers! I wish I had figured this one out earlier--before using some of our favorite cheeses (fromage being an easy way to smuggle doggy drugs--just cut off a piece, push the pill into the creamy center, and pop it in your dog's mouth!). Recently I made mashed potatoes (the bumpy kind, and not the French kind, which are perfectly puréed). Refrigerated mashed potatoes are easy to form into little balls... in which a bitter comprimé and be swiftly smuggled. The upside is that those potatoey bumps that I failed to smooth out (as expert French chefs do) now work in my favor: the dogs can't tell the difference between those, and the hard tablets which I am sneaking past their little unsuspecting noses. Voilà!
The highlighted words in today's story correspond to related stories; click on the words to access the stories:
- "another run in" = read about the first mysterious "morsure"
- "the chaos" = read about the mother-daughter melt-down that followed
- and a lot of vocabulary in Friday's kiné (kee-nay) story, don't miss it
l'inconnu (m) = the unknown
soi-disant = supposedly
la campagne = the countryside
un charognard = scavenger
la poubelle = trash
comme neuf = like new
la confiture = jam
le frigo = fridge
le fromage = cheese
un comprimé = a tablet (pill)
voilà = just like that!
- Follow these French language updates on Twitter
- Learn French in context: read these vocabulary-rich memoirs: Words in a French Life or Blossoming in Provence
More scenes from the USA wine tastings, this one in D.C. Pictured: our neighbor in Cairanne, Tom Mann, and Jean-Marc. Photo by JR Cook
Here is chef Collin, who helped us with last year's harvest, and this is Tom's wife, Beth, who we hope to see soon--when she comes back home to Cairanne. (photo by Suzanne Codi).
Here is Zayra, left, and Elizabeth, right, who helped with the 2010 harvest.
Mary-Noble, Charlie, and Betty (photo by Suzanne Codi)
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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety