une plaie


golden retrievers, straw hat (c) Kristin Espinasse, french-word-a-day.com 

golden retrievers, france, straw hats (c) Kristin Espinasse, french-word-a-day.com
"Méfiance & Insouciance" ("Mistrust & Unconcern").

The pictures above show Smokey's parents, Sam & Braise, illustrating the concept of "méfiance" (see Sam, left) and carefree "insouciance" (see Braise, right). Smokey's family trusts that he will move from one emotional stage to the other, before long (we hope!). (See the original photo at the end of this edition.)

subir (soo-beer) verb

    to suffer, undergo; to be subjected to

Check out this verb conjugator for the French word subir.



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Le chiot a subi un gros choc emotionnel suite à l'attaque.
The puppy suffered a great emotional shock following the attack.


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

Gone is the puppy breath. Gone is the bubbily chubbily jubilance. When two attack dogs mauled our 9-weeks-old puppy, stolen was his "childhood" innocence. That carefree trust-all esprit* has been replaced with méfiance*. Gone is the gung ho glee.

golden retriever puppy, accident, healing, mother, puppy (c) Kristin Espinasse, french-word-a-day.com

Manque de chance.*

golden retriever puppy and mother, shy, cuddle (c) Kristin Espinasse, french-word-a-day.com

Huffy-puffy playfulness has been replaced with post-traumatic stress. Whereas one week ago our puppy basked in make-believe:

I'm a mighty musketeer -- just look at me, here!
See me soar -- me and my puppy power galore!
Superhero, superdog -- watch me
charge across the room... and wrestled that wooden clog!
Grrrr-umph, Grrrhumph -- now watch me wag my tail in triumph!

These days our puppy--who used to wrestle the roots of towering trees--is afraid of rustling, feather-light leaves. 

Like this it's been four days now that he's been camped beside me (and his mama, there, see?).

golden retriever puppy, healing, argile, clay, face, bite (c) Kristin Espinasse, french-word-a-day.com

Where once her soft stomach was his second home, now Smokey's mother backs away, twitches her nose and groans.


Looking down in my lap at the shaky survivor, I try to read our puppy's mind. Here, from what I can gather, is what Smokey is thinking:

Rejection, dejection, this is no vie de chien.*
I thought I was supposed to chase butterflies...
instead of hiding from them.

golden retriever puppy dog (c) Kristin Espinasse, french-word-a-day.com

Update: Our puppy continues to make physical progress never mind his emotional distress. The staples in his throat and cheek will be taken out, hopefully, on Friday. He is eating well and he wags his tail, gratefully, when we call his name (whether that be "Smokey," "Smokey Bear," "Smoke-Meister," "Smoke-A-Roo," "Smokester," "Mister Smokey," or simply, lovingly "Golden Smokey!"

Comments and messages to Smokey are welcome and appreciated.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~French Vocabulary~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
la méfiance
(f) = distrust; le manque (m) de chance = unluckiness; une vie (f) de chien = dog's life


golden retriever adult dogs, straw hat, floor tile, clay, provence, france (c) Kristin Espinasse, french-word-a-day.com
Back when Sam came for a visit, last June... following their amorous escapade in Marseilles... he left a few of his genes behind. "Smokey" and his siblings were born some 9 weeks later! Braise looks like a happy camper, n'est-ce pas? Ah, les femmes enceintes -- how they glow!


French Clockmaker sign :
a reproduction of an old French merchant's sign

Au sourire de l'âme
French music by Pep's (recommended by my son, Max)

I'll Never Be French (no matter what I do):
Memoir of living in a Small Village in Brittany

Songs in French for Children
...including Alouette, Sur le Pont d'Avignon, Claire Fontaine, Prom'non Nous dans les Bois...

Learn French in your car :
comprehensive grammar and vocabulary for beginners and advanced students

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety