The renovation was coming along nicely… that is if you love having a layer of dust on everything and strange workers going in and out of your house. But something was missing and I knew what it was.

Although we had sworn off getting another dog until the renovation was complete, it didn’t feel right. For the first time in all the years we had been married, we didn’t have a dog. For people who habitually took in strays, this was not normal. Reg had said he was worried about having a new dog with so much activity going on. He was sure someone would leave a gate open and a new pup would get out.

I had a solution: secure fencing of what would become the Dog Garden. We intended to fence the old back yard anyway, so why not now? Why not, indeed? So a dog-proof fence was installed.

As if the angels had been listening and put a bug in our friend Brenda’s ear, she called. Her daughter had a friend who was desperately looking for someone to take a Labrador/cross pup who had been badly injured by a larger dog. The pup had to have an operation to insert a pin to save his left hind leg. The farmer who owned the pup’s mother might kill the pup if a home couldn’t be found. So Brenda’s daughter’s friend had temporarily taken the pup in. But with a large household of kids and animals she couldn’t keep the pup they called Kimi. I told Reg the situation and his face brightened like it was Christmas morning. “Sounds like we found our dog.”

A painfully shy black Labrador pup huddled under the kitchen table when we arrived at the farm. Nevertheless, it was love at first sight between Reg and Kimi. No question about it, Kimi was Reg’s new love. And home she went with us.

Kimi makes herself at home with her new toy duck.

Kimi makes herself at home with us and her new toy duck.

We’ve had many dogs in our life but none any more agreeable than Kimi. She sensed our love for her and responded by being a very special and enthusiastic member of the family. Loving to the cats and any activity we proposed, she settled in as if this were meant to be. She is with us still, some eight years later. A bit grey in the muzzle, but then, aren’t we all? And Reg had a reason for his daily walk in the woods with Kimi as his sidekick.

Being a worrier, Reg had a kennel installed where Kimi would be totally safe during the renovation. Ordered from a company that supplies kennels for government installations, we could have had a lion in the thing. But we knew Kimi was secure. Secure?? Who am I kidding? Kimi never let Reg out of her sight and it was soon clear that where he went, she went. Meanwhile the kennel served as a depot for building supplies. To this day, Kimi is the first to settle herself in the backseat of our little Clio Renault when Reg has an errand to run.  Here’s a more recent photo of my man and his dog.

Kimi and Her Master in the garden.

Now things were back to normal, just as the scariest part of the renovation was about to begin: breaking through a three foot deep stone wall to join the extention to the original house. Paul the Master Stone Mason assured us he knew what he was doing. He installed two cement filled columns to secure the original stone wall before breaking through.

Next: Two houses become one!

 Did I say living French was EASY? Well, for the most part it is. WHY? Because the French people are so darned nice. And we uptight Americans were fast catching on to their way of laid back life! 

You gotta love the French and their easy life style!

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