Ode to Bouchette

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Ode to Bouchette

Had you visited the medieval village of Gorbio (my village) in the last ten years, you would have doubtless met Bouchette, the Basset Hound. A fixture in our main square, and the doyenne of all the village dogs.

Park your car, walk down to the ‘place’ and there was Bouchette, probably fast asleep in the sun either alone or cuddled up with her housemate, Galinette, a tiny shihtzu.

If you were lucky enough to eat at the beautiful Beausejour restaurant, you may well have had her asleep at your feet—the most comforting digestif ever. The Beausejour was her home, Yvan and Naila, the proprieteurs, were her humans.

Our dear Bouchette went to doggy heaven about a week ago and is doubtless ambling around another village square, enjoying more sunshine, and dozy naps—dreaming of lazy days, good friends and family, tummy rubs, and—as befits a Hound who was the heart and soul of a restaurant — food!

Bouchette was born over 10 years ago, but she didn’t have 10 birthdays as she was born on the 29th February – Leap Year. She was a character, she did what she wanted: she was stubborn, she decided when it was time to saunter round the village on social calls, and when it was time go home. She’d walk the ancient cobbled streets that led to the top of the village, and if she wanted a drink of water, she’d stand at the village pump, waiting for someone to turn the handle for her.

With her best buddy, Galinette.
The village pump.

She’d wander over to the bar—with the confident expectation of food, and often she’d succeed with a soft-hearted tourist.

Each year on the day of the Blessing of the Animals, when villagers take their dogs, cats, rabbits and horses to be blessed by the curé in the square, Bouchette took herself. She didn’t need to be on a lead – she simply waited with the others to be blessed

Ever hopeful at the bar …
The Blessing of the Animals. Waiting in line to be blessed.

At wedding receptions, of course, Bouchette was there, fast asleep with guests quite happy to walk around her

‘Wish they’d stop drinking and start eating . then I might get something!’
Best of all, was having a deep and meaningful conversation with Papy in the square.
Games with the village children were the best fun.

Bouchette and Galinette occasionally stayed with me when her family went on holiday.

Enjoying a moment of rare snow in my garden.
Puppy Bouchette – only 6 months and looking for mischief!

The village won’t be the same without Bouchette. She was always there – and now she isn’t.  I, and many others, especially her family of course, miss her so much. R.I.P. sweet Bouchette.

Her favourite chair just inside the Restaurant Beausejour.

Et en français … excuses pour les erreurs.

Si vous aviez visité le village médiéval de Gorbio (mon village) au cours des dix dernières années, vous auriez sans doute rencontré Bouchette, le Basset Hound. Un personnage sur notre place principale et la doyenne de tous les chiens du village.

Stationnez votre voiture, descendez à la place et il y avait Bouchette, probablement endormie au soleil, seule ou câlinée avec son colocataire, Galinette, un minuscule shihtzu.

Si vous avez eu la chance de manger dans le magnifique restaurant Beauséjour, vous l’avez peut-être endormie à vos pieds, le digestif le plus réconfortant de tous les temps. Le Beauséjour était son foyer, Yvan et Naila, les propriétaires, étaient ses humains.

Notre chère Bouchette est allée au paradis des chiens il y a environ une semaine et est sans doute en train de déambuler autour d’une autre place du village, profitant de plus de soleil et de siestes douces – rêvant de jours de farniente, de bons amis, de frottements abdominaux et – comme il convient à un chien coeur et âme d’un restaurant – nourriture!

Bouchette est née il y a plus de 10 ans, mais elle n’avait pas 10 anniversaires car elle est née le 29 février – année bissextile. C’était un personnage, elle a fait ce qu’elle voulait: elle était têtue, elle a décidé quand il était temps de flâner en ville sur les appels sociaux et quand c’était l’heure de rentrer à la maison. Elle marchait dans les anciennes rues pavées qui menaient au sommet du village et si elle voulait un verre d’eau, elle se tenait à la pompe du village, attendant que quelqu’un lui tourne la main.

Elle se dirigeait vers le bar avec l’attente confiante de la nourriture et réussissait souvent avec un touriste au cœur tendre. Chaque année, le jour de la bénédiction des animaux, lorsque les villageois amènent leurs chiens, leurs chats, leurs lapins et leurs chevaux à être bénis par le curé de la place, Bouchette s’empare d’elle-même. Elle n’avait pas besoin d’être en laisse – elle attendait simplement avec les autres d’être bénie. Bien sûr, lors des réceptions de mariage sur la place, Bouchette était là, profondément endormie, avec des invités plutôt heureux de la contourner. Le meilleur de tous pour elle, était d’avoir une conversation avec Papy, le père d’Yvan sur la place. Et elle était déjà prête pour un jeu avec les enfants du village.Bouchette et Galinette sont parfois restées avec moi lorsque sa famille était en vacances. La photo dans la neige est d’eux jouant dans notre neige rare.

Le village ne sera plus le même sans Bouchette. Elle a toujours été là et maintenant elle ne l’est plus. Elle me manque beaucoup à moi et à beaucoup d’autres, surtout sa famille bien sûr. Repose en paix, adorable Bouchette.

44 thoughts on - Ode to Bouchette

  • Avatar
    William Kendall April 25, 2019Reply

    What an absolute darling. A wonderful tribute.

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      Jilly April 25, 2019Reply

      Thanks so much! Yes she was indeed. A real character. So happy you liked it, William Kendall x

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    Floris April 25, 2019Reply

    That’s really nice Jilly; thanks for sharing this.

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      Jilly April 25, 2019Reply

      Floris, thanks so much for writing. She was so much part of our village, wasn’t she? With love – Jilly xxx

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    Donald April 25, 2019Reply

    Well what a delightful obituary and fabulous photographs …..she will obviously be missed in Gorbio.
    Thanks Jilly.

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      Jilly April 25, 2019Reply

      Donald, thanks SO much. You will remember Bouchette, I’m sure. Bless you for your comments. Hey and see you very soon xxx

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    Kathrin April 25, 2019Reply

    So beautiful Jilly! Such a pity I missed Bouchette in real life and only met her now

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      Jilly April 25, 2019Reply

      Kathrin – You would have loved her – of course! with love xxx

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    Suzanne April 25, 2019Reply

    Oh Jilly, What a beautiful tribute to darling Bouchette. The photographs are all so beautiful. I am sure that she will be terribly missed.

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      Jilly April 25, 2019Reply

      Suzanne, what lovely words. Thank you so much. Yes she will missed. She was such a fixture in the village and made everyone laugh. Love to you xxx

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    Michael April 25, 2019Reply

    Oh what a lovely tribute Jilly.
    Bouchette is lucky to have you to tell her story.
    Thank you for sharing!

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      Jilly April 25, 2019Reply

      Michael, Thanks so much. She was such a character and will be missed. Perhaps you saw her when you were in the village. I can’t remember now. Love to you and thanks. xxx

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    Doug April 25, 2019Reply

    The photo tribute truly captures what she meant to the village, her family, and you. The fond memories somewhat make up for the pain of losing such a soul.

    • Avatar
      Jilly April 25, 2019Reply

      Doug, thanks so much for your kind words. She will indeed be missed in the village. She was just always there! Thanks Doug x

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    Karen April 25, 2019Reply

    Oh, Jilly, what a perfect tribute. Would that we could all be so wonderfully memorialized. You’ve captured Bouchette to a “t” with words and images I suspect even she would have approved.

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      Jilly April 25, 2019Reply

      Karen, thanks so much for writing. So glad you liked what I wrote. She sure will be missed. with love x

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    Abraham Lincoln April 25, 2019Reply

    Beautiful story and a colorful dog.

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      Jilly April 25, 2019Reply

      Thank you Abe. She was indeed. So glad you liked her story. xxx

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    Sylvie M April 25, 2019Reply

    So sad to read that Bouchelle left us. That was de great dog.

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      Jilly April 25, 2019Reply

      Thanks Sylvie. So many people knew Bouchette – she was indeed a great dog. xxx

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    Paula April 25, 2019Reply

    What a lovely name for a lovely dog. Your pictures are beautiful Jilly !

    • Avatar
      Jilly April 25, 2019Reply

      Thanks so much Paula. Yes, I agree, a lovely name and she was such a character. So happy you like the pics. love to you xxxx

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    Sigi April 25, 2019Reply

    No one could have remembered Bouchette better than you do with your wonderful stories and beautiful pictures. RIP Bouchette, you will be missed but kept in so many people’s loving memories.

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      Jilly April 25, 2019Reply

      Thank you Sigi so much for your lovely words. That means so much to me. Yes Bouchette will stay alive, as so many of us remember her. She had so many fans! With love to you – xxx

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    Moira April 25, 2019Reply

    What a wonderful tribute Jilly, such a beautiful furbaby and to be loved by so many. Bouchette has earned her rest but her memory lingers as do all our beloved pets, sending the village love, Moira x

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      Jilly April 26, 2019Reply

      Moira, So happy you like it and thankyou. Yes, absolutely, our dogs live on through our memories of them. Bassets are such characters and Bouchette even more so. Thanks, Moira x

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    Christina April 26, 2019Reply

    A beautiful ode, Jilly. So sad to hear of the passing of sweet Bouchette x

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      Jilly April 26, 2019Reply

      Thank you lovely Christine. So happy you like it and thanks for writing. With love as always – following your travels of course xxx

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    Penny Howard April 26, 2019Reply

    What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful character. Also to Gorbio – clearly a village from another time where pets can still safely range and sleep and be themselves without fear of being squished or stolen. The photographs were themselves stroke-able – I can easily imagine how much Bouchette will be missed. Thank you for sharing. Big Hugs!

    • Avatar
      Jilly April 26, 2019Reply

      Oh Penny, what a beautiful commentary – thank you so much. Yes, no cars in the Old Villge or in the main square although that didn’t stop Bouchette. She’d wander into the area where there were cars and someone would bring her back! So happy you like the photos and the tribute, dear Penny. Hope life is good for you in beautiful Florence. J xxx

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    Irene April 26, 2019Reply

    Jilly, what a beautiful tribute to a character who gave such joy. Your love for the companions of our world is very hearwarming. To take herself for the blessing of the animals is amazing.

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      Jilly April 26, 2019Reply

      Irene, Thankyou for your lovely words. Yes she was amazing – perhaps when she queued for the Blessing of the Animals she thought she would get food. Very good-focused was our Bouchette! But hey, perhaps she knew she was to get blessed. xxx

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    Margaret April 26, 2019Reply

    Hi Jilly …I can see she was very much loved by everyone …beautiful photo’s and memories …If only all animals were treated with such love … they give so much back when asking for very little …What a beautiful tribute …be blessed ..

    • Avatar
      Jilly April 26, 2019Reply

      Margaret, thanks so much for your lovely words. Yes she was so loved. I so agree if only all animals were treated with such love. I wish, you wish. So glad you like the tribute. Thankyou. Jilly x

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    Jean-Michel April 26, 2019Reply

    So sorry…
    JM

    • Avatar
      Jilly April 26, 2019Reply

      Merci beaucoup, Jean-Michel x

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    Teri April 27, 2019Reply

    Thank you for your photos, and for your words about Bouchette – her soul comes right through your camera and I thank you for that gift. Forwarded this piece to my daughter who loved and lost a Basset Hound. They are very special dogs, aren’t they?

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      Jilly April 27, 2019Reply

      Thanks so much for your kind words. Basset Hounds are indeed so special, funny, naughty, stubbon, greedy and yet totally adorable. I’m so sorry your daughter lost her Basset and hope she finds comfort in this article. Our dogs leave us far too early of course. Best wishes Jilly

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    Linda April 27, 2019Reply

    Ahhh Jilly, this is so beautiful! What a gorgeous doggie and story of her life! I love your photos, they are so elegant and vivid and they make me feel like I am there. Much love to you xx Linda

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      Jilly April 27, 2019Reply

      Linda, How kind you are to write. So so happy you like my photographs – and yes, Bouchette was one very special doggie. Thanks Linda. Jilly x

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    José April 27, 2019Reply

    Merci Jilly pour ces nouvelles en provenance de notre petit village adoré. Tes photos sont toujours magnifiques.
    Cet été, nous chercherons probablement Bouchette et nous connaîtrons la raison de son absence.
    Au plaisir de se revoir prochainement sous le soleil de Gorbio.
    Christine et José

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      Jilly April 27, 2019Reply

      Christine et José, Merci beaucoup. Alors oui, maintenant vous connaissez la triste nouvelle mais quelle vie merveilleuse Bouchette a eue. Je suis ravi de vous voir lors de votre prochaine visite à Gorbio. Merci pour ces belles paroles. J’espère que vous allez bien tous les deux.Jilly x

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    Millie April 29, 2019Reply

    Jilly what a beautiful heartfelt touching post. You must miss Bouchette so much. The photos are a stunning visual narrative (and tribute) of (and to) a dog much loved. Love to you Jilly xxxx

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      Jilly April 29, 2019Reply

      So happy to know the post touched you, dear Millie. Yes when I go up to the village now, there is a big gap with no Bouchette to have to walk over or around! Thank you so much for your beautiful comments. love to you dear Millie – J x

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