RIP our lovely Griffon Vendéen Judy.

Judy RIP
Au revoir Judy, originally uploaded by hardworkinghippy.

Our Griffon Vendéen Judy died on Thursday but I was too upset so soon after Max’s death to post anything about her in the blog.

She was a big happy silly dog who spent her last six years with us at Bourrou. We got her from Yan’s (The Spice Man) parents who found her badly injured by the side of the road. They took her to the vet and were presented with a bill for 6000 francs. She had no collar or tattoo and wasn’t chipped and despite trying for several weeks they never found her original owner.

They nursed her for three months until she was well and called her Lady because she was so elegant but as she was a hunting dog, Small photo of JudyJudy did what she loved to do and ran off regularly to hunt – sometimes disappearing for several days. Yan’s parents were concerned about her having another accident, or causing an accident – not to mention the havoc she would cause with the local wildlife. Having her became a constant worry for them and Yan asked us if we would be interested in taking her.

We were warned to be vigilant and we were – but despite that Judy would be with you, then you’d turn your back for a second and she’d be gone. A door ajar was an open invitation, she managed to just disappear when you least expected it and you’d hear her baying miles off in the woods. Judy escaped several times in the first month we had her. All the hunters in our area were supplied with her description and each time she was spotted, caught and brought back, tail wagging.

Fabrice is the local gamekeeper it just wasn’t on that we had an errant dog, so, regretfully, we decided to build a compound for her where she’d be secure when we couldn’t keep her on a lead.

She hated the compound with a vengeance (It’s now become a park for weaners when they first arrive so we can see them from the house.) and sulked and moped and looked so sad at not being included in what was going on, so we bought a chain and she was like many other dogs in France tied up under a tree just behind the back terrace and she was quite content!

She’d obviously been loved in her last home. She was affectionate with Fabrice and our other dogs and loved children and knew what a sofa was for but at first she completely ignored me. (Which is very disconcerting indeed!)

For the first six weeks she was here she never responded to her name “Lady”. During those first few weeks we acquired a Mynah bird, Arthur, who’s owner was going back to the UK. He (Although we found out later Arthur was a “she”!) was a real character with a good vocabulary and every so often he would shout “Judy” in a high pitched voice. We noticed that as soon as Arthur shouted “Judy” Judy would look up at Arthur, so we decided to rename her Judy and from then on Lady became Judy and we had no problem getting her to respond to her name!

Our Griffon Vendeen Judy and Fabrice PlayingDogs like Judy need a lot of exercise and in the summer Fabrice and his hunting colleagues take their dogs to a training and exercising park to re-hone their skills, train new dogs and initiate new hunters. Judy started going with them and it was obvious she knew exactly what was expected of her. When the hunting season opened Judy went out with the pack and from that day onwards she never ran away from home.

She was always Fabrice’s dog – a man’s dog – and I never played a big part in her life until about 18 months ago when she “retired” and I started to care for her more when she became weak with the cancer which finally killed her.

It seems ridiculous now to think that I was afraid of her when she first came. Wary, because somehow I couldn’t “connect” with her. Judy was the most gentle, placid dog I’ve ever known and we’re all going to miss her.

Lovely Judy

17 thoughts on “RIP our lovely Griffon Vendéen Judy.

  1. Sorry to hear about Judy, but it is obvious she had a really happy time whilst she was with you.

  2. so so sorry to hear about your beloved judy. cancer killed my first chow chow 4 years ago and it is still painful for me. we have to remember how happy we made them. this is a wonderful tribute to her. feel better soon!

  3. So sad – but what a happy life she had with you and what great memories you wil always have. In case you need it here’s a {{hug}}.

    Rosie x

  4. So sad, and so soon after having lost Max. I love how Judy acquired her name!

    By all accounts, Judy had a wonderful life with you and Fabrice, made more content by finally knowing her job. Such a big, happy girl! Thanks for taking her in and standing by her all these years.

    I love your photos of her.


  5. Oh HWH how sad! And for her to go so soon after Max, what a hole that must leave. Love the photos of her, what a gorgeous dog. Thinking of you.

  6. Angie Moore

    Sorry to hear your news, always a difficult time, and after losing Max as well, you must really feel sad. We know you will focus on the great times you had with Judy. Every animal that we own enriches our lives and we never forget them.

  7. Je suis tres desole. HWH, I am so sad for your loss. What a devastating few months. I can sympathise with your disconnection with Judy, my Jindii was abopted with the horrible name of ‘envy’, but her past leaves her very nervous around strangers and she’s a little difficult. Still I would miss her and grieve if she went. I pass on my condolences to you and Fabrice. I think Judy looks at peace with the beautiful tribute of flowers.

  8. I am so sorry! And so soon after Max. You must be heartbroken. What a wonderful life you gave Judy. I hope another lucky pup finds their way to you.

  9. It is so sad to lose a beloved pet, especially one who was such a poppet! Hugs to you both

  10. Sad news. My commiserations to you all.

  11. Anonymous

    So very sad for you – and so soon after Max. I follow your blog & totally admire the way you live & the wonderful way your animals integrate with your life. No wonder you have such a sadness & hole in your life.
    With much sympathy from me.

    Sally (aka Demi) x

  12. Thanks for all your really nice comments. I still feel a bit “raw” and weepy but that will pass in time.

    The change from having 5 dogs to just three in such a short time is strange. Pyke doesn’t notice it much but from time to time the little dogs let out a sad little sigh which says it all really.

  13. Oh what a wonderful dog… sad they have to depart but so lovely that she had a new life with you and had a job to do. Mine still miss their little friend….I hope you find another Griffon Vendéen, they are so nice. Take care, Val

  14. …a delightful trubute to your beautiful dog, Judy. Thankyou for sharing her story!

  15. Thanks Val and Elizabeth,

    I've just had a quick look at the blog before going to bed and spotted your comments – thank you so much for them.

    Still feeling a bit weepy but it will pass…

  16. Ron

    'Just lost my cat recently – one of the family. I still expect to see him in the morning (breakfast) and at other times when he was always there. He now has his own place at the rear of the garden. I understand your loss 🙁

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