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The Face Behind the Name

February 24th, 2011

People always ask me “What is Chiot’s?” Then I tell them the story of how we went to the local pound to get a dog a few months after we bought this house. We spotted this tiny brown lab mix puppy. We picked her above any of the other puppies because in the pound filled with barking dogs, her mom simply stood in her kennel with her puppies and looked at us, almost begging us to take one of her babies. All the other dogs were barking, jumping up on the kennel fences, and running around their kennels. We knew if this tiny puppy had part of her mom’s personality, she’d be a great dog. We paid $8 for her dog tag, put her in a box, and she rode home on my lap. She spent that night and the next few fighting off Parvo, while we prepared ourselves to lose our first dog only a few days.

Miraculously she pulled through and grew quickly into a rambunctious 70 pound dog that tore around the garden at full speed. We started calling her “Chiots” because her puppy food had that on it, chiots is French for puppy (we pronounce it Chee-oats). Hence the name “Chiot’s Run”.

She’s also lovingly referred to also as: the brown chiots, brownie, the brown one, miss brownie brownstone, the stinky chiots, the luce, limpy (from her injury), flandy and a few others.

Lucy grew into the most wonderful dog. She’s kind and tenderhearted, obedient, and would never hurt a flea. She allows the cats to be dominant in the house, and she even give Miss Mama and Little Softie a wide berth in the garden. She’s gentle as can be, even with our first niece who was a wee baby when when Lucy was a puppy. She has always been good, has never eaten any shoes, torn up anything besides a kleenex, and only had one or two accidents while being potty trained. She once did “prune” one of my clematis vines right before it bloomed. That’s not to say she didn’t give us grief when she was in her puppy stage and full of energy. There is still a brick burring in one part of the garden where she used to LOVE to dig (FIY burying a brick really does work, at least it did with Lucy)

Lucy is going to be turning 9 here in the next few weeks, it’s hard to believe we’ve had her for so long. She’s been living here in this house with us for almost the entire time we’ve lived here. Our nieces and nephew LOVE her as does everyone that ever meets her.

It’s becoming evident that she’s moving into the senior stage in her life. She’s happy to spend her days sunning herself on the front lawn and sleeping by our sides in the office while we work. She no longer has the boundless energy that she used to, and her injury makes it more difficult for her to get around as she gets older.

Did you know where Chiot’s Run came from before this post? Did you ever wonder what a Chiots was?

30 Comments to “The Face Behind the Name”
  1. Free on February 24, 2011 at 6:36 am

    I am glad to know now
    a lovely story

    Reply to Free's comment

  2. louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife on February 24, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Aww, what a lovely story – and a lovely doggy.

    We have a similar gentle old lady – a springer spaniel but with very similar big sad brown eyes to Lucy. Does your old girl pull a “saddest dog in the world” face whenever she wants something too?

    Reply to louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife's comment

    • Susy on February 24, 2011 at 8:22 am

      Yes, she does do the big brown eyed sad chiots look when she wants something, she’s got that down pat. It works well on my mom who usually caves with a milk bone or a chew of some sort.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Rhonda on February 24, 2011 at 8:05 am

    I knew. :-) But only because since finding you a couple of years ago, yours has been the very first site I visit every morning. It’s my daily dose of “ahhhhh.”

    Reply to Rhonda's comment

  4. Donna B. on February 24, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Actually, one of the reasons I clicked on the link I found for your blog was BECAUSE it said “Chiots”, I took one year of french [I speak deutsch muuuuch better.] so that’s how I knew the meaning of the word. That, and I’ve been following your blog for a little over three years now – so I’ve seen Lucy before, and adore her so! ♥
    She looks like a smaller more timid version of my behemoth, Cecil. He, too, comes with many names [Ceecee, Dipper, Bigdip, Dummy.] who is a mixed lab breed.. I think somewhere between Choco-lab/Doberman/Great Dane… he’s big.

    Reply to Donna B.'s comment

  5. Missy on February 24, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Aww….the Luce the Luce. Love this dog. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of meeting her, she is wonderful. She was the best friend of our little Jack Russell Terrier until he passed away in September. She is truly a wonderful dog.

    Reply to Missy's comment

  6. warren on February 24, 2011 at 10:43 am

    I always wondered…and I sorted or pronounced it chi-o-tee like coyote. Anyhow, glad to know for sure now and cool story!

    Reply to warren's comment

    • Susy on February 24, 2011 at 11:24 am

      That’s too funny, LOVE your pronunciation! A lot of people say “Chariot” which is funny too.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. Jaye Whitney on February 24, 2011 at 11:11 am

    She’s so beautiful!! We have a chocolate lab, Jackie, that is similar in appearance and with the same personality – gentle and loving. She too has nicknames and comes to every one of them!

    She is such a wonderful companion as I’m sure Lucy is as well :) I’m happy that you have her in your lives.

    Reply to Jaye Whitney's comment

  8. Susan on February 24, 2011 at 11:51 am

    What a dear old soul. She is a lovely chiot at any age! Thanks for sharing her story and for the great pix.

    Reply to Susan's comment

  9. Michelle on February 24, 2011 at 11:56 am

    So very sweet…and no, I had no idea! I love the name Miss Brownie Brownstone…so cute.

    Reply to Michelle's comment

  10. amy on February 24, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Beautiful dog with soulful eyes. I always have pronounced it Chee ahhts…lol…Very glad to know the origin and the correct pronunciation:)

    Reply to amy's comment

  11. Blake @ Salt, Teak & Fog on February 24, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    what a sweet story about a beautiful, kind-faced friend. I loved reading this.

    Reply to Blake @ Salt, Teak & Fog's comment

  12. Tommy on February 24, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    I knew it referred to your doggy, but didn’t know the story. (and didn’t know it meant puppy in french…) thanks for sharing!

    Reply to Tommy's comment

  13. Daedre Craig on February 24, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Aw! I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all this time. I’ve been thinking it was Chai-oats (chai, like the hot beverage). Thanks for clearing that up!

    Reply to Daedre Craig's comment

  14. melissa on February 24, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I actually did, sometime after I started reading it I looked up “chiots” ;)

    Reply to melissa's comment

  15. stacy on February 24, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    What a nice story! I love Lucy’s eyes…makes me want to give her a big hug.

    Reply to stacy's comment

  16. Jaspenelle on February 24, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    As I have spoken French since childhood, I always assumed it was referring to puppies, but was a but perplexed because of the amount of cat posts you have. Noooow the picture becomes clear. ^^

    Reply to Jaspenelle's comment

  17. Kim on February 24, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Absolutley beautiful…..give her a hug from all of us…:)

    Reply to Kim's comment

  18. goatpod2 on February 24, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Good post!


    Reply to goatpod2's comment

  19. Nebraska Dave on February 25, 2011 at 8:39 am

    I was totally off with the name. I thought it was your last name because you talk about Mr. Chiots in your blog who I thought was your husband. The run I thought was because you were probably a runner. I makes a lot more sense now that I know the meaning of the name. :)

    Have a great Chiot’s

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  20. Angela on February 25, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I think I did know that Chiot’s Run referred to your puppy (it’s in your “About” section on your home page).

    I love the pictures of your adorable dog! She has such a beautiful, healthy looking coat. :)

    Reply to Angela's comment

  21. Melanie in California on February 25, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Awwwww…. what a sweet, lovely face! I did know the story because your blog is one of my regular haunts, giving my daily dose of awww and awe. We have three big beautiful beasties of our own, Great Danes, and our Princess has that same soulful look. How a healthy dog manages to suck in her cheeks to look hungry and sad amazes me! And, yes, we usually cave in to the look. Are we all compelled to give our pooches multiple names? Princess is also Boodle, Boodleacious, Principessa, Nasty Wench and The Royal One. Stella, who is deaf and the youngest is often The Baby, Stella Bear and Stella Bella. Orlando, the only boy, is Oly, Oly-man, Orlandish and Dork Dog (he’s not the brightest dog but is very sweet.

    Thanks for sharing your life with us!

    Reply to Melanie in California's comment

  22. margaret on February 25, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    She is a beautiful dog, you are lucky to have her.

    Reply to margaret's comment

  23. Melisa on February 26, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Great post- I have a Lucy as well who’s getting on in years and sunbathing is her favorite hobby! She’s a Jack Russell and every now and then the fiesty spark comes back out in her! Thanks for posting this, made me smile this morning. She’s a beautiful dog, such sweet eyes!

    Reply to Melisa's comment

  24. Sincerely, Emily on February 26, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Gosh, I knew it was a nickname for your dog and when I started reading your blog I remember even searching on line to figure out what “chiot” was. I am glad to know now. Like you, ever cat we have has a long list of nicknames. Emily

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

  25. Ashley on February 26, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Thank you for posting this! I knew who your garden’s namesake is, but I wasn’t sure about the pronunciation. I’m so glad you let us all in :) I was pronouncing it like SHY-its so I was way off!

    Reply to Ashley's comment

  26. Laurie Hensley on January 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    I didn’t know but have been curious since I first saw the blog. What a cool story. I love the photo of Lucy in the front yard there. She must be very gentle and well mannered to allow someone to put a red “Wendy” wig on her head and prance her through the neighborhood (haha).

    Reply to Laurie Hensley's comment

    • Susy on January 14, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      She is very mild-mannered. She’s always been loving and gentle with the nieces/nephew (who LOVE her).

      Reply to Susy's comment

  27. Sofie Dittmann on January 14, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    as you may have read, we just brought a boxer mix back from the pound. and just like lucy, he was the one dog just sitting there wagging his tail while the others went crazy. alptekin took im hiking today, and they both had a lot of fun. right now max is snoring next to me – i think he was able to spend some of that energy of his well! :)

    Reply to Sofie Dittmann's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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