Blog about Barbet Yatzie & Moët

My life with the French waterdogs Yatzie born 2007 and her daughter Moët born 2011. Barbets are purebred, active, relaxed and allergy friendly dogs with a soft and loving spirit. I am Swedish but live with my dogs in Holland. I hope you will enjoy the blog! Enlarge the photos by clicking on them.

2010 > 11

There are moments, even for an amateur photographer, when everything goes right. The light, the timing, the camera settings - and, when working with dogs, the object to be captured behaves! A minute later the magic was gone.


As the sun was setting last Sunday, by the river in l'Isle sur la Sorgue, Yatzie started sniffing intensely in the bushes by the river side. Deep into the bushes she went. Yatzie has a very good nose. I knew there was something. And then for a second I caught a glimpse of it, inside the clear water - a 20 cm long, 7 cm thick, grey, hairy water animal that quickly hid in a safer place. There are moments when you wish your eyes were the camera and you could just blink...


What could it have been? Anybody knows? Yatzie did not see it, but she is happy by the excitement of sniffing itself. Later when I called her out of the bushes she did not come, she just stood there... Her fur was totally entangled in the thorny bushes and she could not move at all. That is what you get with a curly Barbet by your side!

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  • Elisabeth • 6 december 2010 22:14:43
    It was a nutria (a mouse beaver, also called coypu) I saw in the waters I was told! Looked it up and yes, that was it! They have killed dogs... but are normally very shy. Thanks to God that this was a shy kind! See a picture here

This morning the lovers Yatzie and Django had a chance to play around in the frosty fields under a clear blue sky before saying au revoir. It was a joyful moment, rolling around and playing the way Barbets do. You can note in the movie to the right that they have a similar kind of body language. Yatzie does not play this way with any dog.


Geneviève, Djangos owner, and I shed a tear when parting. She is an adoreable woman, who pours out her sweetness and love not only to Django but also to foreign new friends! Thank you Geneviéve, we both will miss you both!

Au revoir Geneviève and Django

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  • mamma • 30 november 2010 21:06:14
    Hej älskling! Vilka härliga bilder du har tagit. Ledsen att jag inte fattat detta förrän nu. Man kan se att de tycker om varandra så vi hoppas att allt går vägen! Vi längtar efter er.
    Kram, mamma
  • Elaine Fichter • 30 november 2010 14:08:35
    After all the weekend events(and the previous days') which were very colorful, now we have to sit back and wait, wait, wait...Fingers crossed!
    Keep up the great work!

  • ineke • 29 november 2010 23:34:14
    What a love story. I hope it will bring you and Yatzie what you both are longing for!

...over the hills and everywhere! Yatzie will be a mother! Three days of excitement! The details… belong to Yatzie and Django alone. Now three weeks of waiting before the confirmation – it seems endless… Yatzie has been so sweet in this process, so focussed, determined. A new side of her has come out. She deserves to be a mother and I believe she will be a very good one.


What an adventure we have had. We have met wonderful people and made new friends. We have seen beautiful parts of France. We have done nice things together Yatzie and I. I will update you on more of our adventures back in Holland. The internet connection is really bad from this hotel. It has been special to be in Yatzies home country for the breeding. She is after all a French lady. I am also glad I had many days to emotionally get ready myself for this big event in Yatzies and my life.


So good bye France, we leave today. Hurray to Yatzie and Django!

Django is fabulous - but is he ready for Yatzie? That is the question. They met last night and Yatzie did everything right, she knew what this was about. She really wants to be a mother. But it did not happen yet. They were so sweet to each other, they do like each other, but though Django tried a lot it did not work out... We will give them a new chance... Hold your fingers!


For the rest we had a great birthday dinner for Elaine. Geneviève, Djangos owner, cooked us a terrific meal. Clams, legumes from the garden. Her house on the country side is a dream! Brigitte, friend of Elaines was there too, who is an experienced breeder. She said Yatzie knows she is a dog. That may sound strange to you, but I understand exactly what she means. When dogs are so close to humans as they are they sometimes get too independant and need reassurance from their master about what to do. Yatzie did not need that. She was so clear in her mind. I was glad to see that since I am often told I treat her too much as a human! Yatzie was so sweet in my eyes, the way she acted. She charmed Django, playing, laying down for him, rolling around. We just have to wait and see what will happen this weekend...

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  • mamma • 30 november 2010 21:09:55
    Du är en fantastisk fotograf. Hjärtat är outstanding! Likadant fotot där de bekantar sig med varandra!
    Kram, mamma
  • Emma • 29 november 2010 21:05:01
    Ik hoop dat Yatzie babytjes krijgt. Ik zie het al helemaal voor me: kleine lieve yatzie-tjes met kleine staartjes!
    Veel succes in Avignon!
  • Bart • 27 november 2010 15:48:28
    They're really a fantastic couple dear. Yatzie will give birth to some beautiful puppies!
  • willemien • 27 november 2010 12:50:15
    Kära Elisabeth och Yatzie. Vi håller tummerna för er hela dagen, hela familjen (utom Silas).XXX.

At 10.16 the test was ready - light light blue! Tomorrow Yatzie will be redy and willing said the vet! It may be hard for someone who has never planned a mating to understand all the thoughts and feelings around it. Will it work out? Will they like each other? How will she react? Yatzie is like a child to me and I feel her so close. But in this case I must leave her to do her job - it is pure nature after all.


So we packed and left Cluny. Snow had fallen during the night, and the surrounding mountains were white. It was so beautiful. And more and more beautiful it became as we approached the south of France, to the destination outside of Avignon. Met a fabulous black swan at one of the resting places. You see him in the gallery. Yatzie was curious, had never seen one before.


Must rush now, will tell you more soon. Cause now I am leaving the hotel to meet Django for the first time!

The ovulation test says ready tomorrow

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Spent an hour in the old monastic grounds of the Cluny Abbey today, thinking back at the times 800 years ago when these corridors were full of zealous monks aspiring a higher life. Now there are zealous young arts students with the same kind of aspiration I guess. I hope you enjoy the photos. I also found an old chapel in the garden that had amazing acoustics and I could not help but sing a little there. I share a small piece with you so you can hear how the sound is bouncing around the arches.


It started snowing tonight! They say I brought it from Scandinavia. Yatzie and I found a cool bistro earlier this week, and had dinner there tonight. They have a male dog and he came running when Yatzie entered. But the owners remembered that she is on heat and locked the excited dog up. I love the atmosphere in these local restaurants. It is like a big family in there. Everybody seems to know each other. They all greeted me "Bon appetit" and also gave Yatzie a few strokes. My French is getting a little better.


Yatzie spent the evening watching Flash playing and following her wherever she went.

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  • Kerstin Neld • 30 november 2010 20:15:12
    Hej Yatzie och Elisabeth, Oh vad vi längtar efter Er! Vi håller tummarna att det blir många söta små valpar på det nya året. Välkomna hem i helgen! Kram från Kerstin
  • Lineke • 26 november 2010 17:38:28
    Lieve Elisabeth,
    Wat heeft Yatzie een mooie site! Deftige hond!
    Geniet in Frankrijk en zing nog eens het hele lied!
  • Willemien • 26 november 2010 17:13:32
    Hej Elisabeth! Tror att Silas vet om vad som pågår där söderut.. han står bara vid grinden och väntar, trots kylan, det är nog han som skickar snön dit... with lots of love.
  • Geneviève • 26 november 2010 11:06:00
    Magnifique l'interprétation musicale...
    Nous vous attendons avec impatience!
    Geneviève et Django
  • Arno • 25 november 2010 22:12:51
    Dear E and Yatzie, nice to read about you in la douce France.
    Beautiful pictures, nice stories. Good luck and we (Luna and friends) look forward to see you again in Holland (Scheveningen??)tot gauw, Arno
Etiketter: cluny abbey

Yatzie is still not ready said the vet... So we just have to patiently stay and do another test Friday morning. It is Yatzie who is the big boss now.


Yatzie has been biting and licking a toe the past days, I found a small area red, wet and with some pus. She had the same thing last year. The vet said it is a hot spot. Dogs suffer from this when it is too hot inside, it usually comes when winter is approaching and we start turning on the heat he explained. In Sweden no vet could ever give me an explanation so I am glad to have one now. Last year I tried to treat it with everything natural I could think of (silver cream, propolis etc) but it did not help. Finally I had to give her antibiotics. Now the vet put some cortison on it and a bandage that should stay there for some days. I hope it will heal this way.

Yatzie is getting friendly with the B&B kitten

Yatzie is getting more and more friendly with Flash, the kitten. This evening Flash was playing with Yatzies ears. Can you believe that Willemien? Take a look at the video. It is so sweet to see them together.

Flash - the sweetest of kittens checking out my bag

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  • mamma • 30 november 2010 21:11:57
    Härlig film! Du tänker väl inte skaffa en katt???
  • greet • 25 november 2010 23:29:53
    I hope,that Yatzie brings a belly full of barbichons back to Holland.
    Say hello to Elaine from us and have a nice trip home.
    Kontar participates now also the hunting training in Utrecht and he likes that.
    Last Sunday we had the event in the Kotterbos of Marylou and Rudie[ JHSA] and we won with our group ,the first price, jippie.......
    Take care,

Today we visited the ecumenical community of Taizé. I have heard much about Taizé, friends having been there, and since it was only 8 km from Cluny it was a nice thing to do. Since 1940 this community has grown into a world famous place, where young people come for retreats or for longer volunteer periods of a spiritual quest. 100 monks live there and during high season up to 5000 visitors stay on the grounds of the community.


Today it was very quiet. I joined in the midday service, held in a mix of languages, mostly consisting of psalms and worship. I could reflect a lot about this subject (those of you that know me understand what I mean) but I will not tire everyone with it. After all this blog is about Yatzie. But in short the servcie did not really touch me and I did not expect it to either. I am glad I went there, just to have been, but that is about it. My firm believe though is that everyone must find his own spiritual way and this is one that apparently many have chosen. As for me I have stopped searching outside of myself or in any institution created by man.

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Etiketter: taizé

My daily breakfast in La Maison des Gardes. Look at all the cheeses, fresh croissant, homemade confiture, yummie yummie. The area of Cluny is known for its chèvre. But Yatzie can not taste any of these... The vet said she is chubby! 2-3 kg too many. And it is clear to me too after having touched all of Elaines dogs. Well, maybe she can use a little extra for the puppies!


This morning Yatzie made friends with Jabolou - the guinea pig of the house. She has never been so close to one before, only sniffed from the outside of a cage. Now they even touched nose to nose. Usually Yatzie is totally stiff around guniea pigs, tail straight up, but today she was more relaxed. Maybe because Api was there too and Api and Jabolou are best friends!

Le petit déjeuner in La Maison des Gardes
Jabolou the guinea pig - see how she is smiling at Yatzie!
Api - dog of the house. In the mornings she comes to our door to ask Yatzie to play outside

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  • Bart • 25 november 2010 00:42:50
    This breakfast looks really faaaaaaaaaaantastic!
  • Maaike • 24 november 2010 13:24:52
    Wauw, what a cool blog for yatzie! Beautiful pictures, nice environment and last but not least good food. How is yatzie doing? Does she like it over there? Good luck to you both and hope to see you soon. Love, Peter and Maaike

Today Yatzie and I were invited to Elaine Fichters home. I was so much looking forward to seeing all her seven Barbets, that I have read about and seen on Elaines website for many years. They were thrilled to get a new visitor and wanted to check me out and cuddle and cuddle, like Barbets do! Yatzie waited in the car the first half hour since, well, you know why! Tried to get some nice photos of the whole group, but it was not easy...


Yatzie was very shy to enter into the tight pack of dogs (no males around now). I had to carry her and put her down inside the gate. I did a goody rain to distract the dogs so that Yatzie would feel more relaxed. It worked fine and I think she handled the situation very well. It is never easy for a dog to enter into a big foreign dog family.


All the dogs were so sweet. Coming very close to me, asking for and giving love. Elaine does a lot of research on the history of the Barbet and showed me some of her documents. If you are interested to know more there is a lot of interesting information on Elaines site.


On our way back to the hotel, after a nice riverside dinner in Macon, Yatzie and I had a walk along the river by the old Macon bridge! See her posing in the gallery below!

Thelma, Coccolina, Yatzie and me at Elaine's house.

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  • mamma • 30 november 2010 21:17:21
    Elisabeth! Du tänker väl inte behålla alla valparna? Det kan man tro när man ser dessa fina bilder.
    Kram, mamma
  • Anna Neld • 30 november 2010 20:05:51
    Hej Elisabeth! Underbart fin blogg. Vilket arbete att få till den så fin. Längtar tills du och Yatzie kommer hem. Många kramar från hela familjen.

3-4 days and Yatzie is ready to be mated said the veterinary! I was relieved to hear that the timing of our trip has been perfect so far. Yet another test on Wednesday to make sure and then we will leave for Avignon where Django lives.


Today was a grey, rainy day but still joyful and full of experiences. Yatzie and I walked through a quiet Cluny, shops being closed on Mondays, which made the atmosphere the way it should be in this monastic village. The Benedictine Abbey of Cluny, founded in 910, was once the headquarters of the largest monastic order in the west: the Clunaic order. Dogs not allowed inside I still caught a glimpse of the old monastic grounds through the gates, and my soul was filled up with memories from my past in Greece - good and bad...


After a whole day in the car yesterday both Yatzie and I needed to get some exercise so we went up the hills of Cluny village and found a trail that we walked for an hour or so. We ended up in a muddy cow pen and both of us had to be showered off coming back to our B&B.


In the evening we had nice company in the room - kids, dogs and a kitten! Yatzie is totally fascinated by cats. But very scared too, since she was scratched in her face once, followed by a bad infection. This sweet little kitten was so tough, and used to dogs, so she just wanted to smell Yatzie. Yatzie was taken by surprise and kept a distance. But as soon as the kitten disappeared Yatzie went to look for her over and over again.

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  • Marianne • 24 november 2010 14:53:43
    Dear E, how lovely to follow your adventures over there. Big hug from all five of us and Luna from Voorburg xxxxxx
  • Bart • 23 november 2010 13:57:28
    Your biggest love is waiting for you and (almost mama) Yatzie in Holland!
    Kisses, Bart
  • margarita lioulia • 23 november 2010 10:08:37
    Hi there!
    Just discovered this blogg and loved it with the first sight! Beautiful photos too! I almost envy you being in such a wonderful place with one of the biggest loves of your life - if not THE biggest one. All the luck with Yatzie's mating.
  • Bart • 23 november 2010 09:59:08
    What a fantastic surrounding over there! And what a good news that Yatzie is going to be mated in a few days!
    I guess it will be hard to leave this pitoresque place. Probably the surrrounding of Avignon - home of Yatzie`s lover Django - will be just as nice......

Yesterday Yatzie and I went by car to Cluny, north of Lyon. Elaine Fichter, the breeder of Django, lives in a village nearby and her veterinary will do bloodtests to determine the optimal day for the mating to take place. We are staying in a picturesque Bed&Breakfast called La Maison des Gardes. This morning Yatzie made friends with the owners dog in the garden outside our room. In the afternoon we have an appointment with the vet! Exciting. I believe it is getting close looking at Yatzies behaviour.

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  • Willemien och Silas • 24 november 2010 19:24:56
    Hej vänner i Frankrike,
    Vad härligt att följa er där borta! Snö i Sverige och just nu en glad kille (Silas) med två tjejer ute på tomten i ett snökrig.
    Fortsätter följa er. Ha det bra. Puss och kram willemien och de andra.
  • oda • 22 november 2010 18:13:26
    Good luck!

We are planning for puppies! Yatzie will be mated with a beautiful Barbet dog in Avignon called Django de la Serve de la Chapelle d'Alexandre. His parents, Bolly Wolly and Coccolina, are both from Elaine Fichters kennel in France. Django was chosen as stud in hard competition with many others. The inbreeding is low and he has A-hips. Django is a bearer of old Barbet blood lines which was another important criteria. He has achieved very good results in shows and he is of course a Barbet beauty!


The mating will take place in the end of November, so we are already planning all the details, leaving for France on Sunday! I have been longing for mating Yatzie for years and now finally it is going to happen. She is on heat and let us hope that love is in the air!


  • Desiree • 20 november 2010 23:42:06
    we hope Yatzie has a very romantic time and that a nest of beautiful puppies will be the result.
Etiketter: barbet, puppies, yatzie, django

Today we had a nice walk on the Castricum beach, north of Amsterdam, together with around 15 other Barbet owners from the Dutch Barbet club. The weather was not really on our side, but we did not get too wet. The males were very interested in Yatzie, which made me understand that she will very soon start her heat. Yatzie had a hard time keeping the males away from her, and showed teeth and barked a lot!


When she was able to be free of them for short periods she liked to retrieve her favorite orange water dummy in the waves. She has become so good at returning it to me. I always bring yummie treats for her when she is doing water retrieving.


After the walk a nice hot tea in the Seaside restaurant. All the dogs allowed inside! There is a big difference in the attitude of restaurant owners here in Holland compared to Sweden when it comes to allowing dogs. In most places they are welcome. The waiters usually on their own inititive even bring a bowl of water!


See more pictures on the Dutch Barbetclub website Click on Niews and then on Klik hier for het verslag - on the activity 14 November

Today Yatzie joined the hunting training in Noorderpark for the first time. This is a more advanced hunting training than the one in Almere that we also attend, and here real birds are used in the retrieving. I myself have struggled with the idea of real animals, but have decided to let go of that moralistic viewpoint and give my dog the joy of experiencing what is in her genes - the retrieving of birds.


The trainer, Richard Bosch, was impressed with Yatzies performance, and someone commented - she did better than the rest of the dogs!


The training started with some obedience exercises, walking in a circle, stop, sit, serpentine between the other dogs and not be distracted. I used my clicker a lot and Yatzie did well. She has a good basic obedience and with the clicker she is always alert.


We were then asked to play and have fun with our dogs and as we did that three shots were fired 20 meters from where we were. I was worried she would react, since I have not trained her with shooting before, she noticed the shots, but did not get nervous about it.


Etiketter: yatzie, hunting training

A barbet book!

The first book about the barbet published in Europe is here! 308 pages, 300 photos, in hardback  for years of enjoyment. Order the book here: The book is available in English and Dutch and can be shipped to all countries!
Join the > Barbet Book Group on Facebook 
and share with other barbet book lovers!
Authours: Elisabeth Roest Kempemo and Brigitte Waller-Rengelink. 

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  • June • 4 juni 2016 16:31:26
    Beautiful Barbets! Has been a dream of mine for almost 10 years to have a Barbet of my own! Someday! ;)

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