Every year in spring our town has a Wine and Gastronomy fair down at the port. A marquee is erected on the car park and wine and speciality food suppliers come to sell their wares. Of course we visit and have a great time tasting everything. Mum came with us the first time and really enjoyed herself, spending her holiday money on treats for tea!
As the years have passed we have got to know our favourite wine suppliers, one of whom is Robert Armellin from the Bordeaux region. He makes delicious wines in a beautiful area and when we told him we had a camping car he invited us to use his place as a base to explore the region. We arrived in May 2007 and spent a few happy days there, tasting the wines, having a fascinating tour of his production methods and meeting his family and his German Shepherd dog Tais. She guarded our vehicle and even slept underneath overnight, occasionally waking up and banging her head on the underside when she heard a fox in the distance.
We visited again the following year and met Tais' family, 2 delightful puppies called Rex and Douchka, only a few weeks old. I drew this sketch of them and later made a larger copy for Robert who was thrilled when he saw it. Now every year we see pictures of the dogs who have grown up and hear tales of their exploits. Yesterday we saw Robert for our annual tasting at the fair and he told us a sad story. Last year during the grape picking the dogs didn't return at the end of the day and the family went off in search. They found Tais sitting over the body of Douchka who had been bitten by an adder and died. What a faithful mother she was to stay with her daughter as she suffered.