Thursday, June 11, 2020

Introducing Chou Chou & Her Blogger

This blog was started in 2011 by Dr. Nancy Kalish as a fun way to follow the life of her briard Chou Chou. Sadly, in July 2019, Dr. Kalish passed away unexpectedly. While that means no more updates on Chou Chou's life (she has found a wonderful new home), this blog in its current state will remain for the foreseeable future so that anyone can go through the previous posts to learn more about Chou Chou.

  Who Is Chou Chou?  Who Is the Author?

I am a psychologist in Sacramento, CA. Until recently, I was a professor at California State University, teaching courses in child and adolescent development. I do survey research, and wrote a couple books, on people who tried lost love reunions -- couples who reunited after being apart for many years. 

And I have a dog who keeps me busy and brings me joy. Chou Chou is a beautiful briard, a French herding dog. They require an extensive commitment of time for their grooming, exercise, and socialization needs, as you will read about on this blog, so they are not common. 

When we go out walking, people stop me to ask about her. "What kind of dog is that?" Many people guess: A labradoodle? A wheaten terrier? An old English sheepdog? A bearded collie? A bouvier? An Afghan?

The neighborhood children call her a muppet. Their fathers call her Chewbacca or Chewie. I named her Chou Chou (pronounced shoo shoo), a French term of endearment meaning "cutie pie." Literally, a chou is a cabbage, and I thought that was very funny, calling someone a cabbage. But don't some American parents call their child, endearingly, Pumpkin? A chou chou also refers to a cream puff, so that makes more sense as a term of endearment. And there is an expression, le chouchou de la prof, which means "teacher's pet" -- and she is!

In Hebrew, "shoo shoo" is a spy. In Japanese, chou chou (pronounced cho cho) means butterfly. It's a complicated name for a puppy!

Cars going by stop in front of us as we play in the yard, and drivers yell out the window, "You have a beautiful dog!" Children and adults alike want to pet her; she loves attention and paws at their shoes with her big feet. Some people take her picture, to show their friends what they saw. And when I entered her in the Sacramento Dog Show when she was a year old, she was the only briard; she drew crowds around her, as dog lovers stopped to ask about her breed. 

Chou Chou earned her American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizenship (CGC) title on her first birthday. Now she is a certified therapy dog and has earned another AKC title for her work, a ThD. We've gone to nursing homes, hospitals, library "read to the dogs" programs, and to the university to de-stress students. She is very popular on these visits.

With all this attention and interest, I decided she deserved her own blog, with lots of videos and photos. Some are visible as you scroll down the main page, but many others are within the full posts -- take a look!

There's a developing story here, so I encourage you to start from the beginning. The blog went live on November 3, 2012.

It gives me great pleasure to introduce my puppy to you: the adventures of Chou Chou, a briard girl.

("The blog is called Chou Chou! ... this is MY blog, not hers, and I get the last editing woof!") 

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NOTE: There is a time delay after you leave your comments. They are moderated and then published. So if you don't see your comment right away, it will be visible later. Thanks!


Cowspotdog said...

Wow - you are a super clever girl - posting from the future - did you notice your post dates are 2015???? Anyway - glad to meet you Chou Chou - we knew what you were straight away but then again I am one super smart dog myself. Hi I am Reilly - the cowspotdog and I am pleased to meet you :)

Chou Chou said...

Bonjour, Reilly! My pleasure to meet you.
Yes, the blog intro and briard info are dated in the future so they always apppear first on the blog.
You're cute!

Noodles said...

Hi Chou Chou
I have a FURiend named Pablo and he speaks FRENCH! He is a Havanese, though! His PAWrents are from France so all they speak at home is French.
Welcome to Blogville.
Love Noodles

Chou Chou said...

Bonjour Noodles.
Thanks for your note. Love the attention! I am a new blogger. Before this, I just barked.
My friend is a Havanese, too. His name is Nigel.

Unknown said...

Hello, Chou Chou and welcome to the blogging world! I am "the great and powerful" Oz the Terrier.

I've never met a Briard but I have heard of your breed! Very smart, you Briards are! I look forward to blogging with you!

Unknown said...

I would definitely want to take a picture. I came over from Pet Blogs United to wish you happy times with your new blog!

C.M said...

I love your blog! It is very cute and interesting:) I also have a blog about my pets so check it out! the link is

Unknown said...

Hello! Just stopping by to let you know I have nominated your blog for a Liebster award. Please visit for all the information!

Chou Chou said...

Merci, Bear Paws! I am very honored!


hai, Chou Chou..
Visit From Indonesian...

Golden Woofs! SUGAR said...

My first guest is a labradoodle or even a golden doodle. Golden Welcome to dog blogging. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

Chou Chou said...

I wear my beret so people will know I am a briard!
Thanks for stopping by, Sugar!

Nuri148 said...

I had a Briard when I was a little girl, hs name was Bartolo. BEST.DOG.EVER.

Alexandra Fiona Dixon said...

Lovely to meet Chou Chou yesterday at UCD VMTH. She is irresistible and sweet, beautiful inside and out! To refresh your memory, I was the woman who asked "Is she a Briard?"

Chou Chou said...

Thank you for dropping by and leaving such a wonderful note. Two dewclaws up!

Chou Chou said...


Thanks! I am pleased you enjoy the blog. Please contact me by email?

Sandeep said...

The best thing I have done till date it to train my puppies to learn to recognize their names