She had her own dog for a companion in the house, a Labri bitch, Toutoune, with whom I became great friends in spite of her biting history, no doubt because of my relationship with her mistress. I simply wasn’t afraid of this dog, not wary in the least, to the point that when she, on her hind legs, and Mme El were side by side at their open window and I in the road, she habitually barking like mad, I frightened Mme El by putting my hand straight towards that barking mouth! The animal didn’t bite and I was asked not to do that again.
Toutoune was long-haired and needed brushing frequently.
To this end she put her front legs up on a stool so that Mme El, sitting in her arm-chair, could lovingly wield the brush all along the dog’s body at her leisure and convenience. Toutoune was used to Mme El’s commands so disliked by some sensitive souls: When they proceeded into the farmyard, the dog in front, waiting for her mistress and sometimes in her way, it was ‘en avant marche!’, forward march! In a definite tone not to be resisted. Once a year we paid a visit to the local canine cosmetic saloon for an all-round overhaul with warm water, thick towels, perfumes and nail and hair cutting. The session lasted a good hour and for a few days Toutoune was a shade lighter and very civilized, fit for Mme El’s grandson’s wedding, but she didn’t come to church, neither did I In the end. 
Toutoune, having contracted a nasty disease like any human, left this world soon after Mr Bernard. Her mistress was in hospital at the time. When she heard the news of the dear dog’s departure, she understood what had happened: an injection… and wanted to fall down, but she was lying in bed and couldn’t and I reminded her of the disease to whose first clear symptoms she had closed her eyes. That’s life, Mme El is a champion in accepting life as it comes, ‘es atal’, it’s like that, her closing words in the discussion and that was the end of that.