Francophile Friday : A Tale of Frenchies Cosette, Rue and mum Alexandra

{Rue & Cosette's Tea-Time in Paris custom illustration © Shell-Sherree}

Today's post continues our interview series where I chat with the mums behind the lens of gorgeous pups on Instagram.  Last week's Paris illustration included sweet French bulldogs Cosette and Rue of @cocoandkanga so let's meet their beautiful mom Alexandra!

Alexandra, Cosette & Rue of @cocoandkanga
{Alexandra, Cosette & Rue of @cocoandkanga}

Cosette and Rue are such little ladies, often photographed in their flowers, pearls and hats, taking tea and looking as if they are about to head off to church in their Sunday best!  So cute.  Do they have a larger wardrobe than yours and are you ever tempted to borrow from it?

Oh, absolutely! I hate shopping for me.  But shopping for Rue and Cosette is so much fun! Since it’s hard to find pet clothes that fit Rue, I’ve started having fun in the baby section at Target. I could spend hours going through onesies and dresses and hats! Every closet in the house now has a section for the dogs’ clothes!

If you could invite any three people {alive or past} to a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party along with your pups, who would they be and why?

Oh, my! I’ll have to think hard on this one. Well, I’m definitely inviting Frederic Chopin. Hopefully, he’ll talk all about his glorious music and perhaps even play if a piano is nearby! Fingers crossed! Next, I’ll invite William Shakespeare. It would be such an experience to discuss Romeo and Juliet over a cup of tea. And lastly… we’ll have to invite you, Shell! You’re such a fun, imaginative person. Who better to invite! Then we’ll have our favourite musician, our favourite writer, and our favourite artist. What an amazing 'Tea Time with Cosette' that would be!

Cosette and Rue @cocoandkanga being the little ladies they are
{Cosette and Rue @cocoandkanga being the little ladies they are}

Aww, aren't you gorgeous!  I’d be there with bells on and a piano in tow if needs be!  Our first custom project together was whisking Cosette and Rue away for an illustrated daydream in Paris.  Why is Paris so special to you? 

Oh, what can I say? Paris is … Paris. I think it’s the most beautiful city in the world. I’ve never been one of those people with a big desire to travel, but Paris, I want to visit one day. My mother and I  have been infatuated with her for as long as I can remember, and Rue and Cosette have grown that love. Rue was our first French bulldog. Then, when we got our second Frenchie puppy, my mother and I had no idea what to name her. We threw names around for days. Olive… Minnie… Nothing seemed right. Then, we watched Les Miserables when it premiered on HBO. By the end, we had a name for our puppy: Cosette.  It was so beautiful. And it was French. It was perfect.    

It's very pretty!  I was touched when you also asked me to create a memento of the love between Cosette and your grandma.  When did you first notice their special bond?

Right away! Before we got Cosette, my grandmother got very ill and was in the ICU for a long time.  We still thank God every day that she’s with us now, recovered. But when she was sick, it was a very difficult time. We got Cosette to bring some much needed happiness into our lives. By then, my grandma had been home from the hospital for some time, but she was still having some issues. Every Monday night my mother, grandmother, and I would run weekly errands together. The first Monday with Cosette, we didn’t want to leave her home with the rest of the dogs. So we put her in the back seat with my grandma. And that was the beginning of it. Cosette never stays home on Monday nights with the rest of the dogs! She comes along and rides in the backseat with Grandma, who stays in the car and cuddles with Cosette while we do the shopping. We have dinner at my grandmother’s house often, and Cosette will scratch my legs until I put her on my grandma’s lap. It’s her favourite place to be. She just gazes up at her with this look of sheer adoration. She’s never looked at anyone else like that. To tell you the truth, I’m a bit jealous! They love each other SO much! It’s really a very sweet thing to be able to witness.

Cosette Loves Grammy Loves Cosette custom illustration © Shell-Sherree
{Cosette Loves Grammy Loves Cosette custom illustration © Shell-Sherree}

You have a beautiful gift for storytelling in your Instagram captions.  I was misty-eyed reading your post about how Rue came to live with you.  Could you share that here?

I would love to! My neighbour introduced me to a woman who needed somebody to tend to her Frenchie puppy in her house a few days a week while she was at work. I happily volunteered. When I first opened the door to her house. I was greeted by this crazy energetic puppy who had a really tiny body and really humongous ears!! She was the cutest thing I had ever seen! Her name was Babe. I remember thinking that that wasn’t the name I would have given her. After I fed her and let her out, I would always play with Babe. My mother came with me and she sat on the couch, holding her in her arms like a baby. It was so precious, and so hard to put her back in her kennel and walk away. She would watch us go with such sad eyes and we always looked forward to seeing her again. One day, we walked in to find a note from Babe’s owner, saying her young son and Babe weren’t getting along well and that adopting Babe hadn’t been what she’d expected. She was going to sell Babe. I looked up at my mother and said, “The only person she’s selling her to is us.” When we went over to take Babe home, I remember thinking it would be the last time she would ever have to sit in that kennel all day and stare at the door, waiting for someone to open it. Instead, we would shower her with love. With her huge ears and the way she jumped up and down excitedly, she reminded us of a kangaroo! But we wanted to rename her something more feminine than Roo. So we took a hint from The Hunger Games and spelled it R-U-E. We love our Kanga-Rue so much! She has the best personality ever! My mother and I both love our “Kanga cuddles” so much! And since I don’t know any people who are more loving or more loyal than her … well, she’s pretty special.

While Cosette and Rue are your pups with their own Instagram account, they have two more sisters, Daisy and Emme.  That's a handful !  Did they all settle in together quickly or were there 'teething' times? 

When we brought Rue home, we had Emme, Daisy, and our late Boston Terrier, Bella. After Bella passed away, we got Cosette. Rue drove Emme and Daisy crazy before we got Cosette. They were like, “we’re too mature for your puppy antics.” When we brought home Cosette, Rue finally had a friend she could wrestle with and play with all day long. They are best friends. I wish I could say all four dogs get along perfectly. But if you have more than two dogs, it becomes a pack, and sometimes there’s tension over who is alpha. Like real sisters, though, they’ll snap at each other and then a minute later they’ll be playing together and cuddling. Every dog we’ve ever had has been involved in a pack scuffle at least once except Cosette. She’s so sweet! Our little Coco is like “screw instincts,” and she runs out of the room until everyone’s calmed down. Sometimes, they make me want to rip my hair out. But it’s such a joy to be able to take care of them all. They each have such unique and wonderful personalities. Every day my dogs amaze me.

Rue, Cosette, Daisy and Emme @cocoandkanga
Rue, Cosette, Daisy and Emme @cocoandkanga 

Along with your pups, what are your other big loves in life?

Well after the pups have been fed and played with and are taking their first of twenty naps, I like to play the piano. I’ve been playing for 11 years now, mainly classical, hence my earlier tea invitation to Frederic Chopin. But I also dabble in a little pop. Chopin is undoubtedly my favorite composer. I recently played his Polonaise in A flat at a recital. I almost had a nervous breakdown over playing it because I think it may be the most difficult piece ever—or at least the most difficult piece that I can actually play. Haha…

It's a mammoth of a work ~ you're very courageous!  If you could open your cupboard and put on an Abilities Suit and be whatever you wanted to be in the whole wide world, what’s the first thing you’d try on and why?

Oh my… This is definitely the hardest question of them all… I feel if I truly had such a suit it would be expected of me to become something amazing or magical so I could help the world. And I'm afraid I don't really imagine becoming something amazing or magical.  That doesn’t really appeal to me very much. The only thing I ever dream about {and have for as long as I remember} is being a writer. It’s funny because after school work, piano practice and taking care of the dogs, it’s hard to find time for writing which is my favourite thing to do in life. Nevertheless, I think about things I want to write every day. So if I had an Abilities Suit right now, I would want to be a writer with the ability and time to write down every story that’s ever been inside my head. And I would want these stories to greatly influence people and change their lives for the better! I think writers are the best teachers in the world. And they can keep on teaching even after they die because their words live on after they’re gone. That’s why I want to be a writer so badly. And it would definitely be nice to have an Abilities Suit to help me along!

Your Instagram for Cosette and Rue is already something that changes lives for the better with its humble warmth and delight!  You have a great start with your writing there.  Can I give you a challenge and ask you to sum up Cosette and Rue in three words each?

Oh, this is a tricky one. I hope I can do them justice. Here goes.

Rue: loving, fun, loyal….
Cosette: sweet, shy, caring…

And both adorable!  Thank you so much, dear Alexandra.  You and your pups are a joy.

You can follow the ongoing adventures of @cocoandkanga here.  And on that note ....

Happy Frenchie Friday to you!


  1. I just shared this with my "son" Keith who has a thing for French bulldogs! He has lots of little dogs but not a Frenchie currently. He met the one who lives in my building and fell instantly in love.

    1. They are easy to instantly fall in love with, dear Michelle. ;) Your "son" Keith sounds like a big-hearted man. Happy weekend to you and dear Diavolo ~ baci ed abbracci, bella!! x0

  2. Too, too darling! All dogs are good dogs, and a loving home brings out the best in them.

    Hope you don't mind if I post my link, Shell. Your "comment as" section doesn't give me the name/link option.

    1. Coming from a woman who knows how to give a dog a loving home .... thank you, dear Petrea! They are darlings, indeed.

      And absolutely, I'm glad you're leaving your link. In fact, I insist you please do forever more. :) Wishing you, Wilma and J a gorgeous weekend. x0


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