Sunday, October 21, 2012


As I'm walking around my neighborhood in the crisp fall air, among the swirling, fallen leaves, I can't help thinking of Ernie and Ruby. It was a little more than a year ago that we brought them to England, so I associate the cooling weather with their presence -- taking them for walks, bundling them up under blankets by the fireplace, strolling up to Tesco to buy their little pork sausage treats.

In a few weeks it will be Guy Fawkes Night, which literally scared the pee out of Ernie last year.

Some of you will remember they were both old and frail, and as it turned out, they only lived with us here for about three months. During that time we struggled with all sorts of old-dog maladies, from incontinence to dementia. We finally put them to sleep on Dec. 30. I still miss them, and think about them all the time.

Dave has been watching boxer dog videos on YouTube, a sure sign that he's pining for another dog. And I definitely want one too. We've talked about how to go about it and when, but we want to hold off another few months at least. We have a friend visiting in November, plus two trips coming up -- Belgium at Thanksgiving and Florida over Christmas -- and we want to wait until those are past.

We've taken to calling our future dog Pickles. As in, "When are we going to get Pickles?" "If we go on that trip, what would we do with Pickles?" "Pickles would love this leftover bone."

We'll definitely get a rescue dog of some sort. Dave really wants a boxer again, while I would probably be less restrictive on my own. (In fact, I might get a cat! But Dave is allergic.) So I'm rolling with the boxer idea. We're going to contact a local boxer rescue organization. Failing that, we'll probably go to the local shelter, though Dave knows taking me to a shelter would be dangerous. We'd probably emerge with five dogs.

(Photo: Waiting patiently outside the frame shop, yesterday on Westbourne Grove.)


  1. We owned the longest-living boxer in the history of the universe. Pearl. She lived to be almost fifteen. Which, as vets will tell you, is impossible.
    But she did.
    Boxers are cool dogs but they are hard to train. Well, that is my experience. They are wonderful with children. Pearl loved my grandson so much. She would follow him around everywhere. He still vaguely remembers her, even though he wasn't even two when she finally went on.

  2. Oh my god the picture is perfect! Dog and lion.

    Even I still think of Ernie and Ruby. They were great dogs! Pickles, too, will be a great dog. I'll be happy for you the day Pickles comes into your life.

  3. Love the picture of someone else's "Pickles." The vet hospital where J and I take our pets has an animal shelter, and we always look the other way when we walk past it. Like you, we'd take home every sad face if we could.

    Like Reya, I remember (and miss!) Ernie & Ruby, too. "Pickles" will be a lucky dog, when the time comes.

  4. The dog dilema. I love having Dexter- he takes me places i wouldn't ordinarily go and we meet friendly dog people along the way, Dogs have their own world it seems and I love it, HOWEVER, once Dexter goes away from this existence I doubt that there will be another. I am weary of burying family pets. I get it though! Lucky dog that gets to live with you two.

  5. Looking forward to meeting Pickles!

  6. A PICKLE of a dilemma indeed.

    Dogs are great, don't get me wrong. At one time we had TEN. Now we have three and I find that although I love them a great deal, they are somewhat limiting in what we can do/or not do.

    One would not be as great a problem in getting away as long as you can find a great kennel (which we are happy with, thank goodness). But, like children, they depend on us for support, succor, etc.

    It's not an easy decision to take on the responsibility of another life for a good 10+ years.

    As much as I love our dogs, once they are gone I envision ourselves somewhere in France for half the year.

    I don't say this lightly, coming from someone who once upon a time bred dogs to show, etc and so loves her dogs!

  7. I look forward to you and Dave getting another dog -- I remember that sad time when your two passed.

  8. Pickles is gonna be one lucky dog!

  9. A friend of mine has a dog he calls Mr Pickles. The dog's (which is a she BTW) name is actually Tic-Toc, which in a tribute to John Lovitz morphed into Tickle Pickle, which then evolved further.