I remember that day, 17 years ago, Mum and Dad told me we were going to go for a little drive to the countryside. Well, for me an hour in the car felt like an eternity! “Are we nearly there yet???” I can just picture pulling up to that little cottage – walking in and seeing a teeny little fluff ball sitting on top of an ironing board. Dad turned to me and said, “Well, there you have it – you got what you asked for!”…. my own puppy!!! My very own little puppy :) You were perfect, and slept all the way home on my lap.
Whether it was a smart decision or not – Dad let me (the 7 year old) choose your name! He kept calling you a little pickle – so how could they say no when I decided you would be named pickles! :)
You had endless patience, letting me paint your nails all the colours under the sun, using mums Chanel pink lipstick on you and thinking you were just one of the 15 children Mum babysat – pulling at your tail and jumping on the trampoline with them.
You had to learn everything the hard way – like running into the glass conservatory door at full pelt, or getting locked in the shed and not being able to find you for hours!!
It never got old, every year when April fools day came around, telling Dad you had escaped and watching him run around town shouting “Pickles!!!!” at the top of his lungs :) One would think he was a gullible man – that is, if this didn’t happen on a very regular occurrence :)
You were truly part of our family. Our camping holidays to France, Spain or some rainy place in England were not complete without our pup snuggled in the back of the car – keeping watch out the back window.
Always the butt of jokes, ridiculed for your goofy face and tendency to bark at anything and everything – but we didn’t care. As the years passed and I took off to college you became more than just my pet. When Dad got ill, you would let him pet you for hours through his endless chemo. You knew something wasn’t quite right, and Mum and I could see you sticking by his side.
When Dad passed, you helped Mum more than we have ever acknowledged. The doctor told her to use you to help her through her depression. Mum would take you on walks for hours every day – your little legs must have been ready to drop off! With Mum’s household filtering down from 6 of us to just her – you kept her company for over 4 years.
You were a tough little pup, putting up with slowly going blind and deaf. Although – whenever “chewy” was called it appeared you suddenly regained your hearing! That was one thing, but Mum couldn’t watch you in pain. It wasn’t fair. So the day had come we all had to say goodbye to our little Pickles. Of course I am over here and the rest of the family are scattered all over the country but know you meant something to all of us.
Now there is no puppy to bark us to sleep at night
To accidentally step on when cooking dinner
To greet us with a wagging tail when we step through the door at home
No ‘doggy bag’ to ask for at restaurants
No need to plan our days around you
To some it may seem silly. But with anyone who has a lovable ball of fur, no matter how big or small they may be, you know they are so much more than a pet – and often better than most of the humans in our lives. They don’t answer back, they are never sarcastic, they forgive in under a second, never hold a grudge, always happy to see you and never jealous. The list is endless. Tonight i’m going to give my giant pup an extra big hug and appreciate all the joy she brings to us and look forward to the years of memories we will make with her – just like Pickles did.