Brad Stevens : Austin, TX

PICKLED
... Remembrances of a Beloved Family Dog

14 years ago, we were looking to rescue a dog from the Humane Society. As we walked up and down the aisles, we saw a little puppy, crouched in the back corner of a cage.
She was scared.

She was a cross between a Daschund and a Beagle. She was not looking to good. She was long in length ... short in height ... her fur was matted in places. She looked bumpy. She looked green.

Yes, she looked like a Pickle.

So, that's what we named her.
 

After Pickle got spayed, we took the little bundle home in the palms of our hands. Of course, she slept with us that night ... all warm and comfy snuggled up to us. I imagine that it had to be quite a stark contrast to sleeping on a small, soiled towel on the concrete floor of the Humane Society.

We could see sparkle come to her eyes as she began to understand that a whole new life was beginning to unfold.

The next morning, as we got out of bed, she was a bundle of energy ... just full of life. We walked out of our bedroom on the way to the door to let her out. She already knew where we were going ... and on the way she started to poop.

I could tell that she wanted so desperately to wait until she got outside, but she was just too excited and her bowels were still upset by her experiences at the Humane Society. I literally saw her trying to stop her bowels as she reared up on her hind haunches, squirmed, and squinted her eyes as she tried to hold it in.

Although she was not successful, that moment, strangely enough, began to set the tone for the rest of our experiences together.

She was a very smart dog. She found innovative ways to get what she wanted. She was the most intelligent, perceptive, and intuitive dog I had ever encountered. She knew what I wanted, sometimes even before I did. When my emotions were at the surface, I often found Pickle's nose gently poking at me, as if to say, "Hey, I feel you and everything is gonna be just fine." Indeed, she "just knew".

She lived to please. Although there were 'oopses' from time to time, her intention was to be a loving presence unto all that she encountered. Her gentle, formidable presence was palpable to many dog lovers, many of whom commented on her abilities.

She created many deep relationships. Not only did she create a deep, loving friendship with us, but she also created deep friendships with two other families who would have thrown themselves in front of a car in a heartbeat to save her. Yes, the relationships she developed were not just superficial, but born of a place where only pure love is found.

Through these relationships, she got the opportunity to do a lot of things ... go on trips, go shopping, and even ride in private airplanes. Yes, she was a dog who was 'about town'. She was highly in demand by those who loved her.

If we went out of town and could not bring Pickle, it was no problem finding a place for her to stay. In fact, we sometimes experienced people who got made at us if we did not choose them to take care of Pickle when we were away. There were competitions to see who could get the opportunity to take care of Pickle the most!

Weekends spent on our boat was an opportunity for pleasure for Pickle. I'd arrive home from work on Friday afternoon and as soon as I'd start packing up for the weekend, she would get all excited. She was so happy that I was not sure if her body was wagging her tail or her tail wagged her body.

On our way out to the lake, she never liked it when I stopped at the grocery store for the weekend's provisions. No, she wanted to get to the boat as soon as possible. Stopping at the store just delayed her fun.

When we parked at the end of the pier and opened the door, she would jump out and run, full tilt, down the pier to our dock. Although there were dozens of docks off from that pier, she knew which dock was ours. There she would wait, quite impatiently, for us to gather up the supplies and make the trek down to the boat and take the cover off so she could jump in and be first mate.

We'd have friends out to the boat on those weekends. Pickle would entertain and fit right in ... even being caught lapping up the remains of a Manhattan someone left on the dining table down in the galley.

She got pleasantly drunk that night ... and, she obviously enjoyed every minute of it.

From then on, whenever there was Manhattans around, her nose was not far from them ... just waiting for an invitation to take a few nips.

My goodness, what a wonderful world she created for herself!

Thank you, God, for bringing this beautiful soul into our lives.

Thank you for this gentle Spirit who was Your teacher of life in many beautiful ways.

Thank you for the opportunity to be Pickled.




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LAST UPDATED: JANUARY 20, 2008

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Copyright 2000 BRAD STEVENS all rights reserved worldwide
Austin, Texas