In which I remember (more than) ten good things about Pickles Marie

The Haiku Farm blog will return to normal horse-centric babbling and weather grumblings after this post.  It's sn*wing again, by the way...and we're going riding anyhow.

We planted a plum tree to mark the grave of our Pickles Marie, and hung the tree with prayer flags.

The tree stands beside our barn, in a bright sunny place that we will walk past every day. 

There's a children's book that I have loved for many years, called The Tenth Good Thing About Barney, in which the narrator tries to remember ten good things to tell at the funeral of his cat, Barney.

I thought of a lot more than ten things for Pickles Marie:
1.  Pickles Marie came to us with a stupid name that her former owners had given her.  She didn't even answer to that name.  Our family brainstormed new names for hours, helped by friends all over the world sending suggestions via Skype and Facebook.  When Patty suggested that we call her "Pickles", I said (somewhat sarcastically, I admit): "How about Pickles?"  In response, the tiny dog, who had laying down in the living room, obviously shell-shocked by her animal shelter experience, stood up to attention with her head cocked and her ears at attention, clearly saying "Yes?  Pickles is my name!  I am Pickles!"   And so she was.  My mother objected to such a goofy name, so we gave her a pretty middle name for balance.

2.  That "head-cock/ears up" expression will be forever known as "Pickle-head" in our family.  Other dogs might use the gesture, but Pickles defined it.

3.  She loved to play the "chase me-chase you" game with the cat.  She'd start the game by shoving her cold little nose into his bum or his belly, then play-bow and take off running top-speed with the kitty in hot pursuit.  She always let the kitty win.

4. Pickles knew which toy you wanted when you asked her to bring the piggy, or the lamb, or pengueno, but sometimes she'd bring the wrong toy just to make us laugh.

5.  Before she grew fur, she looked exactly like a wingless fruit bat.

6.  Before she grew fur, she had to wear a little polarfleece jacket to stay warm outdoors.  On her, it looked like a superhero cape.

7.  Her favorite place to hang out was in the "bat cave" under the footrest of my recliner.

8.  At first, she didn't know how to sit on a lap when there was also a book on the lap.  She had to learn about books...and laptop computers.

9.  Fetching was a great game, and fetching vegetables was even better.  Carrots, green beans, and baby zucchinis were the best.

10.  Whenever we would leave the house, we'd tell Pickles Marie to guard the house and not let any zucchinis inside. 

10.  We don't know why she would run around the house growling and shaking her toys when somebody would say the word "bedtime."  That trick will live forever on YouTube.

10.  She loved chasing shadows and flashlights, but the laser pointer was her very favorite.

10.  She learned to slide down the playground slide, just because it made me laugh.

10.  She learned to "sit pretty" and "stand up tall" and "roll over" but we ran out of time before she learned to "whisper."  Barking was a lot more fun, anyhow.

10.  She loved to bark at the goats and the horses. I'm pretty sure that the goats never even noticed.

10. The sweetest thing in the world was when she would settle down next to me at night and rest her head on the crook of my elbow.

How do you remember your four-legged friends?


  1. We have "The Tenth Good Thing About Barney", too. I loved your more than ten good things about Pickles. I think of my loved animals that have gone before me all the time and remember the gifts they each brought me. I imagine when its my time to die they will all come to meet me. Its a happy thought.

  2. I love this post. It brought tears to my eyes and a smile to my lips at the same time. Remembering our dogs who have passed away is so bittersweet - the pain never goes, but neither does the joy they brought to our lives.
    Each of my animals has either had a tree or bush planted for them or had their ashes dug into the ground around a favourite plant. And then that plant becomes known by that animal's name. My "La Belle Rose" (rosebush) and "Oliver's tree" were named after my two shelties who passed away within a week of each other in 2010.

  3. So many fantastic memories!

    I still have my first dog's last rabies tag. It's gotta be 20 years old and you can't even tell what it is, but it goes where I go.

  4. I appreciated seeing the video and all your interesting details of such a special little doggie.

    Pickles lived in very good company, appreciated everything, and gave so much back. What a great little dog!

  5. What a good doggie. She loved well, and was well-loved. She is heaven's gain.

    (I enjoyed the video of Bedtime. What a silly riot!)

  6. I'm so, so sorry for the loss of your Pickles Marie Tinydog. :(

    We never seem to get enough time with our beloved animals, whether it is a few months, or 15 years, it hurts just as bad to lose them.

    She was a very lucky Tinydog to have you come into her life. (& vice versa!)


  7. I'm so, so sorry for the loss of your Pickles Marie Tinydog. :(

    We never seem to get enough time with our beloved animals, whether it is a few months, or 15 years, it hurts just as bad to lose them.

    She was a very lucky Tinydog to have you come into her life. (& vice versa!)


  8. ARRRRGGGGHHHH - insert very bad word here.

    I had a beautiful comment written and Blogger ate it!!!!!!!

    It was beautiful and caring and expressed from the bottom of my heart how sorry I am for Pickles passing.

    I don't have the energy to re-compose it.

  9. The prayer tree is beautiful....bitttersweet beautiful.

    I don't know if this is a helpful thought or not to you, but I was thinking the other day about how much you packed into the short time with Pickles.... and then I started thinking about dogs, and their concept of time (or lack thereof). Sometimes that's annoying, like when you leave for five minutes, and they think you've been gone for years, and that you're never coming back, and flip out.....

    But in Pickles' case, I think it was a good thing. Pickles didn't think she only had a little over 6 months with you.... I think, with her doggy concept of time, maybe she thought she'd always lived at Haiku Farm... or at least for years and years. It kind of made me happy to think about that.


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