The dust has settled, the parade is over, some players are on their way to the Pro Bowl. An exciting week for the Steelers and Pittsburgh.
Mippy and I went for a walk this morning with Oscar. It is warm here, a nice change. We began to talk about their former dog, Ernie. Ernie was a golden also. Mippy and Bird got Ernie soon after Bird got out of the military and came back home. They lived in a condo and were only supposed to have a certain size dog, but they ignored that because they both wanted a big dog. And a big dog they got.
Goldens need a LOT of exercise. And if they don't get it...well, look out.
Ernie was a great big, friendly dog, that wouldn't hurt a flea (we'll get to fleas a little later). He did, however, have some quirks.
Often when walking about the neighborhood, in the middle of the street, Ernie would either take a dump (pardon the expression), or just sit down in the middle of the street and wouldn't move. You could gently tug on his leash, you could pull with all of your might, he would not budge until he rested.
In the condo, where Mippy and Bird lived on the first floor, telephone books were left in the lobby for all residents. Ernie liked to shred paper. A lot. Once a night, Mippy would go out into the lobby, bring in a phone book and Ernie would spend a half hour or so shredding the phone book. Mippy said it was worth it, kept him busy.
Ernie had lots of pep. Mippy, have just birthed Bean, did not. When Ernie wanted to play, he barked. It didn't matter what time of the day or night it was, he wanted to play and he wouldn't stop barking until you played with him. I remember dog sitting and getting up at three in the morning and taking him to the shopping center parking lot and throwing balls for him, just to exhaust him.
Then there were the fleas. Buzz was watching the dog, and turns out Ernie had fleas. Scratched the whole night. Thump, thump, thump as his leg hit the floor.
Ernie would sleep by the side of Bean's crib at night, and look with suspicion at anyone who dared to come into her room. He was a great dog, chasing Tazzie, their cat over and under the dining room table, hitting his head trying to go under the table, sliding across the table trying to reach the elusive cat.
Ernie got a tumor on his mouth and had to be put down. I think Bean was about three when it happened. She understood, and when her parents came home from having him put down, she took his leash and sat on the hearth with it, tears running down her face as she sat holding his leash in the spot in which he slept.
Bean and Mippy are reading Marley and Me. Mippy said she should have written a book about Ernie.