Gertrude Bean

In October we got the sad news that Gertie, my parents’ dog, died. She was very old, and lived a very happy life, but we were all very sad.

In 2001, when Simon and I were living in Holland, we got Gertie. I remember walking around the streets of Amsterdam with tiny little Gertie tucked inside my coat. She was such a beautiful dog- an attention grabber everywhere we went. We’d take her on long walks at the North Sea, and when she was too tired to walk she’d sit down and refuse to move until we picked her up and carried her.

When we moved to San Diego a year later, we had a really hard time finding an affordable place that had a big enough yard for her (Vizslas have TONS of energy and need lots of exercise). The sad realization came to us that it would be kind of cruel to make her live in a small apartment, especially when my parents lived in a place that was basically doggy paradise.

Luckily, I think it was love at first sight when my Dad met Gertie. They happily agreed to take her in. We were sad to have Gertie go, but looking back it was definitely the right decision. We were soon busy raising two young kids, while my parents were retired and had the time to give her all the love and attention she deserved.

Gertie in her younger days. When I get back to the States, I’ll go through my older photos and put some more pics of her in here.

Luckily we still got to spend a few winters with Gertie when my parents came to help us out after the girls were born.  Here’s Gertie protecting baby Quinnie.

The love affair between these two was something special to see. Quinnie has a deep love for her, and I think she always will.

Gertie was always so sweet and patient with the girls. They doted on her and Gertie let them do whatever they wanted (including letting them wrap her up in blankets in 90 degree heat). You can see those pics here, along with a video of the song the girls made up for her (and also see the doggy wonderland that Gertie got to call home).

Kiera had big love for Gertie too..

Here are some of Gertie’s favorite things…

Her people. We called her our Velcro dog because she would follow you everywhere you went. She had to know where everybody was at all times. She once squeezed out of a small opening in the car window to jump out and stand on her hind legs, looking for my Dad through the store window.

She loved swimming in the river across the street from my parents’ house. She would swim after rocks they threw and bite water bubbles for hours.

She loved to sleep under the covers, at my parents’ feet, even in hot weather.

She loved spending winters at my parents’ place in Florida, and going on golf cart rides. She would proudly sit in the front seat with my Dad.

She loved going for walks and meeting other dogs. She especially loved her doggy cousin Barley. They would lick each other’s faces and sleep in each other’s beds.

She loved pizza crust and table scraps (anything but cheese or eggs).

She loved staring at fires in the fireplace or stove. She would sit and watch, mesmerized for hours.

Gertie was a gem of a dog, who brought so much joy to the whole family. Thank you Mom and Dad, for giving her such a great life.

We’ll love you forever Gertie!!


The Rest of our American Summer Pics

We spent a few days in upstate New York visiting relatives. Here’s Great-Grandma with five of her Great-Grandkids.

Aunt Marcia’s pool was a big hit once again

Aunt Jenny came with us- here she is getting some love from the girls

ice cream sundaes at Great-Grandma’s house

four generations

any New Englander who is a Stephen King fan will get why I took this photo

covered bridge sighting

our annual trip to The Old Country Store

day trip to Portland, Maine with Ed, Amy and the girls

My brother and his “little” girl 🙂

more cousin fun…

can you tell Quinnie adores her?

Kiera LOVED this toy Grandma bought her (especially since you can take the skeleton out)

Then it was time to fly home. Unfortunately, it didn’t go smoothly (again!). When we got to the airport we saw that our flight was canceled (with no notification). I won’t bore you with the gory details of what we went through to book new flights (which involved Simon having to call Germany, among other things). Simon was on a different flight, so he left right away. The girls and I were stranded at the airport for another 5 hours until our new flight left. It was a LONG day.

Quinnie was very emotional about leaving America. Partly because she loves it there so much, but mostly because she knew that she would probably never see Gertie (my parents’ dog) again. Gertie was very old and in poor health. In fact, she died two months later. I’m so glad the girls got to spend the past two summers with her. They made some great memories.

Side note- by the time I took this pic, Quinnie had been weepy on and off for hours. I guess I wasn’t (still) giving her the amount of comfort she wanted, so she resorted to asking Kiera for cuddles. Kiera was THRILLED. She adores her big sister and is rarely asked to cuddle with her.

Their faces- LOL! Quinnie is miserable and Kiera is in heaven