I am broken-hearted to say that our beloved Golden Retriever Pickles passed away on July 7th, 2022. He was so brave. He was hugely loved and had a big personality, known for his talkative nature, his love of treats, campaigning with me for off-leash in Callan Park, and for his dedication to fishing. For the 12 years, 3 months and 27 days of his eventful and amazing life, he has been at my side.
Not only is he the inspiration for my dog detective novels, Monty & Me, The Bone Ranger and the soon to be published third book in the series, but he brought so much joy into my daily routine. Writing can be a lonely occupation but with a dog as companion I never feel alone. His loss has made me realise that hew was also my daily motivation. He and I had a routine and Pickles insisted we stuck to it. Every morning, I’d make myself a big cup of tea, feed the dogs and then we’d go to study where I’d sit at my desk and Pickles sat on his dog bed right next to me. Lilly, our other Golden Retriever, preferred to head straight for the front door where she would wait until I took both dogs for a walk later on. At the weekend, if I decided to have my tea in the living room, Pickles would come and collect me, eyeballing me and heading to my study, clearly telling me I was in the wrong place. He would also know when it was time for me to have a break in my writing. He’d get up and stare at me. If that didn’t work, he’d nudge my leg and give a little whimper.
It’s those moment that have gone with his passing and my office feels too quiet and very empty now. I’m encouraging Lilly to join me in my study when I work, but she gest bored and wanders off. On my desk, I have Pickles’ favourite yellow fluffy duck. He had it with him when he died. I look at it and his photo each morning and imagine him looking at me to say, “go on then, get on with your writing. The sooner you start, the sooner we can go for a walk!”
I miss him terribly.