Saturday, May 19, 2018

A Dog's Life...RIP Ethel

 This was a hard to write...Ethel Merman crossed the rainbow bridge and my heart is aching.  I decided she deserved a bit of an obit since so many of you knew her from my books and posts. So here goes...

We adopted Ethel shortly after losing our Old English Mastiff.  We stopped at the shelter to visit and the kids met her and fell in love.  She daintily put a paw up, as if asking us to take her home.  I'll confess, I didn't want another dog.  I thought some dog-free years were in order.

And yet, there was that paw and the kids asking...uh, strenuously.  Her name was Madison back then.

The pound had also mentioned Black-Dog Syndrome.  Ethel had been been available for adoption for months, but black dogs find it difficult to find homes.

So I said yes.  We picked up her, brought her home to surprise the kids.  They were thrilled. We renamed her Ethel Merman...because no way was she a Madison.  

The kids did adore her, but we all found out rather quickly Eth came with some issues. She made it pretty clear early on she was my dog.  She loved the kids, but she was my shadow.  And when we left, she suffered.  So we bought our dog a dog.  Ella Fitzgerald.  And while Ethel was still my dog, she was attached at the hip with Ella.

 They spent every day together.  This last year, Ethel started to decline and couldn't walk any more.  Ella gave up walks to stay by her side.  Sometimes not by her side...but on her.
When I was wrapping up my Everything But... series, the last book had Ethel and Ella in it.  Of course, I changed their names so the PUParazzi wouldn't hound them. (Even Ethel groaned at that one!)  She enjoyed her fame. 

But despite that fame, Ethel was a humble dog.  She might have had a few issues, but she loved her family and was loved by her family.  And in the end, what more could any one, any dog, ask for?

So RIP Ethel.  You will be missed.

I hope if you're considering a new pet, you consider adopting a pet.  Despite her issues, Ethel was a great dog and we all miss her.


PS. When Everything But a Dog came out I did a series of posts about dog adoptions.  I'm including links.  All the pets in these blogs were like Ethel...looking for a forever home.  I hope you're inspired to visit a shelter and adopt a dog in need.  Check out some of these stories...
Tami and Marguerite
Lori and Charlie

Tami and Aylen
Snookie and friends
Penn and Blackie
Jane and the Rescue Farm
Paulette and Yvette

Samantha, Angel and Sally
Kay, Tizzy, Gaby, Zip and Jackson
Elizabeth and Butch
Cindy and Katie
Animal Rescue Volunteer, Catherine Mann


  1. I am so, so sorry. :-( Losing a friend like Ethel is hard. Sending you {{{HUGS}}}

    1. Thanks so much, Susan. It is so hard, but she was a good dog, she was loved and she'll be missed. That's a pretty good dog life.

  2. Holly, I'm so sorry for your lost. I loved my dog Molly, a small Shepard type rescue. She was an amazing dog and attached at my hip, lol. My daughter's cat Cupid was Molly's best friend and when Molly died Cupid was heartsick for months. Every time I came over Cupid would look behind me waiting for Molly to run through the door. Companion pets are so precious to us and each other. Hugs to you and yours.

    1. Oh, Tricia, I'm so sorry for your loss, too. Yes, I think it's going to take a long while for Ella to adjust. I'm sticking as close as I can.

  3. I really appreciate your heartfelt post and feel deeply for you. What a wonderful dog. Yes, to pet adoption.

    1. Thank you so much, Beth. And my hope is that with the Everything But a Dog book and all the Dog Blog posts helps someone decide to adopt. She was a bit nuts, but Ethel really was a great dog.

  4. Beautiful post, Holly. I'm sorry for your loss! We're in the last days with my 14.5 year old poodle. It's tough going through this stage, but worth it for the love they gave us.

    1. Oh, Roxanne, I'm so, so sorry. Sending you lots of hugs. And thank you. Friends have made the loss easier.