Monday, March 30, 2020

The Dogs Of My Life ~ Post No. 4 ~ Red

I still haven't called my computer guy to see if he can help figure out how to upload pictures to this computer. The month is coming to an end and I want to post about a dog once a month so I'm going ahead without pictures. Red was a gorgeous dog and deserves pictures to accompany the narrative of his life.

Red was a very large Doberman pinscher, the alpha dog of Gypsy's litter. He was a beautiful, deep red colored dog, tall and powerful. Had his ears and tail been docked, he would have looked both majestic and dangerous. Neither Errol nor I ever thought of doing that to him. 

I have many wonderful memories of Red from our trip to Washington state. In my mind, I can see him running down a long narrow field in Oregon, crossing a creek on a log with Errol in the redwood forest of California, exploring the ocean from the rocks along the Monterrey shore. What a gorgeous looking dog he was. I have pictures of all this to help me remember better. 

Gypsy and Red were our first dogs together. They were there when we got married, they went on trips with us, they sailed with us, they hung out in the marina with us. We had some very happy years together with them. 

Thinking back, Red was probably the most pack oriented dog of all the dogs that lived with us. And very protective of us. I know that many people are weary of Dobermans, scared even. After all, the breed was created specifically by Herr Doberman in Germany to be protective and scare away robbers. But responsible owners can through love and care make these beautiful dogs shine. 

Some of them can be a bit much though, as our last Doberman, a rescue and my fifth dog proved to be.

But Red was not rescued, he was born with Errol right there. 

However, because he was so protective of his pack, he didn't tolerate any intruders in our yard. If burglars had ever contemplated breaking into our house, one look at Red would for sure have changed their minds.

Animals would not be so careful. One day, Errol heard a commotion and was able to rescue, out of the mouths of both Red and Gypsy, a small gray kitten that later became our much loved cat, Sindbad, who lived with us for 18 years. Other critters were not so lucky, except for the opossums that always managed to play dead and fool him. 

Gypsy was fine with our two cats once she knew they were part of her pack. Errol had to work with Red for a while, but once he understood and accepted we were all a pack, he was wonderful with them.

Red was basically Errol's dog while Gypsy was mine. It just worked out that way. Red would stay with Errol at the LA house if Errol was working on it and Gypsy would stay with me and the cats in Pasadena.

After Gypsy died, I was worried about Red. She had been with him all of his life, after all. 

And it didn't go well for him. About a year after she passed, he developed an awful cancer. Somewhere in his anal area, so painful. Errol felt about Red as I did about Gypsy, and he had a very difficult time letting him go. We were both crying when we took him, for the last time, to our vet in Altadena, a small town in the hills above Pasadena. 

We had been with that vet for years and he let us take Red's body back to Los Angeles so Errol could bury him in our yard. I'm pretty sure you are not supposed to bury dogs in your Los Angeles back yard, but somehow our vet understood, so we took Red with us home and buried him there.

Red was only ten years old when he died. Errol was devastated, Red was his special dog the same way Gypsy had been mine. I remember that we were both very, very sad for a long time and it would be a while before we got another dog.


Of course, each post about 10 of my 12 dogs will end with their passing. It's such a sad fact of nature that our dogs will die before we do. Then when you get to be my age and alone with two of them, will I die before them becomes your greatest and most constant worry. 


  1. Dearest Inger - it's so lovely to hear about your dogs and snippets of life with them and Errol ... what fun you obviously had together ... those wonderful days of happiness and joy. Dogs are just amazing companions ... and you've shown it here ...

    I hope at some stage you can get your photos loaded ... I'd love to see them ... but realise that could be some time away in the circumstances ...

    It's wonderful you're worrying about your dogs, as well as you - and I'm sure you'll make plans for both as well as letting us see their photos ... take care and enjoy life as it goes along ... it's lovely hearing news of your canyon - all the very best - Hilary

  2. You've had some wonderful pets over the years. It's fun to look back and share the memories. Take good care of yourself sweet friend. Hugs, Diane

  3. Thanks for the tribute to Red. He had his complete life with you, never fearful or lost or rescued. That alone is wonderful.

    After my second cat died I decided no more pets. They're very likely to outlive me and be in need of a home. I can't take that on, not fair. So I take care of friends' pets now and then, not right now, nobody's traveling, to get my pet fix!

  4. What a lovely tribute to your dog Red. Dobies do look fierce but I always felt more comfortable around those who had not been cut. Interesting how that little kitten not only survived the attack but became part of the pack. See, we all can get along.

  5. so glad you had these two wonderful dogs and that they had you. of course they all end in death as do humans, they just go a little sooner than we do. the joy they give us while they live is worth it, even though the pain at the end is awful.. wish I could help with those photos

  6. I have never seen a reddish Doberman! He was quite special. I really enjoyed your kitten rescue story. So sad that he passed this way, and this soon.

  7. A wonderful tribute to Red. Dogs are such a vital part of our life.

  8. I, too, think of who will look after Boris and now Moxy, if we go first. Red would have been a delight in your home, and as so often happens, they choose to be with one person. Boris is Joyce's , Felicity had a one man love for Hugh, and Moxy has attached himself to me. Hope you get the photo problem sorted out soon, is it from your camera card to the computer, or from the photos to your blog post?

  9. I'm glad you didn't change Red's ears and tail. Dogs should get to be their natural selves.
    You wrote such a beautiful, loving post, Inger.


  10. They both were so dear to you. Thank you for such a sweet tribute.

  11. Red sounds like he was very special. You left a comment on my blog today, where I offered to send you a card. I am enjoying sending cards to my blog friends. Please send me an email to thekilns1 at hotmail dot com and give me your street address. I too worked for the UC system and love dogs.

  12. I clicked over to the other page. "Live like someone left the gate open." Love that!

    Was Errol named after Errol Flynn?

    1. Not sure he would have appealed to her, she was very religious. But maybe Errol's dad liked him, he was a bit of an adventurer.

  13. I agree with Janie Junebug.
    I will never understand why mankind thinks they have to improve on nature.
    Red was simply wonderful. even though the stories are understandably sad...
    they are so worth remembering. such wonderful love never dies. xoxo

  14. There’s n companion like a dog. I love them all. I am without a dog now, and I find it very hard. Maybe I’ll rescue some elderly beastie before much time has gone.

  15. PS: I had no idea there was a Herr Doberman to name the breed.

    1. He was a tax collector, a dangerous job back in the day and needed protection. He also ran a dog pound and had lots of dogs to use to develop the breed.

  16. I reallly enjoy reading about your dogs. your posts reminded me of my special dogs I had during the years and how sad it was when they passed. It must have been so hard for Red and what a painful way to go. I hope you keep sharing - it's great to read about your love for your dogs and Errol's part in it all also. How you must miss him.

  17. I enjoyed your post about your Doberman Pincher Red. I was wondering if you had real pictures of your dogs or slides. If you had real picture you could take a photo of them with your camera and download the on your computer. The photo won't be as sharp but better than nothing. You might have to try different setting to avoid the glare. Just a thought...
    Stay well and safe.
    Hugs, Julia

  18. Dear Inger, thank you for posting about the dogs you have lived with. The companionship with share with animals is so unconditional and helps us develop, I think, as thoughtful and compassionate and loving human beings. Your note really says where I am right now with regard to the three cats with whom I live. One if 13 now and the other two are 11. I hope I live longer than they do. I so hope that for their sakes. Peace.

  19. How blessed we are to have pets in our lives. Their time with us is too short and our hearts are broken, but how lovely our days were when they were around.


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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