Saturday, July 5, 2014


Dog Dad was sitting watching the World Cup.  Dog Dad played soccer in college and attended a few professional soccer games many dog moons ago.  After the game I barked at him. 

“Dad have you ever heard of the story about Pickles and the World CUp?”

"Pickles?  I’ve never heard of a dog named Pickles Sherm.”

“Dad, Pickles story is well known by dogs.  Pickles was a mixed breed Border Collie that lived across the pond in England where Islay, Ludow, Arran and Blue live.”
Pickles, 1966
English Wikipedia
Dad smiles, Sherman, I know where England is.”

I woof “The story begins many dog moons ago, way back on Sunday, 20 March 1966.  It took place long before your brudder Stevie-Grrr-Wonder and sister Becky were born.  In fact Pudgy was living with you at the time.” 
Dog Dad with Pudgy - 1966
Sherman that is a really long time ago!”

“That Sunday morning the Jules Rimet Trophy was on display at Westminister Central Hall in London during a rare public stamp exhibition.  The guard that normally stayed with the trophy had the day off and the other four members of the security detail were moving around the hall, enjoying a cup coffee or making quick trip to the loo.  During this time frame thieves broke in a back door and stole the trophy from its display case.

The first game of the World Cup between England and Uruguay on 11 July was about four months away and the theft reflected poorly on England, the host country.  The theft became headline news in the British press and Scotland Yard was inundated with false leads.  One hooman called in the Chairman of the Football Association on 21 March telling him to expect a package.  In the package was the removable lining from the top of trophy and a ransom note for £15,000.  A swap was set up for 24 March.  The man involved in the swap was arrested but sadly the trophy was not recovered.

On 27 March Pickles and his hooman are going out on an errand in South London.  Something under the hedge catches Pickles intention and his hooman pulls out a parcel wrapped in newspaper and tied together with a string.  The hooman opens the parcel and slowly realizes that Pickles has found the trophy.  They run the trophy over to the local police.  At first the police believe Pickles hooman is the thief, as the entire story was a bit far-fetched.  The question him until 2:30 am and make him stand in a lineup before clearing him of the burglary.  

The who event made Pickles an international hero.  He and his hooman receive £6,000 reward for finding the trophy.  As fortune would have it England won the World Cup Final at Wembley on 30 July.  The pair was invited to the celebration banquet and allowed to lick his owners bowl.  The four-year old Pickles received the National Canine Defence League silver medal, was named “Dog of the Year” and was given a year’s supply of dog food.  Pickles even starred in the movie, “The Spy With the Cold Nose.”  With their reward money his hooman bought a new house with £3,000 in Surrey.

Unfortunately, like Uncle Deacon, Pickles had a tragic accident and crossed the Rainbow Bridge that following year.  Pickles was on a choke lead with his hooman’s six-year-old son.  When Pickles saw the neighbors cat, he dashed after the cat, bowled the boy over and disappeared.  His hooman looked for him for over an hour.  Then his hooman noticed Pickles in the gardens behind his house, his chain around a branch and Pickles just hanging there.  The lovable Pickles had tragically choked to death.  His hooman buried his beloved Pickles in the back garden of his home.”
Pickles with Medal
The Press and Pickles
credit: Corbis
Reviewing The Spy With A Cold Nose Script
Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
I notice Dad is a bit misty eyed.  I go over and nuzzle him to make him feel better.

“Dad, Pickles memory will live on pawever.  His collar is on display in the National Football Museum in Manchester, England.  Perhaps one of cyber-paw pals will take a picture and send it to us.  In 2006 a far from factual film called “Pickles the Dog Who Won The World Cup” was made.  So he will always be remembered.”

Cyber-paw pals here are two excellent short video clips about that have Pickles in them:

Dog Speed,



Reilly-Denny Cowspotdogs said...

A happy and sad story all in one - one of the reasons we don't like choke collars.

StevieGrrrWonder said...

Pickles...what a strange name. He was a hero, but what a tragic end. At least the trophy was found and not lost forever or damaged. It's strange what some ppl will steal....

Bailey said...

Oh Pickles so smart, but such a sad ending. Thanks for sharing.

Dianne SS said...

We were all set to say "What a cool story Sherman!", until we got to that horrible tragic death of Pickles. We are glad though that he found the trophy and was given many honors. RIP Pickles.

Duffy and Lanny

Ludo van Doggy said...

Aw, We did not know about Pickles! Thank you for telling us! Mum and tND is going to Manchester in September I will tell them to go to the museum and get a photograph!
~lickies, Ludo