Ernie Phillips passed away on Wednesday January 21st at around 2pm at the office of Dr. Michael Harris in Mt. Juliet, TN. Ernie was put to rest after suffering with complications of old age. He was 19 years old.
Ernie was born in Putnam County in 1985 to parents of unknown origin. It is believed that he was a Bouvier de Flandres mix. He was adopted from the Putnam County Animal Shelter by the Phillips family in the summer of 1985.
He was named after the Sesame Street character, Ernie, who was Bert’s Best Friend. He was also known by other names such as: the Ernster, Ern Man, Big Guy, Ernie Earnhardt, Big Ern and Good Fish Dog (this is what the 3 year old Dusty originally wanted to name him).
He spent his early days learning the ins and outs of guarding his yard and playing with his children, Dusty and Becky. His method of herding them around his yard was to nudge and push them with his head, sometimes toppling the toddler Becky. He would offer you his hand to shake when he greeted you.
After the children started school, he would watch them get on the bus in the mornings and would be waiting when it arrived in the afternoon. He would position himself to greet the kids around 10 minutes before the bus would arrive. His other activities included chasing birds from his yard and biting the tires of the riding lawnmower. He enjoyed riding in the back of the pickup truck to get his hair cut or rabies shot. He would jump up and bark at anything that passed overhead, like electric lines and overpasses.
In his later years he took on the roles of protector, herder, leader and friend to a group of 7 Bichon Frise.
He had a special bond with the younger dogs and tolerated their rough play with patience.
Ernie was laid to rest on the farm of Dr. Harris in Wilson County. A memorial plaque will be placed in his favorite napping spot at the end of his favorite flowerbed. He will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by all who knew him.