Gertrude and the Mailman

img_1462This is a very old photo, circa 1970 or before, of a Doberman Pinscher lying on top of a station wagon. My uncle’s station wagon. He was a mailman in an eastern Kentucky county in the U.S. Gertrude was his faithful companion.

You may wonder what she is doing – a dog – lying on top of a car. I always wondered how she got up there! Uncle Hassan drove very very slowly as he made his rounds on his rural mail route with Gertrude lying on top of the car. Made me shiver and tingle to think of her there! The roads in small rural counties weren’t crowded in those days. Uncle Hassan and Gertrude visited the folks at every mail stop. This is the county where my mother grew up and where my grandparents lived at this time. I knew many happy days in this place.

Uncle Hassan acquired another Doberman. A male. He named her Sue. I don’t know if you remember the old Roger Miller song called “A Boy Named Sue.” That’s where he got the name. I didn’t know Sue as well as I knew Gertrude as I had moved away from home by then.

There is much more to this story. Maybe some day I’ll share it. For now, this is the transcript of this photo.



  1. Your photo reminds me of how much slower and less complicated things were then. Almost like a Norman Rockwell moment.


    1. I know what you mean. My uncle died in 1974. The dog grieved herself to death shortly after. I was young and, in a way, I remember them both vividly. In another way, it’s almost like a dream. Life on a farm in the country in those days – those WERE Norman Rockwell moments.


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