Ernestine Hastings


Ernie is the icon for Crate Escape. She was the inspiration for the business, and as she grew, the business grew. During her life, Brad and Stephanie were very clear about not making too much of the icon. “All dog businesses have dog icons,” said Stephanie.


Those who knew her knew that she was so much more. For 12 1/2 years she shared her happiness and energy (and preferences, of course!) many of which were woven into Crate Escape’s development. She loved her blue ball, chasing plovers at the beach and running along the tide line.


The decision to get a “puddin” Jack Russell terrier was well thought out. Stephanie was in retail, traveling regularly, and Bradley drove for UPS, which meant he might come home earlier than the standard 5pm. They knew that the breed was known for being “extremely intelligent, athletic, fearless, and vocal dogs”. In spite of her challenges, they dove in head first, making sure her needs were met, with strong love ever present.


A simple conversation one evening, in the living room with Ernie ignited the idea of opening a “pet retail store.” With Ernie’s approval, the journey began.


Throughout her life, Ernie was the fun, the laughter, the excitement and the love for Bradley and Stephanie. Her beautiful heart and soul, warmth and love shined every day. As time goes on, their deep appreciation of her and the huge part she played in their lives grows.


In September, 2014 she was diagnosed with Stage 3, mast cell cancer (no stage 4 for dogs). She fought a courageous battle for 5 months. She died on January 22nd, 2015.


Bradley: “Ernie brought us so much joy and happiness throughout her life and we feel great sadness at the loss of her companionship. She taught us many lessons in her short 12 1/2 year life. We were fortunate to have shared her life.”


Stephanie: “She was the most incredible dog. Spirited, as her breed dictated, but sweet and true. We were blessed to have had such an amazing creature be part of our lives. She was our friend, our confidant, our love. She was everything. She brought us our dearest friends, inspired our business and changed our hearts forever.


“Our loss is profound. As W. B. Auden wrote in his poem Funeral Blues (and I take a small liberty with this verse, changing he to she), ‘She was my north, my south, my east, my west. My working week, my Sunday rest. My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song. I thought this love would last forever, I was wrong.’ Rest my sweet girl you will be missed."