Some time ago, I met with the CEO of a major bank, and in the middle of our conversation he broke down and cried. He apologized, and said that his dog had died the night before. Could we reschedule? He then asked me if I understood, and if I loved animals. I assured him that I did, and I was so nuts that if I find an insect in the house, I put it in a cup and take it outside so it could get to live another day.
Did I just lose half of you?!?
I’m a fan of Marcus Lamonis, the billionaire entrepreneur of CNBC’s “The Profit,” who finds businesses that need fixing, makes the investment, and becomes the new boss.
On one episode, Marcus was asked about his most successful investments, his worst investments, and the things he learned from those experiences. What characteristics did he look for in people he hoped to partner with? He said that he wanted people who cared and respected animals, because it showed who they really were.
Today, I mourn the loss of one amazing little man, a small black-and-white Papillion with a huge personality and a great lust for life. His name was P.T.
Yes, he was one of those fur balls who tear at your heart, who depend on you for their entire existence. Who wait at the door and consider their greatest accomplishment for the day to be performing their ceremonial dance when you walk through the door.
And they couldn’t care less about how good or bad your day was, just that you are home and the pack is whole again.
P.T. and his brother Ritchie had never spent a day apart for 12 years, ever since they were puppies. They lived for each other, protected each other, and showed us all how to love. It’s what we all want in a relationship, when you think about it.
They did everything together, and now there is just one, and Ritchie stares at the door and remains hopeful, not knowing that there is no longer any hope.
And like those of you who are truly in touch with your animals, you understand and hope this day never comes. We expect our pets to live forever…that’s just the way it is.
You just want to hear that bark one more time, but it’s different now. Now, there’s an empty bed and an untouched bowl of food. You live on for the surviving dog, so he may find peace even though a piece of your heart has been ripped apart forever.
You see, silence is far from golden. I am forever grateful for this wonderful journey and heartbroken it is over … but what a journey.
Till we meet again, my sweet little man, I wish you peace.
James L. Janoff is publisher of the Jewish Standard.