Monday, February 10, 2014

Unconditional Love

Horace with his daughter Tiffany

Back in 1982 I bought a tiny orange Pomeranian puppy for $300 at a Philadelphia pet store on my way to lunch.  I had not planned to buy this puppy but as I was walking by the pet store, I saw HIM in the window display trying to keep up with the other BIG puppies.  I stopped in, curious as to how much he cost.  That was my first mistake.

The pet shop employee said "You want to hold him?" Of course I said "Yes" and the rest was history.  I purchased him that day, brought him back in a pet box to the bank where I worked.

When I got home I had a surprise for Bill.  He wasn't too happy but he too soon fell in love with Horace.

Bill with Horace a few minutes after Horace arrived at his new home all bright eyed and bushy tailed

Horace was with me for sixteen years, four years longer than most Pomeranians live on this earth.

Me and my buddy Horace - many years later - two graybeards
Horace was the only dog I had in my life who "chose me."  You know what I mean by that don't you?  Dogs always choose one main person.  Horace chose me.  

My Mom and Horace and me - Horace wants a kiss

Horace would wait for me everyday to come home from work, my long commute on the train from Philadelphia to Downingtown.  He would lie on my house clothes and sleep during the day, patiently waiting for me. Horace was my best friend.  

Horace was the best friend I've ever had.  Horace never disappointed me, even when he was old and could no longer hold his bodily functions.  

Horace loved to go for rides with me
To the end of my days I will never have as good a friend as this little, orange Pomeranian named Horace who never growled in anger once in his short life.  Horace was always glad to see me.  He never was angry with me.  He never scolded me.  He never shouted or cursed at me.  He never asked me for anything but my love. 

When Horace died in 1998, Bill said he didn't want any more dogs. He couldn't take the loss.  I have honored Bill's wish.  But if I survive Bill, I will try to get another Horace.  I don't think I could bear to live the rest of my life without that unconditional love that only a pet, specifically a dog can provide.  I don't think it is a coincidence that "dog" spelled backwards spells God.

Me and Horace - ONE


anne marie in philly said...

cute puppy! it's always hard to lose an animal companion. we have lost 4 cats over the past 12 years, the most recent being meredith last month. we are trying to find a companion for nyla.

Ron said...

Anne Marie,
My condolences on the loss of your beloved Meredith. Someday I hope to get another special buddy like Horace. I need that unconditional love. My weakness.

Anonymous said...

You bring to mind my dog best friend, Chipper and his sister, Nellie. Had them 17 years. She died first and two months later Chipper
fought hard not to go but lost the battle. He was tired out. I'd love to have another dog but at 67 I'm not sure I could care for the dog
down at the end when it counts. Especially if I have my own health and mobility problems. I've got a lot of cats now many are 5-6 years
old. Not sure what would happen even to them if I should have a sudden demise. It wouldn't be pretty and it worries me every day.
Whenever something happens to one of them it hurts. Maybe you should just remember how special Horace was and leave it there.
Of course, your choice. Wouldn't blame you one bit. I have a pair of young cats ( Baxter, black six month male and a precious little
female Russian Blue, Gracie ) He like to be outside, she likes to be inside. Love to adopt them to a good home.
Stuart in Fl

Anonymous said...

I've had two dogs, both of whom chose me, both were rescues that I wound up with. I echo everything you said about a dog's unconditional love. I haven't gotten another for two reasons. I am afraid of another dog outliving me, and I am afraid of having to put a third one down if I were to outlive him. Still, there are days...

Peace <3

Jack said...

I'm with you 100% when it comes to owning a dog. For some reason dogs have always gravitated to me, even those who are not mine but owned by friends. I had my last dog almost 30 years ago and have always wanted another. My housing (small condo) makes dog ownership difficult at best, can't open the door and say go do your thing and bark when it's time to come back in. I've dog sat more than once for friends and three or four times a day for walks, rain, shine, hot or cold are just not my cup of tea right now. I also agree with Stuart in Fl, I am getting too old for the constant care that a dog entails. Of course, I have been known on more than one occasion to change my mind about a lot of things, this might be one of them in a moment of weakness.
See you in about a month.

Ron said...

I would like to get another dog, preferably a Pomeranian before I die. Of course one of my main concerns would be what would happen to him (or her) should I die first. It is a dilemma. Oh, and I LOVE cats and would get one now except that Bill doesn't like cats. I would love to rescue one (or two) from the local animal shelter. Maybe I'll do that if I survive Bill. That's why we got a Pom, Bill thought they were about the same size as cats. I might even get a dog and a cat.

Ron said...

I would be afraid of a dog outliving me too. It's a valid concern. I could imagine myself on my deathbed worried about who would take care of my dog. I know none of my relatives would. I don't like putting dogs down but I've put all our pets down, including my Mom's. No one else in the family could handle it. Of course it's sad but to me they're just passing into another world. My only concern is that they go peacefully.

Ron said...

I'm not surprised dogs gravitate towards you. You come across as a very nice guy in your comments. I always thought if I ended up alone, instead of going through the hassle of another man (one is enough for me thank you), I would get a dog….or a cat. I hear having a pet is good for your health, especially if you're an old codger like me.

Ur-spo said...

You like to encourage me to do things: this is my turn - get a dog, now. They need rescuing and you know what they do for one's soul and health. Yes, they die and there is no sorrow like it. But this is the price we pay for Love; we miss them so when they are gone. I don't choose the route of 'better not Love as it will hurt to end".

Ron said...

Dr. Spo,
I agree with you 110%! Only problem is that Bill said he would walk out the front door if I got any pet, even goldfish. If I should survive Bill, I will get a new "buddy", of that there is no doubt. I need that unconditional love plus I need to give unconditional love to another living life form, dog or cat or both. The best times of my life was when I had my cat Bobby (when I was a teenager) and my buddy Horace. I hope that day will come again when I can give my unconditional love to a new friend.