By Nick Padlo
My favorite two holiday events are a plastic Easter egg hunt and opening of presents on Christmas morning. Not because of me, but because of my kids. The pure joy on their faces, the pitter pattering excitement of their feet…the anxious wagging of their tails. Yes – tails.
While I have no two-legged children, I do have two high-energy Puggles named Porsche and Eleanor. Porsche is a food-driven snack addict; she hates squirrels and generally all other dogs, and she is highly agitated by any small sound in the vicinity of the door. Eleanor is a lover, but she generally prefers other dogs to humans, and she has an affinity for eating non-food items like paperclips, money, and (gasp) poop. They are semi-well-behaved dogs, and while I don’t know that they would describe as “good” dogs, they are undoubtedly “great.”
We celebrate holidays and birthdays together, and many of our personal meals are decided by “do you have a dog-friendly patio”? At the end of a tough day, they don’t seem to be bothered much, and they love me with the consistency of the burning sun.
As a former military guy and startup CEO, I’d generally consider myself a relatively tough guy. But when it comes to my dogs (my kids), I’m a total and complete sap. They are my respite, my soft side, my loves…and for that, I apologize to no one.
At The Pet Loss Center over the last two years, we’ve served countless other amazing and loving pet “fathers” who have lost a furry family member. They come in with their pup or cat with quiet pride in their eyes, and unfortunately, grief in their heart and soul. While they wear an outer air of confidence, a gentle touch on the shoulder and an “I’m here” often elicits the same voice-cracking, teary-eyed response, “he was MY dog…he was my best friend.” He has permission to show his love.
To all the current and former dog dads out there, may you know just how much she looks up to you; just how much she loves you. And if for one second you are too tough for your feelings, and you think you feel “too much” for this furry little critter, just know that she loves you back ten-fold.
Happy Father’s Day.