Peroni was one of two puppies I could choose from, that fateful day I met the breeder to pick up our new dog. He was going to be a surprise birthday gift for my bride Ailina, so we were meeting in secret in a shopping mall parking lot. The first puppy I tried to pick up pulled away and whimpered. So, I picked up the happy one next to her instead. That little fur ball with a box head and cute nose.
Lesson 1: Smile and be friendly.
I kissed Peroni on the nose as I was getting to know him, and he growled at me and tried to bite my nose. I burst out laughing at this 8-week-old tough-guy. The breeder apologized and I said "Are you kidding lady, I just found my dog!"
Lesson 2: Stand out in the crowd, do something unexpected.
Peroni was our little ambassador, he always was happy, friendly and literally assumed every person and every dog, cat & horse he encountered was there to meet him, play with him, pet him and feed him treats. He had a big, infectious personality and always was a bundle of happy energy.
Lesson 3: Assume the best in people and treat them as welcome guests.
Peroni responded to crinkle. If anything in the house crinkled, he investigated and wanted a taste. Salami wrappers, cheese wrappers, bags of spinach, dog treats, etc. it never mattered he assumed it was all going to be delicious.
Lesson 4: Be alert to all the possibilities in life.
Peroni was a huge beggar, but he did it very cleverly. He'd just sit there just outside the kitchen and stare with those huge brown eyes and ignore all attempts to shoo him away. Or worse, he'd come up to the table and plop that adorable face on your lap and just look up. Heart melted, stoic commands ignored, he eventually had a taste of our breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinners. He always won when it was food safe for him to eat.
Lesson 5: Stay focused and undeterred on your goals, eventually you'll achieve them through persistence, charm, or finesse.
Peroni got excited about play, car travel, walks & hikes, food, and visitors. He just loved to fetch balls, do tricks I taught him, eat, and eat, to hop in the back of the car and go places, to put on his leash and walk around the neighborhood or accompany my 5-10 miles weekend hikes. Mostly, he loved meeting new people and other animals. He just really enjoyed his days no matter what was on the agenda.
The Big Lesson: Drink the nectar of life; eat the meat, suck the marrow, and toss the bones. Let your joy be contagious and live your full-life, for you never know how many years are going to be in it, but you do know how to fill those years if you dare go after all you seek.
Peroni bravely fought a rare form of cancer in dogs from early Spring 2020 through this past Tuesday night. He was surrounded by his favorite toys (his “woo-bees”) and we held, hugged and kissed him goodbye non-stop as he peacefully went off to play in heaven at 7:30PM Tuesday evening.
Peroni gave us and taught us so much. He gave us unconditional love and happiness and led by example; that even when cancer was literally disintegrating his life away, he could be happy and remain joyful about life. He never gave up!
He was who he always was right up to the last hour of his life. He even got up and greeted with excitement the vet that came to our home that evening to help him take his journey.
He was our joy and a big love in our lives. There's a hole in our souls for the moment, we are devastated, but we cheer each other up with endless stories of Peroni's antics and sweetheart personality.
The world should have stopped on Tuesday, but it didn't. And Peroni taught us in his last hours to keep on living until it's our time to go play in Heaven too.
Dedicated to the best dog and fury son I've ever known.
Peroni Nelson 12/26/2011-02/23/2021