Life Lessons Learned From Very Special Friend

Real Estate Agent with Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 CA BRE# 01261476

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


Posted by

Thomas J. Nelson
REALTOR®, CRS, RCS-D, CDPE, e-Pro, Certified Military Home Specialist, Luxury Home Specialist, Author, Keynote Speaker and  Podcast Host 

Serving Coastal San Diego from Carlsbad to Coronado, Downtown, Balboa Park Area,
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Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, medical advice or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice, health or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.

Comments (20)

Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets - that is a lovely tribute.  We can learn much from our dogs.

Feb 25, 2021 09:01 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Thomas, I feel so sorry to love a love one, I consider my Sheltie Brandy when I lost her.  It happen on my 65 birthday in the middle night at my office desk.


Feb 25, 2021 09:13 AM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Thomas so sorry for the loss of your fur baby Peroni.  He sounds like a wonderful dog that loved life and you.  He's chasing balls and treats in doggie heaven once again.

Feb 25, 2021 10:41 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

What a beautiful dog (family member). I am so sorry to hear of your loss. What a wonderful tribute to Peroni.

Feb 25, 2021 11:43 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Thomas - a thoughtful tribute.   Peroni enhanced your life and he yours'.  Rest In Peace.  

Feb 25, 2021 12:41 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Peroni was an adorable pooch, Thomas!  I know you miss him greatly.  May he rest in peace!

Feb 25, 2021 12:45 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Thomas, on having this blog FEATURED in the PHOTOS group!

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Feb 25, 2021 12:45 PM
Jason E. Gordon
AmeriFirst Financial Inc, San Diego, CA - San Diego, CA

Beautiful tribute to Peroni. Clearly he was blessed to be part of such a loving family. Sending you both my best during this difficult time.

Feb 25, 2021 02:50 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi Thomas,  Thank you for sharing Peroni's story.  He is the classic example of why a dog is man's best friend.  He will always have a special place in your heart.

Feb 25, 2021 07:51 PM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Thomas.

What a wonderful tribute to Peroni.  I know he's waiting for you and Ailina, so you can play again, feed him treats and have a wonderful reunion

Feb 26, 2021 12:31 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Oh my goodness, Thomas... I read this post with tears rolling down my face. It's never easy to lose a beloved pet... I know first-hand. And I find that the world does stop even if only for a second. Peroni has his angel wings now and is playing with my Gracie and Max. One day you and Ailina will see Peroni again. I know that for sure.

Feb 26, 2021 05:25 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets,

I'm so glad that Carol Williams featured you post in her Second Chance Saturday Series as I missed your post and am sadden to hear about the loss of your beloved Peroni. What valuable lessons you learned and thank you for sharing.

Feb 27, 2021 05:22 AM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

We lost our dog last February. My heart hurt beyond belief for quite a while. I truly understand the pain you're going through. The loss of a beloved pet is huge. I will say, when you're ready, getting another is a wonderful way to honor the lost pet and keep the circle of love going. 

Feb 27, 2021 06:25 AM
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in Real Estate & German, M.A. ABR ASP CIPS

Oh my goodness, I have goosebumps all over. My heart goes out to you 2, I cannot begin to imagine how difficult Peroni's loss must be. But I'm also very glad that you channeled your grief into this excellent post sharing all the life lessons Peroni taught you.

Thank you for sharing, and thank you to Carol for leading us to it. 

Feb 27, 2021 06:30 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Thomas:

I am so very sorry for your loss! Hopefully this beautiful tribute was therapeutic and alleviated some of your sorrow. I loved the life lessons - thank you!


Feb 27, 2021 03:59 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Oh my, this is makes me cry - I lost our fourteen year old gentleman a year and a half ago - he died in my arms and the hole is still in my heart even though we now have another baby who is on the bed with us loudly chewing away on a bone - I am so so sorry for the pain you are feelign.

Mar 01, 2021 08:26 PM
Vickie Teel
RE/MAX PALM REALTY - Port Charlotte, FL
Sharing Florida sunshine one homeowner at a time!

Oh Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets what a beautiful tribute to your gorgeous, fun loving, brave fur baby.  These are wonderful lessons and I'm grateful he taught them so you could share.

Mar 05, 2021 07:15 PM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

What a beautiful dog, and such a sweet tribute. It’s always heartbreaking when their time comes to an end. It sounds like you all shared some wonderful days together.

Mar 06, 2021 01:16 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm all too familiar with the pain and grief you and your wife are suffering. It does get better over time - so that one day you'll be able to think of him and just enjoy the good memories.


Mar 06, 2021 11:35 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

What a great story about Peroni. I am sure that he loved you and Ailina just as much as you loved him.

Mar 11, 2021 07:22 AM