In Memory of Pearl
One of the toughest things about a pet passing away is seeing their things in the days that follow – Pearls dog beds, toys, blankets. Your memory plays tricks on you, you walk around a corner, and out of the corner of your eye you expect to see her laying on her dog bed, and for a second you do, but she isn’t there.
The daily routines you developed, the way your time was structured changes.
She came into my life through a random search of an online classified for a Brussels Griffon. She was a puppy, there was a picture of her next to a Coke can and she was smaller than the can. A Scottsdale college kid had bought her with his girlfriend, but when they split he realized he couldn’t spend his nights at whatever clubs he hung out at, so he listed her for sale. When I went to look at her he let her run off-leash in the grass right next to Scottsdale Rd, he had zero common sense in regards to caring for an animal. She looked like a baby rabbit zipping around. I bought (rescued) her and took her to Dolce Salon where my girlfriend at the time worked. I put her in a gift bag to hide her and walked in. Just as I walked around the corner to Stephanie’s station Pearl popped her head out of the bag.
What made her so special and endearing to me was how small and fragile she was. I had always had big dogs (75-110 lbs), but Pearl was this tiny creature, around 5 lbs full grown, she was like a little squirrel with a beard on toothpick legs. If natural selection were at play she wouldn’t have lasted a day, a coyote or hawk would’ve snatched her up as a snack, but luckily she had me, her Hodor. She was fearless, she’d always tell other dogs what was up and she protected me from the trash truck every week.
She had neurosurgery several years ago, and a couple years back I took her to Columbia University where they told me she may need a pacemaker one day. She had tons of genetic problems, no doubt the result of an irresponsible breeder that was just looking to make money, but she was the sweetest little soul, and she loved me and I loved her more than anything else in the world at a time in my life that I needed her. The act of taking care of a tiny creature made me a kinder more empathetic human. I’m definitely a better father to my daughter as a result of the last decade spent with Pearl. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of her.