It's always difficult to accept that when someone you love dies, they're actually gone from your life forever. But in truth, once you really get used to their supposed absence, you come to find out that they're only really “gone” in the physical sense... That's how I feel about my dad and my dog. Although they're no longer in my sight, they live on, still, inside my heart. Both were beyond special, and mattered so much to me. Writing this story is just one way that I intend to keep their memory alive.
I’ve never met anyone like my Dad. Although by all appearances he was
just an ordinary man, in his own special way, he was an amazing teacher,
as well as a champion of truth, honesty, hard work, and family values.
He gave of himself without fail and could always be depended upon to
bestow a selfless deed or a generous act. Almost all of the most
important lessons I’ve learned in life were taught to me by my Dad.
His “gifts” to me, material and immaterial, were truly without
One day, about 15 years ago, my Dad bestowed upon me a particularly
amazing gift: my first dog. From the moment I laid eyes on Barney, my
life changed forever. He awakened my soul to a level of pure joy and
love that I’d never known before and will forever cherish. I know
Barney was just meant to be with our family. We embarked on a journey
together: his firsts were my firsts; his life, my life.
Meanwhile, it never went overlooked that Barney’s importance in my
life was underscored by his source. In other words, I never neglected to
realize that it was my Dad who brought Barney to me. And as time passed,
the similarities between Barney and my Dad could not be ignored. They
both were possessed of good souls and big hearts. They both were true
homebodies who treasured the company of family. They both needed care;
they both loved simplicity; they both were quiet and yet fun-loving.
Most strikingly, however, was the fact that I always felt so sorry for
them both and found myself constantly wondering if they were truly
happy. I detected a quiet sadness within them both, maybe because I knew
they’d each come from hard beginnings. With all my heart, I wanted to
Yet the fact was, in the end, it was they who rescued me…
Excerpted from "My Dad, My Dog" by Sheila Hermel. Copyright © 2016 by Sheila Hermel. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Sheila Hermel has always enjoyed making creative use of the written word, be it poetry in her younger years, or letters, invitations, speeches, etc. for friends and family later on. She has also penned professional business letters and the like during her career in the legal industry. It is her sincere belief that the right words can encompass the very essence of one's being. A proud mother of three, Sheila lives in Southern California with her husband Jerry.
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