We lost our little Buddy this past week, and we are sad. Heartbroken, actually.
A little Bichon Frise, he was cute and bubbly, full of personality, con brio, one might say; much of the time, he wore a big smile. When we would drive, he would sit perched on a pillow atop the console between Geri and me, surveying the world that was indeed his oyster. “He’s perfect,” I would say. “Almost perfect,” Geri would counter. It was our little joke about our little friend. He was always eager to get home to his evening appetizers of ham, turkey or Brie. We spoiled him, and why wouldn’t we?
He meant the world to us. We loved him dearly and we miss him greatly.
In lieu of my writing an essay today, I’ve chosen to let my maternal grandfather, J.C. Naylor, use this space for his recollection of Pansy. It appeared in his Nebraska newspaper, The Imperial Republican, in 1952.
Granddad would have loved Buddy.
THIS IS ONLY FOR PEOPLE WHO ONCE HAD A DOG LIKE PANSY
There’s the low mound of a tiny grave in the back yard of The Imperial Republican office, and much sadness among those who work inside.
Pansy, the little black and white Boston bulldog which had been our mascot for over eight years, is gone, and we are sad.
Two weeks ago, while crossing a street, she was struck by a car. One hind leg was broken and mangled, there were other injuries about her legs, and probably some internally as well. For two weeks every effort was made to save her, but without avail, and it was necessary to mercifully put her to sleep. Her injuries were such that they were especially difficult to treat.
Pansy was only a dog, and we understand as well as anyone the limitations that imposes. But she was a staunch, loyal, devoted little pal, and we will miss her a great deal. Always eager to be a friend to anyone who liked her, for “her folks,” the ones at home and around the office, and a few other special friends, her devotion knew no bounds. She was smart, clever, interesting, and a lot of fun, but above all she was utterly and completely loyal.
Had I been, in her presence, attacked by a dozen enraged lions, she would have fought them without hesitation to the finish; then, if there was possibly enough strength left after her mortal wounds had come, she would have crawled to my side to die without a whimper, and the little brown eyes would have said, “Well, we did our best, didn’t we?”
Pansy was only a dog, but she had the faculty of amazing understanding and of the fitness of things. Hundreds of times, when things were difficult and discouraging, as they often are in our business, we would feel a little paw on our leg, a little nose would gently push under our hand, then the rest of a little head. “Don’t worry,” we could almost hear her say, “things will come out all right. Pet me a little and let’s forget it.”
Pansy was only a dog, but if she could have talked, we feel sure the things she said would have shamed a great many people, including us.
And it wouldn’t be quite right to say she couldn’t talk. Mostly she could make her wants and ideas known without difficulty, often with impressive cleverness, or deeply touching plea.
Take that last day, for instance (yesterday, my birthday). For two weeks she had suffered—no doubt terribly—almost without even the slightest whimper, evidently trying to cooperate in her treatment and get well. But that last day, she seemed to know that it was all in vain. Instead of lying quietly, she came to us often, patiently dragging the heavy splint that held the injured leg at a sharp angle from her body. The little brown eyes no longer sparkled. They were tired and troubled, but what they lacked in the old time lustre was more than made up by an unmistakable extra measure of trust and devotion.
As though written in plainest script was the message in those eyes: “You have always taken care of me, and I know you’ll do what is best for me now. But whatever it is, please do it soon. I suffer much. I love you so.”
Pansy was only a dog, and we have no illusions as to the difference between the finest dog and the lowliest human being.
God not only gave the human being an immortal soul, but the capacity to far exceed any animal, if he chooses to do so. But in some things, notably the element of loyalty, many of us could take lessons from someone’s faithful dog.
Pansy was only a dog, but she was honest and sincere. Her friendship was no fickle thing that swayed with every whim. She meant it.
Pansy was only a dog, but she was loyal and forgiving. Step on her accidently, and while she was still crying with pain, she would lick your hand in complete forgiveness.
Pansy was only a dog, but within the limits of her capacity she was all one could ask for a friend to be.
How wonderful it would be if one could have lots of human friends with her complete honesty, loyalty, and sincerity, plus the other qualities a person can have if they choose to cultivate them.
Getting back to the original subject, as we said…
This is only for those who have sometime had a dog like Pansy. They won’t think we are foolish, even though others do.
Photography by Courtney A. Liska
Ham in Cider (Jambon braisé au cidre)
4 thick slices of smoked cooked ham
3 shallots, chopped and blanched
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup fresh cream
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
Pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a sauté pan. Add the blanched shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the ham slices and slightly brown them on both sides.
Pour in the cider and leave to reduce slightly.
Add the cream and simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve ham with sauce, boiled potatoes with butter and parsley, peas Parisienne and some crusty bread.
French-style peas (Petits Pois à La Française)
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
Handful frozen pearl onions
1# frozen peas
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 Tbs. chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Melt butter in a sauté pan. Add onions and cook until slightly browned.
Add frozen peas and stock. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Strain. Stir in more butter. Serve.