Merry Christmas…and your present is a boy who’ll love you always…

So said my friend John Tidyman. I couldn’t believe it. Here I was barely holding onto my sanity, as the divorced mother of teenage twins, there were any number of things straining to fly out of my Universe, the house was near foreclosure, the utilities were always days away from shut-off, and Mother Hubbard’s dog would have been right at home.

Well, I was stunned, delighted, amazed…you get the picture. A GUY who would always love me? Who would always be happy to see my crabby self? Somebody who would love me unconditionally just the way I was…bring him on, I told Tidyman, sure, I’d love to meet him. An answer to my prayers, finally a large shoulder I could lean on…who would always love me.

There was a knock at the door and Tidyman entered carrying a bouncy little ball of golden fur. “Here”, he said, meet “Harry”.

 Wonderful, I said, now where’s my date? That’s when the Tidymeister exclaimed before he rode out of my driveway…here’s the guy who’ll love you always Sheila, he’ll always be glad to see you. Boy, was he right.

After that dog ate my kitchen floor, (right through the linoleum and black liner right into the wooden floor) and I learned to put him outside during the day in a fenced back yard, he would see me come home and just start bouncing up and down so that all you could see out of the back door window was Harry’s head and barking face going up and down, up and down. So happy to see me. And he grew, he grew and grew until that huge dogface could no longer sleep under my bed. But he would still hoard and tear up any newspaper found around the house and stuff it under my bed and then try to cram his huge self under my side of the bed. Usually all he accomplished was about the sports pages and his snout but he really tried to stay little and sleeping under my bed in a nest. Years later when I had to sell rather than lose that house, John Tidyman would take the full size “Harry” back home with him and I don’t know who benefited more because never was a dog so well-loved as J. T. loved Harry. 

What put me in mind of this story was our Kate, I had told her how at one time Tidyman had called and said he had the perfect guy for me, who would always love me. She loved that story.

I had been talking to her about a show on the Biography channel about Steve Martin and his dog “Roger” and how much he and his relationship with his dog reminded me of John Tidyman and Harry. “Roger”  is Steve Martin’s companion in crime, and they walk together and talk together like the old friends that they are, just like Tidy and Harry.  If you look closely enough you can even see Roger sighing and smiling when Steve tosses a ball and says “fetch”, Roger looks like he’s about to roll his eyes, he just smiles at Steve and ambles away (the other direction). I couldn’t help but realize just how alike and lucky these two men and myself were to have had such Harrys’ ( or in Martin’s case “Roger”) in our lives.

So,  If you truly love someone with their own home, who is really struggling, give them a puppy. Nothing like a little unconditional love to tide a soul over in these rough times. Sure they may curse you at first, but they’ll find that puppy creeping into their heart as surely as that Harry crept under my bed.

And P.S. if you’d like to listen to some great personal stories from our World War 2 Vet’s in person and with Tidy’s great interview skills take a listen at John Tidyman’s radio show at this web address, well worth the trip, and don’t be afraid to post comments, the more the better. Thanks from our Veterans and Thanks God for your support!

One response to “Merry Christmas…and your present is a boy who’ll love you always…

  1. Wait a minute… I remember how Harry actually became John’s. We had John dogsit for a few days when we were gone, and he was supposed to return him the day after we got back. Then it was the next day, then the next. Then we stopped hearing from him for a bit. Then the postcards starting coming. From Harry. Those two were so very meant to be together. And I think you’re right about him bringing unconditional love. He really was a fantastic dog.

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