Politics, Moderate



Thurber’s Tail: How my dog brought joy to my elderly dad

Tom Purcell on

Editor's note: This column is an excerpt from Tom Purcell’s new book, “Tips from a New Dog Dad.” Read more chapters at ThurbersTail.com.

My Lab puppy, Thurber, was born on Christmas Day, 2020 — the best Christmas blessing I ever received.

But he bestowed even greater blessings on my mother and father.

In his 87th year, my father was facing a series of health challenges.

Waiting for the other shoe to drop — waiting for a middle-of-the night call to help pick him up from a fall — had become the norm.

Visits to my parents’ house were becoming less joyful and more stressful as my dad, with limited mobility, needed help getting in and out of his chair and had to ask his kids to assist with the many daily tasks he used to do himself so effortlessly.


We gave my father endless support as his needs grew but his decline brought sadness, and the sadness began permeating my parents’ home, hitting us hard every time we entered the front door.

That all changed the day I brought my puppy Thurber home.

Thurber's first visit

The day I picked Thurber up in Punxsutawney, Pa., my plan was to drive directly to my mom and dad’s house.


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Copyright 2022 Tom Purcell, All Rights Reserved. Credit: Cagle.com



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