This Father’s Day, I feel compelled to thank my dad, whose guidance and support helped shape the person – and the business owner – that I am today. Throughout my childhood, and into my twenties, I worked with my dad at his small trucking company in South Boston. Over the many hours and days that we spent together he would impart life lessons upon me – lessons about the person he hoped I would become, and the people with whom I should surround myself. Often, as a teenager and even a young adult, I would roll my eyes at his wisdom. Do all young people think that they know it all?! It is only with the passage of time – and my own development into a fully formed adult with two children and three businesses of my own – that I have come to see his monologues as the sage advice that they were.
Born in the early 40’s, the son of second generation immigrants from Italy, he valued hard work, curiosity, and education. He did not suffer fools lightly. He would tell me often that there are two types of people in this world: “Can Do-ers” and “No Can Do-ers”. Be a “Can Do-er” and surround yourself with them, he would urge.
My dad tolerated the rotating packs of dogs I would bring into his trucking warehouse. In his older years, he would nap on a cot in his office; many times my boarding clients would nap with him. But Dingo was always his favorite bedside companion.
My dad lived long enough to see the genesis of Dingo’s Dogsitting, from a side-gig with zero employees scrapped together out of the first home of a twenty-something to what it is now: a fully licensed and insured commercial facility boasting a staff of 15 and daycare attendance rates from 50 to 65 dogs per day on average.
On Christmas Eve 2019, as my dad lay dying at home, my mother, a former hospice nurse, urged my brother and I speak to him. “He can’t talk but he can hear you”, she whispered. We held my dad’s hands and thanked him for myriad things – the endless carpools, ski trips, and story times. But when I thanked my dad for allowing me to chase my own small business dream – when I told him about Dingo’s success and thanked him for his guidance – that is the moment he looked into my eyes and squeezed my hand the hardest. He died the next day: Christmas Day 2019.
So on this Father’s Day, I want to thank all of the “Dog Dads” out there who love their dogs endlessly and trust us with their care. I also want to thank my dad, who loved me endlessly and always trusted the endeavors for which I chose to care.
Nancy, President & Pack Leader