The mutt who melted steel.

On February 12th, 1968 at the age of 13 I finally got the dog that I had been bugging my parents about my whole life. We had moved into a house in ’65 so for 3 years I had put a full court press on them to get one.

I soon realized though that Snoopy wasn’t just my dog but in the eyes of my Mom and Dad (I was an only child) he was their other son, but I never realized just how much my folks, especially my Dad loved Snoopy until the end.

In November 1980 we had to put Snoopy down and did so at the local ASPCA, but was not present at the final moment.

Driving away I saw a tear in Dad’s eye and I was stunned. You see, my Dad was born in 1904 in Turkey and was his family’s sole survivor of the Genocide of Armenians by the Turks in 1915. All he ever told me of those years was his grandfather was pulled from the house never to be seen again and that he and his Mom were in a forced march across the desert. One night he went to sleep next to her and in the morning she was dead.

Dad didn’t get to America until November 7th, 1924 at the age of 19 and he never told me what he had to do to survive as a 10 year old orphan in Europe during World War I and I can only imagine how horrible his life was during those 9 years.

One thing I do know was his horrible childhood was the reason he would be furious with me whenever I cried as a kid, no matter the reason. He would become so enraged at my tears that he would spank me for crying, making me cry more, but to him crying had some terrible connection to his own childhood, a weakness that had to be controlled by “The Man of Steel”.

And so that Christmas, my girlfriend Cathy decided to give my parents a simple gift, a framed picture of Snoopy and me.

To this day I can still see my father opening the present, seeing that picture of Snoopy and breaking down, crying hysterically and uncontrollably.

My Father, The Man of Steel, had a heart after all and all it took to melt it was the love and loss of a little mutt named Snoopy adopted at Bide-a-Wee animal shelter.

Mark from NY