It's Hero De Niro's Birthday!
In the past few weeks I've linked numerous times to the About section of this website, so if you haven't read it already, go check it out, ask me a question, and/or learn something. If you've read it already, then you already know about Hero. Hero De Niro is my Boston terrier, my best bud, my roommate, and the focus of 95% of my adoration. I mention Hero in the FAQ, but I don't mention exactly how he came into my life. Allow me to share: I was going through a really hard time in my early 20s, and it completely awful. I won't go into it here, but I will tell you it was bleak. So bleak that my doctor prescribed me a dog. I needed something to get me out of bed, and something to keep me company while I was stuck IN bed. A dog was the solution to both. I searched for dogs online, trolled shelters, and after coming thisclose to adopting a different dog, but losing him, I found Hero.
It was a simple ad in the newspaper, just a photo of four puppies being held in an anonymous set of arms, and a phone number. I called, visited, found out the place was an Amish farm (!), and picked Hero out of the litter. He was the biggest one, but also the sweetest. He just wanted to be curled up in a lap, any lap. This is a trait he's retained his whole life. (He's also still the biggest Boston terrier I've ever seen.) I'd wanted a dog since I was a toddler, but never had one before. Hero came along right when I needed him, and started living up to his name the second I picked him up to take him home.
Hero has been my constant companion, from Amish Country to a small city in Illinois, to living with my Grandma in California's Central Valley to Los Angeles. He fulfills exactly what my doctor ordered almost six years ago: Get me out of bed when I don't want to, and keep me company when I want to get up and out, but I can't. I named my puppy Hero because that's what I needed at the time (the De Niro part is for added pizzazz), and while I'm not desperately seeking a hero anymore, I know Hero is a big part of what got me to this place in my life. Yes, I'm admittedly a Crazy Dog Person, but when a dog has meant so much to you, and has essentially saved your life, why wouldn't you be crazy about him?
Today is Hero's sixth birthday, and in honor of him, and all he means to me, today's recommendation is that you get a Hero. I'm not saying you get a Boston terrier, or even a dog, but rather that you find something that motivates you to get out of bed, or lifts your spirits when you're down, or keeps you from being stressed, or anxious, or feeling negative in any way. Find your Hero. If your Hero is anything like mine, your life will never be the same.