A Dog’s Purpose

February 22, 2017

On Sept 9th, I wrote about Daisy, our house dog at NEXT. Since that time, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, Realtor.com, and WGN News have also shared stories about Daisy, the lovable Newfoundland dog.

The unconditional love of a dog is also the theme for A Dog’s Purpose written by W. Bruce Cameron, now out in movie theaters. Yes…bring tissues! Some say the movie and the book outline a dog’s perspective to a tee. It is funny to witness a dogs love of food, and their sense for smell, play, tickles and kisses. I was unprepared for the metaphysical side of this story, where the dog comes back to life after death time and time again to different owners and different journeys until at last he and Ethan,  the dogs favorite owner and first love, are reunited.

My personal journey with Daisy started right after my Dad passed away. We went from the funeral and out for lunch and there she was. Tail wagging, hearts aflutter. Daisy came home to be like Nana in Peter Pan; she swam with the kids in our pool, fell asleep at their feet, and wrestled with socks and tee shirts as they dressed for school. She was often their companion for car rides to school and cried when they got out of the car.

Her life in California was good, and she kept us safe in the mountains on many hikes. When we returned to Chicago, the kids, now teenagers, were busy, and Daisy kissed my face in hard times and kept me company more than anyone, as teenagers can be challenging. As the house emptied out, her big soulful eyes looked at mine as if to say… “what is NEXT on my journey?? ”

And that’s when it came to me…Why not??? She had been our house dog, so lively and loyal. Why not make her the grand dame of the brand and allow others to enjoy her as the house dog at NEXT!?

While Daisy was meeting with a trainer to make sure she was house dog ready, Alexa graduated from college and got a job, returning to Chicago. When Daisy came home as a puppy, Alexa was 13, much like Ethan in A Dog’s Purpose. Daisy patiently waited, and Alexa returned home. As Forrest Gump might say “Today they are like peas and carrots.” Today they both go off to work in the morning together. Daisy sits in the lobby with Sandy, Don or Kawan, our concierges, and greets guests, and Alexa walks to work. Daisy has her own Instagram, and a boyfriend in Axel, a Bernese Mountain dog, who also lives at NEXT. At night, they eat together, watch tv, go for long walks, and Daisy sleeps at the end of Alexa’s bed.

Daisy smiles as I visit and when Daisy winks it seems as if to say “Look at how far we have come, Randy!”

Is she a soul mate? Did she come for Alexa’s journey? Is there a metaphysical connection?  I would like to think so, and for anyone who loves a dog, they understand exactly what I am talking about. Because even if their dog does not get written about in the Wall Street Journal, they leave paw prints on our heart and love us in our happiest and darkest times and forever. Those dogs remain a part of our life’s journey that somehow makes us complete!

A dogs purpose is to keep us in the present moment, with love, and with gratitude.

In our entry, there she sits loyally waiting for her NEXT experience.

All my love,


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