The first time I went into Le’Stuff Antique Mall at 234 East Main Street I was impressed by the vast array of items. Rows and rows of vintage goods were so smartly arranged that I wanted to spend time looking at everything. Shortly after entering, I passed by the cashier’s counter and immediately locked eyes with the shop dog, Nic Nac. There he was near the register just waiting for a pet and looking like he wanted to be my best friend. The beautiful Yorkshire Terrier sure made an impression on me that day. That was 12 years ago, and his owners Jeff and Sandy Nelson, and I instantly became friends after talking antiques, the shop, and all things Nic Nac.
Over the years Nic Nac made hundreds if not thousands of friends, and that routine continued right up until his passing last Fall. He gave the shop, the Nelson’s, and the people of Hillsboro 15 great years and unlimited memories. So many that it was very hard to say goodbye. Nic Nac was one special little guy and he made it fun just to drop in and say hello!
As the Holiday season came along the Nelson’s decided Nic Nac’s work is not yet done. The 2021 Living Memorial Holiday Tree is prominently out front of Le’Stuff and has some beautiful photos of Nic from over the many years on it as ornaments. This year Nic Nac and the Nelson’s are raising money and awareness for PAVE; Paws Assisting Veterans.
This awesome group raises money for service dogs for our Veterans, as well as educates the public about the important role that they play in helping Veterans come home with some help. What a great cause.
“This is year 2 for this program. All the money goes directly to the charity. PAVE is located in Cornelius. When people come to the tree they can Scan the QR Code to vote for our tree and donate right on their phone. There is also a cash box inside and we take donations for them here in Nic Nacs memory. Even $1 or so can help!”
Jeff Nelson, Co-Owner, Le’Stuff
Nelson also mentioned that there are more trees up and down the street at various shops and they are all featuring their own decorations and groups that they represent.
I hope Jeff and Sandie get a new dog. They may never find another little guy like Nic Nac- he truly was a town favorite and a one-of-a-kind pup!
“Nic was our faithful friend and shop dog,” added Nelson. “He gave so much love to countless people and everyday people still ask about him. He’s still here in spirit.”
As we all try to enjoy the next few days there will be many moments to reflect on family and friends. Many of those memories may include your own special pet; maybe you have had a Nic Nac in your life. For me, I know he is still here. Because he was a really good thing in my life, and the same applies to all who met him.
Hope. Goodness. Love. All things we can remember when thinking about the Holidays. Hope springs eternal. And I Hope you all have a great Holiday.
In closing I am reminded of a great quote from a great movie; the Shawshank Redemption. it goes like this.
Andy Dufresne: Hope is a good thing. Maybe even the best of things and good things never die.
Nic Nac was a very good thing indeed.
Dirk, thanks alone don’t begin to express our feelings to you for writing such a beautiful tribute to our pal Nic Nac. As Sandie & I read your story, tears were streaming down our faces – not only in sadness, but in the joy we know this dog gave to countless people over the years. Not a day goes by without his old friends or an acquaintance visiting Hillsboro come in to say hello and to ask about Nic and learn of his passing. They all have a story of love to share and we know that he will live on – cherished in our memories. This Downtown Hillsboro Dog not only gave his love freely, but he helped raise several thousand dollars over the past few years for Veteran related charities – because he knew many of our real life heroes.
Thank you Jeff- life is pretty difficult for so many people. I think something as wonderful as a dog like Nic Nac, who did not judge nor demand nor hate, reminds us all that life is a gift. You guys have a wonderful business and do some great things for our community. Your dog was a reflection of you and you of him. Many blessings for the days ahead and let’s all raise a glass for our little pal and those we love this Christmas!