Homer the Chocolate Labrador

Dog Breed: Unknown

Homer's dad says: Homer lived in Washington, DC, and more recently Budapest, Hungary. Homer was our best friend and the best dog in the world. He died unexpectedly two weeks ago on the one-year anniversary of the day we picked him up at the farm in Pennsylvania where he was born. We had just given him a rubber ball on a rope as a little anniversary present. Only minutes before his death, he had been running around and playing with his new ball, looking strong, healthy, and as handsome as ever. We are told that Homer died because his thymus ruptured suddenly. In a matter of moments died in our arms. Homer was our constant companion and traveled more in just one year than many people do in a lifetime. In just one short year, we had had so many cracking good times and had been through so much together. Homer came into my life just months after I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and, though I’m sure the neurologists would say that the horrific fatigue and lack of energy I suffered from improved due to medicine, I would argue that Homer played a role in my improvement as well. Homer shared all of our highs and lows. I was not home when Jen took her first pregnancy test, so Homer was the first to share Jen’s news that she was pregnant. Since she was excited, he was too. Every time he heard me celebrating one of my team’s goals or runs, he would come running over and to share in my excitement. Whenever we would give each other a hug or kiss, he would scurry over, jump up on us, and insist on getting in on the action. Other than his dislike for having his ears cleaned and his phobia of escalators, he was utterly fearless -- trips to the doctor, thunder, and fireworks did not scare him in the least. One of his greatest joys, which we only recently discovered due to Hungary’s extremely mild winter, was snow. He saw snow for the first time on a hike in the Sumava forrest in Bohemia and went nuts, rolling around and frolicking on just a small little patch of it, deliriously happy. If I could describe a perfect day from Homer’s perspective, it would include all of the following: being fed copious amounts of food but also serendipitously finding food on the ground or elsewhere; lying on his back in the bed getting his belly rubbed by both of us at the same time; playing with other dogs and people, especially if they would chase him and try to pry one of his toys or a stick from his mouth; and basking in the adulation of anyone and everyone he met on the street. Having Homer actually forced us to interact with people, and, in a way, he made us more sociable and nicer people. Like anyone that really loves their dog, we considered Homer to be a part of our family. He was gentle, playful, loyal and, above all, fun. There is a huge void in our lives with Homer gone, but it would help us to know that others out there love their dogs as much as we do. During his short but happy life, Homer brought smiles to so many faces and made so many friends.