The Sonia Show

Writer. Mocker. Beer drinker. Old movie watcher. Mother. Goober.


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Six Things I’m Loving Right Now: Star Trek, Avon Nail Polish And More

Yeah, so, happy Friday! Let’s kick off the weekend with some fun. Here’s six things I’m loving right now.

“Star Trek”

Inspired by my Dorking Out co-host Smith’s love of “Star Trek,” I have been watching a lot of “Star Trek.” My mighty, mighty good man David and I rewatched the original six movies, and we’re about halfway through the first season of the original series. We talked a lot about why we love “Star Trek” on our “Star Trek” special episode. But I think what I’m responding to right now is the positive future it depicts. It’s not dark and gloomy like a “Blade Runner,” which is a rad movie. “Star Trek” is hopeful. With a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot running for president and dominating the news cycle, it’s nice to watch something that is optimistic about the future.

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There was a “Star Trek” night at the San Francisco Giants game last week, and this was the giveaway. I didn’t get to go to the game, but my mom did. It looks so great in my nerd corner at work!

Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook

I am addicted to the “Thug Kitchen” cookbooks. They are my go-to cookbooks, but I picked up “Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook” a few weeks ago, and I super love it. The recipes I’ve prepared have been pretty delicious and healthy, and they are not difficult. There are some in the book with a lot of prep work, but there are a ton of easy recipes, too – perfect for quick dinners during the week. I’ve made the Mac ‘n’ “Cheese” and White Bean and Mushroom Stew. I didn’t take any photos, so you will have to trust me that I made them, and they were delicious. I’ve gone through the cookbook and bookmarked a ton of recipes.

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Lexapro

Since I started my small dose of Lexapro and acupuncture once a week for my anxiety, I feel so much better, you guys. Since the second breast cancer diagnosis in December 2014 I have been walking around on high alert. I finally feel like myself. It’s awesome. Drugs are rad. Well, some drugs anyway.

pillAvon Gel Finish 7-In-1 Nail Polish

OK, so, now that I’m not doing chemo anymore, and there’s no risk of my fingernails falling off (Gross, right?), I have been able to grow out my nails and paint them again. One of the things that I hate about painting my nails is that fact that the polish chips after a day or so, and then my nails look like I had to crawl out a hole in Buffalo Bill’s basement. This nail polish for Avon is the shit. It will last more than a week without chipping, and that includes me washing dishes every night and typing on a keyboard all day. It says “gel” in the name, but it’s not really that gel polish you get in a salon that has to be specially removed. It can be removed with regular ol’ nail polish remover. I fuckin’ love this polish. I bought it in peacock green, red and – duh – orange. It’s the best.

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Guest of Honor Dress in Dachshund from ModCloth

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Yes, yes, I know. I’ve gone full crazy dog lady now. I realize I’m such a dork, but it’s so cute and comfy. Oh, and it’s got pockets! And speaking of dogs …

Toby

Look at that face! I mean, COME ON!

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After his little stunt last week, the newest member of the MansTracy household has started to feel more comfortable. He has warmed up to David, and he’s trying to play with Calvin. They still have different ideas of how they want to play, but they are working it out. He is my little shadow around the house. If I’m standing in the kitchen he will kinda whine at me, because he wants me to sit on the couch with him. I’m fine with that. I’d rather sit on the couch with him, too.

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Dorking Out Episode 13: Bridget Jones’s Baby, The Prequels Strike Back and The Emmy Awards

Yeah, so, I love any reason to talk about my love of the first “Bridget Jones” movie. It’s one of my favorite romantic comedies of all time. It might be one of my favorite movies of all time. Well, at least top 20. So I am pretty excited about this week’s episode of Dorking Out, in which Smith and I review “Bridget Jones’s Baby.”

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We also review the documentary “The Prequels Strike Back: A Fan’s Journey,” which theorizes that the “Star Wars” prequels are better than we think. It’s a really interesting documentary, and it leads to a fun discussion about our relationships with the prequels.

If you want to read about what I think about all the “Star Wars” movies, I rewatched them all last summer and wrote them. Here are the links: “Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones,” “Revenge of the Sith,” “Star Wars,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return Of The Jedi.”

We chat about Sunday night’s Emmy Awards, too. In this era, when there are a million great shows, how do you honor every TV show that deserves it?

If you listen to the show, I’d love to hear what you think. You can comment here, or on our website or Facebook page.


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Little Runaway

Yeah, so, Toby ran away.

On Tuesday, I came home from work around 5:30 p.m., after hitting the store and picking up Calvin. I opened the front door, while juggling a few bags, my work laptop and my purse. After first, Toby was happy to see me. He was running around my ankles with his ears up, acting all happy. Then he bolted out the front door and down our two flights of stairs, and he was gone.

We ran out after him, but he was already out of sight. A neighbor said he saw Toby ran down the street toward busy Monterey Boulevard. Ugh! I ran down to Monterey screaming his name. David and Calvin took another block.

I ran back to the house, and we all hopped in the car. We drove to the nearby Sunnyside Conservatory. We just got Toby on Sunday, and during all the walks we’ve taken we’ve stopped at the Sunnyside Conservatory. He wasn’t there. We were asking everyone we saw. No luck.

Eventually, David and Calvin went back to the house, and I continued to drive around for two hours looking for him while sobbing uncontrollably. I truly lost my shit. I spoke with a lot of people, who were walking to or from the Glen Park Bart Station. I stopped every person I saw walking a dog to ask if they had seen Toby.

After two hours, I went home, feeling so sad. I was sobbing. “He must be so scared. It’s getting dark. He needs to take his heart medication. He doesn’t know how to find us.”

David went back out on foot to look for him, and I stayed home with Calvin. I made Calvin some dinner and got him in the bath. I left the front door open just in case by some miracle Toby came back. In a desperate attempt that it might help, I tweeted to Darth to please retweet Toby’s photo and details. He did, because he’s awesome. It must have been retweeted more than 100 times.

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Then David called me. He spotted Toby at the Sunnyside Conservatory, but Toby ran away from him.  “I saw him. I’m on his trail. I’ll call you in a bit with an update.”

By now a bunch of Glen Park residents were trying to help David. They were pointing David in the right direction. Eventually, he tracked Toby near Glen Park Canyon, which is about a mile from our house. Toby ran out into the street, and almost got hit by a car right in front of David. Drivers pulled over and turned on their hazard lights. They tried to catch Toby, too.

David saw him again, but once again Toby ran away. He was just too fast. Eventually, it got so dark that finding him was getting too difficult, so David came home. Toby has a dog tag and he’s microchipped. We tried to remain positive that he would be found.

“I tried to find him for you,” he said.

“I thought he really liked it here,” I cried. “I guess he didn’t. Why did he run away?”

Then David put back on his hoodie and said, “I’m going to check the Conservatory one more time.”

He left, and I left the door open, just in case. I called good buddy Kate to tell her what happened, and then I heard a jingle – like a collar jingle.

I walked into the kitchen and Toby was standing there.

“OH MY GOD! HE’S HOME! HE CAME HOME!” I screamed, while slamming the door. “Kate, I have to call you back.”

I called David, and he rushed back.

We have no idea how he found his way home. He’s only lived with us since Sunday. We’ve only walked down Joost to Detroit and back, with a stop at the Conservatory. Toby was way down by Glen Park Canyon. He had to cross several busy streets in the dark to get back to our house, which is set back from the street and has two flights of stairs.

It’s a goddamn miracle that he found us. Toby isn’t all looks, you guys, he is obviously crazy smart, too.

David made a map of Toby’s approximate route, so you can see just how far he was away from our house.

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We want to thank all the awesome, amazing Glen Park residents who took time out of their busy evening to try to help us track and catch Toby. Seriously, Glen Park people are the best people! We took Toby out for a walk on Wednesday, and several neighbors came out to say how happy they were that he came home. They also told us they’ve never seen a dog run so fast. And thank you to Darth, and all the folks on Twitter, who helped spread the word about our missing pup. And a very special thank you to my mighty, mighty good man David who ran all over Glen Park trying to catch Toby. Just another example of why I call him my mighty, mighty good man.

"Wake me when you're finished crying, Sonia."

“Wake me when you’re finished crying, Sonia.”

Maybe he is more bonded to us than we thought, or maybe while he was on the run we realized just how good he has it here. Or maybe he was just hungry. I have no idea how he found his way back, but I’m so glad he did.

Now, if you will excuse me, we have a baby gate to put up at the front door.

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The New Guy

Yeah, so, we got a new dog.

I know, I know. Homer passed away just two weeks ago, but I just couldn’t help myself. I really, really miss Homer. I was just so very sad without him. We had him cremated and his ashes arrived last Wednesday. I picked them up to move them to a shelf, and I started crying. Eventually we will plant Homer’s ashes with a tree when we buy a home, so Homer will always be with us.

On Saturday, I broke down crying at the idea of another dog eating out of Homer’s bowls. “Homer doesn’t want another dog eating out of his bowls,” I sobbed. I picked them up, washed him and put them away. I also couldn’t bring myself to wash his blankets, which we put in a bag and put in the closet. And, I just missed having a pet around so much. Pets are so wonderful, and they make me feel really at home. I’ve always had pets my entire life. I don’t know how to be without them, I guess.

So, here you go. Meet Toby.

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He’s pretty cute, right? He’s a 2-year-old dachshund/jack russell mix (they think), and he’s got the softest fur ever and the most adorable ears. He’s as quiet as a mouse. He never barks. We couldn’t resist.

We adopted Toby from the Humane Society Silicon Valley. They picked him up from a kill shelter right before his time was about to run out. He’s been in two foster homes. He’s got a little heart murmur, which requires him to take a pill twice a day. Since he started the meds, the doctors can’t even hear the heart murmur anymore. He’s a bit of a medical miracle.

I guess a 2-year-old dog with a heart murmur is a deal breaker for some folks, but I think he is so deserving of a good home, and we’re a good home.

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Toby: “The couch is my favorite place.” Sonia: “Me too!”

We met Toby on Sunday at his foster parent’s house in San Leandro. She works for the Humane Society, and she has two dogs of her own: a three-legged dog and a blind dog. I know, right? She takes such good care of them, and they are so cute and smart. She called them her “foster fails” because she was supposed to just be fostering them, but she just fell in love with them.

We took Toby for a walk to a nearby park to play fetch. It was love at first sight for me, and I think Toby really likes me, too. Mighty, mighty good boy Calvin was more interested in going down the slide, and mighty, mighty good man David was spending most of his time chasing around Calvin, but they really like him, too.

The foster parent could tell that we’re good people, and we adopted him right on the spot. I thanked her for taking such good care of him.

His shelter name was Bingo, but we wanted to give him a new name. Toby made the list because Sherlock Holmes had a dog named Toby, and David is a big Sherlock fan. Ultimately, we let Calvin decide. We gave him a few different names to choose from, and Calvin said, “Toby Doggy.” So, that’s how he got his name. Toby is also a “Thomas the Tank Engine” train, so Calvin likes that name.

Toby has been a little shy around the house, but he is starting to warm up. He’s getting playful. He’s been nervous around Calvin, and Calvin has been jealous of all the attention Toby has been getting. I’ve been giving Calvin treats to give to Toby, so I’m sure Toby will warm up to him in no time. And Calvin is starting to understand that Toby is here to stay; that he’s not just visiting.

It’s a big adjustment. We’re not used to a young dog that has energy. He requires walks, toys and all that stuff. Homer was sooo over that stuff for years. Toby isn’t quite house trained either, which sucks, but we’re working on that. He’s a smart guy. I think he will get with the program.

A new dog could never replace Homer in my heart. That’s a completely ridiculous thought. But having Toby around does make my heart feel a little better. He’s a rescue dog that really needs a good home, and we’re a good home that needs a dog. I feel like Toby and our family kinda need each other right now.

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Dorking Out Episode 12: The Star Wars Prequels Strike Back

Yeah, so, in this week’s episode of Dorking Out, Smith and I talk to the men behind the new documentary “The Prequels Strike Back.”

It’s a really interesting discussion about the “Star Wars” prequels. While original “Star Wars” trilogy fans downright hate the prequels, to a younger generation the prequels are awesome. Have we all been too hard on the prequels? Are they better than we think? Listen and find out.

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If you want to read about what I think about all the “Star Wars” movies, I rewatched them all last summer and wrote them. Here are the links: “Phantom Menace,” “Attack of the Clones,” “Revenge of the Sith,” “Star Wars,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return Of The Jedi.”

Smith and I also review the movie “Sully,” starring Tom Hanks and directed by Clint Eastwood. How do you build suspense when everyone already knows that the story has a happy ending? We chat a bit of the career of Clint Eastwood as well.

You can listen to it on our website, or you can find us on iTunes, Stitcher, and YouTube.


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Life After Homer

Yeah, so, I want to thank everyone who commented, texted, called, tweeted and Facebooked about Homer. Your kind words really meant a lot.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it for you guys, it’s been tough. Homer was a part of our family, and for such a little dog he has left a very big hole.

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When David and I got married, Homer dressed up in his fanciest bow tie for the wedding.

The most difficult time for me has been in the evenings. After Calvin goes to bed, my mighty, mighty good man David and I sit on the couch to drink a beer and watch a movie, and Homer isn’t there to snuggle with us. Later, when we go to bed, Homer isn’t there to sleep with us. I’ve shed tears every night since he died. After almost 15 years of having him curl up and sleep at my feet, it hurts so much that he’s not there.

I realize it’s going to get better. But right now, it totally fuckin’ sucks.

My mighty, mighty good boy Calvin has handled it well. This is a tough thing for an almost 5-year-old boy to understand, let alone an almost 5-year-old autistic boy. The first morning without Homer, he asked where he was and went looking for him. It was so sad. I explained that Homer was gone, and he wasn’t coming back. I said, “Homer loves you very much. He will miss you.” And then I started crying, and Calvin became very concerned that I was crying.

We heard from the preschool teachers that Calvin was asking them to read books with him about dogs – books he doesn’t usually ask to read. And he was excitedly pointed out every dog we saw to and from the drive to preschool. He started asking to watch “Clifford.” He wasn’t talking about Homer, but he was clearly thinking about him and missing him.

Two days after he went looking for Homer, he mentioned him again. Calvin had gotten into our bed in the middle of the night. The next morning, I woke up and Calvin was looking at me.

“I’m sad,” he said.

“I’m so sorry you’re sad,” I replied. “Do you want a hug?”

We hugged.

“Why are you sad?” I asked.

“I’m sad,” he replied.

“Do you miss Homer?” I asked.

“Yes. I miss Homer,” he said.

This was a big moment. Calvin doesn’t really talk about his feelings. The fact that he recognized he was sad and said something was a big deal. I called David into the room, so we could all talk about it.

“We all miss Homer very much,” I told him. “It’s OK to be sad. I’m glad you told us.” We had a family hug, and David let him know that we were all sad about Homer, and it was OK to talk about him.

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Kisses for Homer.

The next day, we saw a dog that kinda looked like Homer.

“It’s Homer,” Calvin said, excitedly.

We had to explain that the dog just looked like Homer, and that it wasn’t Homer. Obviously, Calvin doesn’t understand death, and I don’t know if I want him to yet, to be honest. Death sucks. Maybe he can go on a little bit longer without having to deal with heavy shit like death. I know I don’t want to deal with it, either.

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Hey, remember when this blog used to be all restaurant reviews, fun stuff I did in San Francisco and stories about how awesome David is? Sigh. Now it’s all breast cancer, autism, dead family pets and panic attacks. Lame! I’ll try to write something a little more fun in the next post. What should I write about, you guys? Maybe it’s time for me to write the blog post about the worst wedding photo ever taken. It was taken at my friend Amanda and Brock’s wedding, and it’s definitely the worst photo of ME ever taken. I’ve been saving it for a special occasion.

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Dorking Out Episode 11: Let’s talk about Fall TV shows

Yeah, so, I love to talk about TV, so this week’s Dorking Out is pretty fun for me. Well, they’re all fun for me, but this one is extra fun, because TV!

Smith, Master P and I share the new fall TV shows that we are most excited about. While Smith and Peter picked all things “Star Trek” and Marvel, my picks were less, umm, genre-related, I guess. I went with “Gilmore Girls,” “The Good Place” and “Pitch,” a one drama about a female pitcher playing in Major League Baseball. I think those picks makes me a bigger dork that Smith and Peter put together.

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In our second segment, Smith and I talk about the first year of Stephen Colbert’s “The Late Show,” which turns into a fun discussion about the current late-night TV landscape. Who are we watching, and who are we not watching? Listen to find out.

You can listen to our podcast on DorkingOutShow.com, or you can find us on iTunes, Stitcher, and YouTube. For links to all the headlines we discussed, sign up for our newsletter.


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We need your reviews

Yeah, so, I need your help. Well, “Dorking Out” needs your help.

We need reviews on iTunes. It increases our podcast’s visibility on iTunes, and it increases our odds of being included in the New & Noteworthy section. If you have an iTunes account, it will just take a few seconds. If you don’t have an iTunes account, why don’t you have an iTunes account? You should make one and review us. Plus, it’s an easy way to listen to our podcast. Just sayin’.

I’ve taken some handy screenshots to show you how easy it is. You can click this link riiight here, or you go into iTunes and do a search for “Dorking Out Show,” and we will pop up. You click the Dorking Out icon at the bottom under Podcasts.

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There’s a Ratings and Reviews tab, you click that, and it will look like this.

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Then, you just write a review. A good review would be nice. If you have something mean to say about us and our show, maybe just put that in the comments here or on DorkingOutShow.com. The reviews take 24 hours to publish, so if you don’t see your review after you publish it, that’s why.

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See? It’s super easy, and it really, REALLY helps us. You like helping people, don’t you? Also, my birthday is in October. You can consider this my early birthday present. Please, and thank you!


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Dorking Out Episode 10: Our Star Trek Extravaganza

Yeah, so, this week’s “Dorking Out” episode is all about “Star Trek.” And I mean ALL about “Star Trek.”

The episode clocks in at about 2 hours and 45 minutes, but that’s because the “Star Trek” universe is so huge, and we talk to so many interesting people. We have authors Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross, who wrote the great book,  “The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek: The First 25 Years.” Plus, we have Jeff Bond, who wrote the book “The Music of Star Trek,” produced the “Star Trek: The Original Series Complete Soundtrack” box set for La-La Records, and starred at Dr. McCoy in the fan series “Star Trek: New Voyages.”

Pretty rad, right? You should listen. It’s a long episode, but there’s a lot of good stuff in there about all the different “Star Trek” series and movies, as well as some behind-the-scenes dirt.

You can listen to it here, or you can find us on iTunes, Stitcher, and YouTube.

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Homer

Yeah, so, Homer passed away today.

As you know, Homer went to the vet a few weeks ago for a variety of ailments. He did his best to put on a brave face, but the truth is he was not OK. He was having a lot of trouble walking, and he had stopped eating his food and was barely drinking enough water. We were able to get him to eat some people food, but after a while he even started turning that down. He started pooping blood. I don’t mean there was blood in his stool. I mean, there were puddles of blood. It was awful. That’s when we rushed him to the vet. The doctor gave us a couple of options, but the truth is he was not happy, and he was not healthy. He was suffering. We could have done all the medical things and maybe bought him a few more days, a few more weeks, but his quality of life would be terrible.

We love Homer too much for that.

We didn’t want him to keep suffering just because we didn’t want to let him go. My mighty, mighty good man David and I wrapped him a cozy blanket, and we kissed and snuggled him as he passed. “Thank you for being my dog, Homer,” I said. “I love you, and I’ll miss you.” After he drifted away, I crumpled into a sobbing mess on top of him.

Making that decision was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, and I had breast cancer twice. Our love for our pets is not complicated, and they love us unconditionally. We wanted to do right by Homer, but our hearts were breaking to do it. There was a battle between my heart and my mind, and it was tearing me up inside. Ultimately, I feel we did the right thing for Homer. We would never let him suffer. Of course, the knowledge that we did the right thing doesn’t make it hurt any less.

I just can’t believe he’s gone. There’s a little place in my heart that is empty, and it hurts.

I got Homer almost 15 years ago as a Christmas present from my Mom. Before I got Homer, I was so lonely. I wasn’t alone. I had friends and family, but I was lonely. After Homer, I wasn’t lonely anymore. He was my main guy.

We went through a lot together. I got Homer right when Michelle found out she was pregnant with Lorelei. Homer and Lorelei grew up together. Homer and I moved five times. I met David and got married. Homer was in the wedding ceremony. He wore a bowtie and walked down the aisle with Lorelei. He stayed by my side as I recovered from countless breast cancer surgeries and last year’s chemotherapy. He used to sit in the doorway of Calvin’s bedroom, like he was guarding it. He was a great fur-brother to Calvin. They loved each other.

We had all kinds of adventures. I took him on a houseboat trip to Shasta. I used to bring him to parties. Homer was the best ice breaker ever. I brought him into the office on Sundays when I worked at The Examiner. One day he jumped up on the managing editor’s desk and ate his lunch. True story. It was so embarrassing … and awesome, because I hated that guy anyway. David and I took him to wine country. We went to Palm Springs. We used to walk for hours on the Iron Horse Trail in the East Bay, and we used to walk all over Golden Gate Park when I lived in the Haight. Once I entered him in a wiener dog race. Good buddy Kate tried to put Homer in the starting box, and I waited at the finish line with a corn dog. Homer was so fast, but not that day. He didn’t even finish. He just wandered into the crowd to get some pets from the bystanders.

There are a million Homer stories I could tell. He was such a character. David always did this really funny voice for Homer. He sounded kinda like the creepy guy on “Family Guy.” I am going to miss Homer’s “voice.” I’m going to miss how happy he was to see me when I got home from work or if I just got back from going to get the mail. I’ll miss how he always wanted to be close to us, and sometimes when he was feeling really needy he would walk to the head of the bed and try to sleep with his head on a pillow like he’s people. I’ll miss how he would sit under Calvin’s chair at the table and wait for food to start raining down. I’ll miss the sound of him snoring in the middle of the night. David works from home, and I know how much he is going to miss his office buddy. I’ll miss seeing him contort his body to perfectly fit a sunny spot. But mostly, I’m going to miss how much he loved me; how much he loved us.

We are mourning the loss of an important member of our family. And he was family. We have very heavy hearts in our house. Little things remind us of Homer, and then we cry, and then we tell a funny Homer story and laugh.

I am going to miss my Homer. Rest in peace, my mighty, mighty good dog.

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