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.