Wednesday, August 13, 2008


It's with a heavy heart tonight that I write in memory of my dear doggy friend Homer. Homer showed up on the doorstep of our friends Heather and Grant about 7 years ago and instantly made himself a member of their family. This sweet black lab mix was extremely loving and so goofy that he always brought a smile to your face. As a puppy he had this funny habit of sitting right on top of you if you sat down on the floor. He and his happy tail always came out to greet visitors as they approached Heather and Grant's home out in the country. I found out just this morning that Homer passed away last week.

A couple of weeks ago when Heather and Grant were preparing to go on a vacation to Florida, Homer began having difficulty walking and using his back legs. The vet examined him and guessed that he had a pinched nerve in his back, but when the paralysis spread to his front legs as well, Heather knew something else was wrong. Homer was unable to walk most of the time and had to be carried in and outside to go potty. Heather researched the strange symptoms and guessed that Homer had come into contact with a raccoon somewhere on their many acres and had come down with Coonhound Paralysis. At a second vet visit, the vet agreed that this might be the problem. There is no treatment, but most dogs with this temporary paralysis recover within a few months. Heather just continued to carry him in and out--not an easy feat since he was a pretty large dog.

Right before they left for vacation Homer seemed to be doing better. He was getting around a little bit and they let him outside to go potty on his own. Homer's funniest quirk had always been that he wouldn't go potty in front of anyone, so he wandered off into a secluded area to relieve himself. Apparently while he was alone the paralysis struck again and he was unable to get back to the house. They searched for Homer for hours, but on an extremely hot August day, Homer died before they could find him. Heather and Grant didn't tell us the terrible news until the got back from vacation this week.

I know Heather and their daughter Quillen are especially devastated, and my heart just breaks for them. We are going to miss Homer so much too. I tore the house apart tonight trying to find a picture of him so that I could post it here. I know we have some from one weekend that he and his canine sister Leo stayed with us, but for the life of me I couldn't find them. I've searched through every picture box and computer file I could find to no avail. I just wanted to see that sweet little Homey face one more time. Hopefully he and our sweet boy Steeler are having a happy reunion together in heaven.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Iam so sorry to hear about Homer. When Max died I typed up this poem (I found it but tweaked it a little) and framed it with his picture. I hope Grant, Heather & Quillen are doing okay. Here's the poem:

He will not go quietly,
the dog who shared our lives.
In subtle ways, he lets us know
his spirit still survives.
Old habits still make us think
we hear a barking outside the door
Or take a step back
when we drop a morsel on the floor
Our eyes still wander to where
the food dish used to be.
And, sometimes, coming home at night
we miss him terribly.
And altho time may bring new friends
and a new food dish to fill.
That one place in our hearts
will always belong to him.