Well, that’s not his real name, but that’s what I call my 12 year old Golden Retriever. He probably thinks that it’s his real name by now, but then again he has many names. What started out as “Holmes” slowly turned into “Homie”, “Homeless”, “Homeless Kablonless”, “Homie Cabana”, and of course “Homie Balonie”.
He was given to me as a puppy after a friend of mine found him as a stray in her neighborhood. She brought him to work and immediately I wanted to take this little crazy dog home with me. I love animals, maybe too much sometimes, and Homie is by far the best dog that I’ve every owned. He’s like a son to me and we know one another like white on rice. He truly has been this man’s best friend (next to my wife of course).
Though i know he’s getting old, it wasn’t until this past weekend that I realized how old he really is. You wouldn’t think that he was 12, especially by his playful, puppy-like behavior. He loves people and loves to play. If he sees you at a distance while out on a walk, he’ll want to run straight towards you (while freaking you out at the same time) just so he can meet you and get petted. Dogs are awesome. I don’t know any other word to describe them, especially this one.
Well, while at the park, in the middle of playing with another dog, i noticed that Homie was exhibiting some balance issues. Looked like he was drunk, but it was obvious that his equilibrium was off. It was almost as if he were having a small stroke. Not sure yet. But I immediately squatted down next to him, held him close to help him keep his balance, and simply asked him what was wrong. This helpless feeling came over me and if it would have gotten worse, I’m man enough to admit that I would have teared up. Once he got his composure, I thought it would be a good idea to walk over to this fountain nearby so he could cool off a little, and that’s what we did. Near the fountain he once again showed signs of imbalance, but once he got in the water, he chilled for a little while and he hasn’t exhibited this issue again . . . . yet.
Why am I writing this little story about my dog? I don’t know, but because he’s so close to my heart, I had to write down my thoughts and feelings. I’m not sure what i’ll do when he passes, but that time could come sooner than I think. Most Golden’s live about 12 – 14, maybe even 16 years. Hopefully those will be a llloooonnngggg few more years.
I’m doing as much as I can with him now. I know that he loves the water, so I’ll be taking him to do some more swimming soon in a lake or two. Getting him out of the house more than usual, and working to get him around other dogs more often. Just want him to have a lot of fun his last few years.
I’ve thought of writing a children’s book based on Homie’s life. There are a lot of stories to tell and tons of morals to teach though them. Yeah, as a puppy he chewed up my glasses, a cell phone, shoes, and window base boards, but he’s come a long way since then and if i could clone him I would. Best freakin dog ever.
With all of this said, I’ll most likely be writing a little more about Homie and sharing some thoughts and insight about life in general, based on what I feel I’ve learned from this dog. This could be the beginning of the book I want to write, which would be appropriately titled “Homie Balonie”. Thanks for reading.
– Hector Garcia