HOMER'S STORY

I first met Homer on a very busy Highway 92 in
Auburndale, Florida in February of 1996.  It was a
Saturday morning and John and I were on our way to
the store.  We had just made a right turn on Highway
92 when I noticed 2 dogs coming across the field
heading straight for the highway.  We pulled over
but I was afraid if I got out of the car it might
scare them and they would run into the road.  I had
to do something so I took a chance and decided to get
out figuring if they started running for the street, I
would try and chase them back.

As soon as I opened the car door, the little dog,
which slightly resembled a Chihuahua mix, noticed
me.  He stopped and looked right at me.  At that
point I decided not to get out of the car but rather
to just call him.  As soon as I called, he came running
and jumped right into the car and into my arms.  His
companion, who looked like an Australian
Shepherd-Sheltie mix, stood and watched.  John got
out of the car at that point and walked over to her.  
She wasn't the least bit afraid and let him pick her
up and carry her to the car as well.

We then turned around and went back home to check
them out and feed them.  They were both covered
with fleas so we gave them a bath at home and called
the local PetSmart to get an appointment to take
them in for regular grooming.  We took them that
afternoon and there was quite a big difference when
we picked them up later that day.  They really
looked beautiful.

I ran an ad in the newspaper in the Lost Pet section.  
The ad ran for a week, but nobody claimed them.  
They were both very well trained and very good
housedogs.  I just can't imagine anyone not wanting
them back.

The ad was in the newspaper for a week.  After a
week, the dogs were in our lives permanently.  The
Chihuahua mix looked so much like our Chihuahua,
Maggie, that for the first week we called him "Mr.
Maggie."  When we knew he was going to stay, we
renamed him Homer.  His traveling companion was
named Dusty II because she looked so much like our
original Dusty (See earlier WebPage).

The vet estimated Homer to be about 3 years old
when we brought him to live with us.  He was in good
health and what you might call, "The Perfect Pet".  
We had him neutered about a month after he came to
live with us.  He developed a very bad infection a
week later.  We rushed him to the vet who gave him
penicillin to bring down the fever.  When we got
back to the car, he passed out.  I ran back into the
vet's office with him and they immediately grabbed
him from me and took him to the back.  When we got
back to the room, they were putting cold towels on
him to try and bring down the fever.  He was also
receiving oxygen.  I completely broke down because
I didn't think he would make it.  They kept him on
IV's and oxygen overnight.  The next morning they
called and said he had recovered and could go home.  
It turns out that he probably had an allergic
reaction to the penicillin.

From that day on Homer was truly a member of our
family.  He and Dusty were very close, but he also
bonded with the others.  In the summer of 2001,
Reno (an American Eskimo) came to live with us.  For
some reason Homer didn't think too much of Reno.  
He never tried to attack him, but he would walk
behind him and growl.  He was trying to get Reno's
attention, but Reno just ignored him.  It was actually
comical because Reno was that much bigger than
Homer was and probably thought of him as a real
pest.

On December 18, 2001, I came home from work and
gave all the dogs their supper.  They went out to the
backyard after dinner like they did every night.  
Because at that time of year it would get dark early,
they were only allowed to stay out for about 15
minutes.  I went to call them in but Homer didn't
come in with the rest of them.  John went to the yard
to look for him and found Homer unconscious.  We
tried CPR and "mouth-to-nose" but we just couldn't
revive him.  The vet was called, but my Homer was
already on his way to the Bridge.  The diagnosis was
that Homer had suffered a heart attack that took
him very quickly and without warning.

It all happened so suddenly and left me in shock for
a few days afterward.  I just couldn't believe he was
gone.  There was no warning -- no chance to say
goodbye.  Even though Homer started out as a stray,
he became a very important part of my life because
he chose me.
HOMER WAS A HAPPY LITTLE GUY
THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN AT
CHRISTMAS TIME IN 1996.
__________________________________

HOMER IS AT THE TOP OF THE
SLEIGH.  HIS TRAVELING
COMPANION, DUSTY, IS THE
REINDEER.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT IN THE
SLEIGH ARE TARA, MAGGIE,
AND GINGER.
__________________________________
AT THE TIME OF
RE-PUBLICATION OF THIS
SITE,(6/09) DUSTY IS THE ONLY
ONE STILL WITH US TODAY  
Click HERE to Visit Homer's Rainbow
Bridge Residency
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