Herman. He was one fine-looking chocolate lab. Sporting his hunter green collar he would swagger about the dog park, sit on people’s feet and generally be cute as hell. What is there to say? He died too damn young.
Though I’m hardly more than a casual observer – our dogs were park pals and I consider his mom and dad friends – I know a few things for certain. Herman was loved, well cared for and his absence has left heartbreak in its wake.
On our first day at the dog park, back when Henry was a year old, we met Mark and Herman. I liked to call them the “H” dogs and Mark and I talked up a storm, in between marveling at the silliness of our dog's behavior. Our first day at the dog park was also Mark and Herman's first day, and how nice it was to share that experience with them. The “H” dogs were instant friends – wrestling, running, chasing, tugging – they instinctively knew how to play with one another.
Over the next couple of years we spent many afternoons at the dog park. Enter Moki, Crash and a few others – and their moms and dads (Moki is the other dog in photos on this page). Dog days were fun. Life was good.
Then one day, not all that many weeks ago, Herman was diagnosed with cancer. It was an aggressive type without many options for treatment. Despite a strong albeit brief comeback, Herman died August 21. He was not even five years old.
This writing is intended to honor the missing "H" dog. My heart goes out to his mom and dad. I hope to always remember Herman’s lovely gentle spirit.