I had written to you earlier this year to tell let you know how much of a blessing Hooch had been to our family.  As well, how big a part of our family he had become, how much each of us loved him and to thank you for the opportunity to give Hooch a safe, caring home.

It seems today, somehow, important to share with each of you the immense grief that our family is experiencing at our lost of Hooch this morning (Saturday, December 16th) at 7:15AM.  I felt compelled to let others that loved and had cared for Hooch, as did our family, know that Hooch was gone.

My wife (Melissa) did not know planning our trip in October of 2005 to come and get Hooch if she would be attached to him or not; however, as soon as the two of them met that morning they developed an instant bond and Hooch became Melissa’s dog.  Hooch was deeply loved by each of our children and myself, however, the love that existed between Melissa and Hooch was extraordinary.

For the past year to say that Hooch was loved and had a great home is a huge understatement.  With the help of our local vet we had completely resolved his issues with his eyes (they were clear and his tear ducts were working again), addressed his allergies and, according to the vet, he was in good health weighing 69 lbs. at his last visit a month ago.

Hooch went with me and Melissa to the local Mexican restaurant drive-thru last night as he traveled with us all the time and he entertained the kids after wards by rolling around on his back (his nightly ritual after eating) and “dancing” to an animated singing Christmas decoration.  Hooch always slept in our king-size bed and even up to 4:00AM this morning he and I were “goofing around” as he was nuzzling my arm so that I would continue to pet him.

Three hours later, without warning, Hooch was having trouble breathing and could not walk.  Hooch never left our home as Melissa and I were right there comforting him to his last breath so we are thankful that his passing did not have to happen without us or in an environment outside of his home.

Hooch will be buried on my father-in-law’s property here in Orange Grove, Texas and I can honestly say that there has not been a member of our family that will be missed any more than Hooch.

Again, thank you for the opportunity to have Hooch in our lives as the memories of him being a part of our family will be cherished forever.

The Holmes & Family