Hudson said his final goodbyes to us on February 3, 2022. He was just over 15 years old and we considered him to be our first child. My wife and I found Hudson at a puppy adoption event in 2007. He quickly adapted to his new home and made us part of his pack. Even when we accidentally left the door open after leaving the house, Hudson knew it was his job to wait patiently for our return—even if that meant waiting in the middle of the driveway for a few hours. Who’s a good boy??!! 

Our first “human” child, a boy, came in March of 2008. Hudson wasn’t sure what this new cry-y thing meant to his house, but he quickly took on the role of protector: sleeping by whatever chair his boy was sleeping and his crib at night. They also had a bit of sibling rivalry to get into one of the parent’s laps or even when Hudson hip checked his learning to walk toddler. Ultimately, the child was admitted to the pack but clearly the pecking order was still up for debate.

When Hudson was almost 8, his second human sibling arrived. No one in the house was more excited when we brought her home. All four paws leapt off the ground trying to get a sniff when we first carried her in. He again took on the role of protector.

Hudson was the most gentle creature. He could have the most juicy bone in his mouth, but if you put your hand on it, he would let it go. He knew when you were sad and would come put his head on your lap. Only two times in his life did I hear Hudson give such a snarl, such a growl, such a bark that even I was taken aback: both were when he thought some other dog was threatening one of his kids. He was fiercely loyal.

He was a rare lab that didn’t gobble down all of his food, eating only when he was hungry. If a bowl was empty, he would paw at it to let you know to fill it so that he could sniff it and walk away. He learned to ring a bell to go outside and he loved to play fetch and adored running in the snow. It was running in the snow when he first tore his ACL. He didn’t like the “cone of shame” after the surgery, but he recovered well, but was a little more cautious in the snow after that. It was a snow storm a year ago that signaled his decline. He injured that leg once again at the age of 14 and a year later, at 15 and with arthritis, his health ultimately declined.

He was our first child. He was a lovely soul. He will always be in our hearts.