Gov. Holcomb issues statement on the passing of First Dog Henry Holcomb

INDIANAPOLIS – Governor Eric J. Holcomb issues the following statement on the passing of First Dog Henry Holcomb.

“Henry brought so much joy to Hoosiers young and old, two-legged and four-legged alike. He was more than a family pet to me and Janet as he gifted us daily with his funny, loving ways that we’ll treasure forever.

We thank everyone for embracing Henry and following his journey as the First Dog of Indiana. It warmed our hearts as we traveled the state to be met with the question, “How’s Henry?”

Henry’s exuberance for life will be missed, and his place in our hearts never be replaced.”

First Lady Janet Holcomb issued this statement:

Today we said goodbye to our best friend, First Dog Henry.  We are profoundly saddened by this loss, but memories of sharing our very special boy with his thousands of fans and followers will forever bring smiles to our faces, and joy to our hearts.

From the very first day we met him, Henry captured our hearts with his expressive face, his sweet snuggles, and his sassy attitude.  Since that day, Henry has seldom been more than six feet away from me, and it often seemed his primary goal in life was being part of my shadow.  When he wasn’t with me, he was with Eric.  Henry attended countless meetings, and interviews, and waited patiently and quietly under the table during official state dinners.  He participated in dozens of parades, visited every corner of the state, and knew how to find his dad’s office in the statehouse without human assistance.

In his thirteen years, Henry made thousands of friends, with the littlest humans often being some of his favorites.  For the wedding of two very special friends and dog sitters, he served as ring bearer, walking down the aisle by himself while dressed in a handsome tuxedo.  Henry never really needed to be trained.  He simply watched and listened, and just seemed to know. There were often when we were certain that Henry listened to conversations and knew exactly what was said.

For his first years of life, Henry worked alongside me in the office of my family’s manufacturing business.  When we weren’t working, we loved hiking our State Parks.

Life changed dramatically in 2016, and Henry took it all in stride.  He started his social media accounts to keep Hoosiers up to date on his busy First Dog schedule, and life at the Governor’s residence.  We knew it would be a hit, and it was.

Henry was tough beyond measure, surviving a terrible dog attack, surgeries, and prolonged illness, including thrombocytopenia (a life-threatening auto-immune disorder); and bladder stones which would cause abdominal sepsis.  No matter how sick he was, he refused to give up until age, and compounding health challenges became too much.

It came as no surprise to Eric or me that people across the state and around the world fell in love with our beloved Henry. When we look back on our tenure in office, the memories will forever be intertwined with our Henry and the hundreds of people who have told us that he made them smile.

Henry, we were so lucky to be your humans.  You will always be our very good boy.