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'A lover of couches': This woman's obit for her dog will make you laugh (and cry)

by Brittany Loggins /

People generally try to surround themselves with friends and family. When you're a dog lover, you get the best of both worlds: a pet that's both a friend and family.

That’s certainly the mindset of Lee DiBella, a fifth-grade teacher at F.J. Kingsbury School in Waterbury, Connecticut, who wrote a heartfelt and hilarious obituary for her pup named Brian. And just about every dog lover can relate to her touching words.

 DiBella hugged her best friend tightly at the vet's office on the night that he passed away. Courtesy Lee DiBella

Brian was adopted by his mother, Lee Dibella, on December 19th, 2006,” DiBella wrote in the obituary. “And quickly became a dog [that] legends are made of.”

She detailed the 13-year-old pup's playful, loving spirit and devious tendencies.

“Some of Brian's favorite activities included barking at things not there,” DiBella continued. “Cuddling alongside you, taking over his mother's bed, licking his butt, acting like a spazz when it was time to be fed, and trying to figure out who exactly was ‘the good boy.’”

According to DiBella, Brian, who was named after the dog in "Family Guy," was loved by everyone that met him.

“I was just thinking about how anybody that met him fell in love with him immediately,” DiBella, 40, told TODAY. “And I thought, ‘I wonder what his obituary would look like if he was a human?’”

 "I would run into people and they would say, 'I ran into you and your dog!'" said DiBella. "People just knew him." Courtesy Lee DiBella

As DiBella pondered Brian’s qualities, she realized that she not only wanted to write everything down — she also wanted to see if she could get it published. Throughout Brian's life, DiBella kept documentation of his milestones, and she wanted to include a tribute to his life as well.

“I just wanted something tangible,” DiBella said. “When I adopted him, he got this adoption book of his first shots, his first friends — so I submitted it [the obituary] to the local paper.”

And while the local paper told DiBella that they didn’t publish pet obituaries, she didn't stop there. She sent the entire obituary out to her local NBC affiliate station on Twitter. After reading DiBella's sweet tribute to Brian, they agreed to publish it.

DiBella made sure she detailed the love and joy that he brought to her life.

“Through thick and thin, she (DiBella) loved him with all her heart,” DiBella wrote. “And though the pain she feels without him is great, it in no way would compare to having never had him in her life.”

See the full obituary below:

Brian died peacefully, alongside his mom of nearly 11 years, Wednesday, July 12th, under the care of Stone Veterinary Hospital staff.

Brian was adopted by his mother, Lee Dibella, on December 19th, 2006, and quickly became a dog legends are made of. Brian arrived in our home with the ability to not only sit, but also "give paw." Being able to destroy any crate, gate, door handle or trim and molding in his way, Brian quickly began building loving relationships with all those who came in contact with him, whether it be a new vet, animal control, or whoever's house he found his way to for an uninvited romp.

A lover of couches and blankets, Brian had many hobbies. Some of Brian's favorite activities included barking at things not there, cuddling alongside you, taking over his mother's bed, licking his butt, acting like a spazz when it was time to be fed, and trying to figure out who exactly was "the good boy." In his spare time, Brian dreamt violently, thrashing his legs, presumably chasing dastardly felines or squirrels who dared enter his dreams. The quickest way to Brian's heart was with a quality scratch of his rear, and a rub of his belly.

Brian will be greatly missed by many, but none more so than his mom. Through thick and thin, she loved him with all her heart, and though the pain she feels without him is great, it in no way would compare to having never had him in her life. Besides his mother, Brian leaves behind a sister, Dr. Frigo Delilah, grandmother, Jeannette DiBella; predeceased by a grandfather, David; his uncle, Michael and family; god-mother, Jennifer DeWitt; and many amazing friends throughout the years.

At the wishes of Brian's family, give your dog an extra hug, belly rub, and treat.

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