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Augie, 1993—2010

My beloved dog, Augie, died on Friday, August 13, 2010. She was 17 years old. An earlier post, celebrating her 17 years, told her “bio,” rescued as a shelter dog from Arlington, VA, and her gracing my life from the time she was several months old. She was with me all of her life, in Arlington/Metro D.C. area, Louisiana, to her final stop in Kentucky. My best friend, Chris, said it well yesterday, when he told me “she was a sweet, sweet dog.” So true. I think I can honestly say every human she met was touched by her unfailing sweetness and grace. She was an elegant, beautiful and loving dog. People never stopped asking me on the street, “what kind of dog is that?” and wound up always saying “she is so sweet!” She was. She was my best friend, through some of the worst storm I have weathered, literally (Hurricane Rita) and figuratively.

Old age claimed her, ultimately. The last 6 months of her life were a little rough to see, but I never heard the voice inside that said it’s time. My dear friends Jack, Laura, Tom, and dear dear Billy, did, alas. She once was the fearless “loud little dog,” who barked at the slightest movement. The animal whose eyes always moved first toward an unseen sound, before her head did. The very fast Whippet genes that propelled her across our front yard at the farm in Opelousas, LA, where she thrived in the vast open space of 120 acres, raised her curiosity about the newborn calves across the fence, and her endless quest to play ball, or her wanting to “go get Ringo.” At the end, her eyes were clouded with cataracts, her hearing, diminished, and an injured back right leg.

But her love for me, and her Grandma, was omnipresent. Augie was love, you see. Maybe I should have named her Dearie, I often thought. She was called Miss Thing, Boo, The Augster and the best thing that’s ever happened in my life. I shall miss her dearly the rest of my life.

I want to thank some people who played huge roles in our lives, and who reached out for me yesterday. To Chris and Jason, two of the best men on the planet, for beautiful words, written and spoken. To Barbara and Al, my true family in D.C., for steeling me for the inevitability of her death, and comfort when I broke it to them. Much much much love, todo años, sempre, to Andrea and Kyle (“remember who loves you most, Marco!”) for virtual or real arms that hugged me when I was heaving great sobs last night, and shoulders to cry on. And especial thanks and love to Jack, Laura, Tom and Billy for doing what I could not, after trying, I know, for a week to sustain her while I was away. You guys always made the gallery a home away from home for us both. Your love is unending for both of us. To my Mom, Augie’s Grandma, for her babysitting, and companionship for Augie. My two little old ladies.

And most of all, so much love to my Sister, Lynne. I cannot put into words how much your love for me and Augie means. I can only say I love you, Lynne.

And you, Augie, I miss you little girl. I will forever and ever. You were one of God’s greatest blessings to so many of us. Your Daddy Loves You.