When I was nine my family replaced our first dog an akc. golden retreiver with a dog of questionable pedigree from a trailer owner in Maine. According to my mother Augusta “Gus” as she was known to everyone in the neighborhood would go from window to window awaiting my being dropped off by the bus every afternooon. When I would come through the barway in the stonewall Mom would release her and she would rush to me tennis ball in mouth , drop it at my feet and turn in anticipation for me to throw it as far as I could. I would always obilige.

I would stand in the driveway all afternoon and throw that ball till it was disgusting with spit and I was called in for dinner. After dinner as I was doing homework Augusta “Gus” would come to my room and drop that saliva soaked ball next to me turn around and wait for me to throw it. There where times when I don’t know how long she waited before nudgeing my arm to let me know I was not keeping my end up. My mother, to this day reminds me of all the times she had to clean the paint of the saliva and dirt stains in the stairwell. As I grew into teenagedom the afternoon afterschool ball throwing continued. She would accompany me on my paperoute everyday.

Try to escape my mother everyday and join my friends as we roamed the neighborhood. This dog was my best friend. it listened when I had something to say. She played Cold Cut Frisbee. We both enjoyed that. She listened , I tossed salami. Who’s better? when the time came she went to the vet.
She died in my car after being picked up. Given the OK by the vet she waited until expiring till those that loved her picked her up. I will never forget Augusta “gus” She will be in my heart forevert

James from NY