Astra Carey, 31 October 1992-9 January 2009

My darling girl and the love of my life Astra died at 6:30 p.m. 9 January 2009.

She spent her final day being extremely boisterous for her breakfast at 5:30 a.m., being variously sat beside and sat upon by her young sister, Marcie, and taking in as many B-movies as it is possible for a deaf, blind, elderly dog to absorb, all things she did most days for many years.

Astra was an amazing Italian Greyhound. During her long life she climbed the Bridal Veil falls trail and played in the falls’ freezing spray, ran on Miami Beach at sunrise, chased armadillos and wild boars, aspirated a sandspur, consumed an entire bag of dark chocolate, was stung by a bee, dove into an alligator-infested river, and walked thousands of miles with me in all sorts of environments. Astra survived all her adventures and misadventures with good cheer and a hearty appetite. Over the years I said many prayers to Saint Francis and Saint Mary imploring them to watch over and protect this loving, gentle soul and I believe she is receiving a warm welcome in paradise tonight and rejoining her sister, Queequeg, who went first as always a few years ago.

Until arthritis affected her range of motion these final years, the first sound I heard every morning after the alarm clock was Astra’s tail, thumping the bed, ready to greet another day in happiness and with love.

Astra was frequently infatuated with animals of other species, particularly rabbits and cats, and though her affections were often misunderstood she remained steadfast.

I have no other words to express my grief but also my ineffable gratitude at having had so many wonderful years with such a wonderful child.