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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy Birthday to My Beau

Cornell veterinary college community and visitors to the campus sometimes recognize pictures of Beau, my red English Cocker Spaniel who will be 14-years-old on Election Day, November 2, 2010. He is my joyful and loyal companion.

Beau Loving the Snow, March 2007

Beau and his littermate, Belle, arrived in Ithaca the month I was named dean of the college in 1997. These sweet, bouncy pups were inseparable and the delight of my wife and our three children. In the past 14 years, Beau has visited the college on countless occasions for annual medical appointments, student dog washes, office and class visits, and sad hospital stays when Belle was dying of liver disease caused by immune mediated hemolytic anemia. The children have grown, moved away, and graduated from programs in law, medicine and business.

While I was dean, Beau and Belle entertained students, alumni, staff and guests in our home, often creating a buoyant tone for the evening. When my term as dean ended, my wife requested a photographic portrait, and my exceptionally-talented friend, George Kalinsky, arranged to photograph me in Central Park in New York City. We loved the proofs that included Beau, and selected one of those for the official portrait that hangs in the college atrium.

I have to laugh. After my trip to Alaska with Beau and sabbatical leave in 2008, I returned to teaching. My tutor groups sometime see my computer screen saver which has a picture of Beau. They often recognized him first, and later identify me as the man in the portrait.