October 7, 2012 by hookershorde
Named for Captain August McCrae in Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning western, Lonesome Dove, my Gus surprises me each day.
He’s gone from a shy rescue dog that hid and shook with fear in the back of a crate to a happy excited puppy.
Yes, he grew into a puppy.
Captain Augustus McCrae was a cowboy. He was loyal. Fiercely so.
He loved Claire. But, when she couldn’t share him with best friend, Woodrow, his cattle, his whores, and his pigs, he let her go.
In the mini series, Gus is played by brilliantly played Bobby Duvall.
Gus takes care of people.
He calls the “whore” that accompanies them, “Lori Darlin’.”
He takes care of her on the cattle drive. . .he takes care of her when she’s kidnapped by Blue Duck. . .and, when he dies, he leaves her his share and note. When Claire offers to read the note to Lori, Lori refuses and says, “I can read my name.” Then, she stands next to his coffin in the back of wagon until sunrise, when she finally falls from exhaustion.
(I swear to God, I get tears in my eyes just thinkin’ of it.)
My Gus wasn’t taken care of. . .
For almost five years, he lived in a cage in a puppy mill in Missouri.
No one called him, “darlin’.”
In July, I saw his big sad brown eyes looking at me from Furburbia’s Facebook page.
For the purposes of Facebook, the dog I saw was named “Barley.”
He came home.
I called him “Harley,” short for Harley Davidson for a week.
But, it didn’t fit.
After awhile, he peeled himself away from the crate and started to sit on the stair landing.
My friend, Elfie (her name is really Nora) was in town.
“I need to change his name,” I announced as we sat at the table looking up at him.
“Gus,” I whispered. “Captain Augustus McCrae.”
And, he Gus’ ears perked up. . .
In this lifetime, I’ll take care of Gus.