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>R.I.P. Buster


Our beloved Buster died last Friday, just after he attained his majority–he was twenty-one.

That’s the guess, anyway–he came into my life when Betsy Hearne, out with her dog, saw him in a Chicago park for two days running and brought him into our office. For me. (If Betsy Hearne ever suggests you do something, trust me, do it.) The vet who checked him out then said he seemed just about a year old. We will never know from whence he came, but he was fixed and housebroken and well-fed; my guess is that he got out and lost. (My friend Nina used to tease me that there was a child in Chicago who sobbed herself every night to sleep asking “Where’s b-b-b-Brownie?”)

Thanks to all of his friends, especially Horn Book alumnae Anita Burkam, Claire Gross, Marilyn Bousquin, and the late Amy Chamberlain, who kept an eye on him when I had to go out of town. If I do say so myself, he had a great life.

Updated to add the original glamor shot:

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Peg Kehret says:

    >Dear old Buster! He was a lucky dog to be so loved, and you and Richard were fortunate to have him enrich your lives. I send you my sympathy.

  2. Jennifer Schultz says:

    >So sorry to hear of his passing. Even though that's a good long life for a dog, dogs just don't live long enough! I clicked on your tag and saw a picture that you posted some time ago. What a handsome boy….perhaps he had some Collie in him?

  3. >Buster was such a sweetie, and he definitely had a great life. In case the March 1997 cover here seems random, I'd like to point out Buster's role as stand-in for Petra Mathers's big bad wolf.

  4. Roger Sutton says:

    >We tended to call him a beagle-collie-shepherd but every once in a while something would take him over and he'd point.

  5. Loretta Ellsworth says:

    >It seems the best pets are the ones who come randomly and unexpectedly into our lives.

  6. Monica Edinger says:

    >He looks to have been a sweetie indeed. My condolences.

  7. >Oh I'm so sorry, Roger. I know how hard losing a beloved dog is.

  8. >I'm so very very sorry and wow – 21 years! That's really impressive.

  9. Roger Sutton says:

    >Thanks, everybody. I'm still dealing with the sad novelty of not having to leave the house at least three times a day, rain, snow, sleet notwithstanding. Thank God I already gave up drinking!

  10. says:

    >Sorry to have missed sending my condols earlier, Roger. I was just saying to another friend yesterday, we take on our furred friends in full knowledge that we are only going to have them for a short time. And yet, and yet–that time goes all too quickly and death always comes as an awful surprise. Many hugs for you and Buster.


  11. Susan Patron says:

    >Roger, I'm so sorry. Condolences to you and Richard.

    Good dog, Buster–RIP.

  12. Misrule says:

    >Commiserations, Roger, from one who lost her beloved almost-made-it-to-20 cat last year.

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