Brownie Amorosi (c. April 1998 - March 2010)

Brownie Amorosi loved getting her chin scratched

On March 10, 2010, Brownie Amorosi passed away after dealing with symptoms and conditions related to old age. My husband and I had our arms around her when she died. Her Grandmom and Uncle D were there too, along with her favorite doctor. We loved Brownie beyond all measure.

I first saw Brownie when I was looking at houses. She was in the yard that eventually became ours, and at the time I thought she was the neighbor’s dog. For the next two years Brownie was a regular visitor – she showed up every night at 11 PM for the food I left out for her – but she was terrified of me and would run away if I approached her. Then one afternoon I was baking and the house was hot so I opened the back door. To my surprise, Brownie strolled in, jumped on the sofa and fell asleep. Later that day I repaired the broken section of fence she was using to come and go, and that put a huge smile on her face - the photo at right was taken minutes after. From that day forward we were a family, and Brownie was our baby.

Early in March of 2005, Brownie was diagnosed with malignant oral melanoma, and on April 2, 2005, Brownie had a partial mandibulectomy to remove the cancer. On that day Brownie not only had her immediate family and the top-notch medical staff at the University of Pennsylvania pulling for her, she also had a huge internet family who said prayers, sent positive vibes and cheered her on with, “Good Girl Brownie!”  It worked. The surgery was a success, the small hole in her bottom jaw didn't impede her ability to enjoy bones (her doctor snapped the photo at right), and Brownie's tumor was used to make vaccines for other dogs with cancer. She had several months of chemotherapy, and on August 5, 2005, we were overjoyed to learn that Brownie was in remission. We were told she might live another year, *maybe* a year and half. Brownie had other plans; she lived almost another *five* years, and the disease never came back. Brownie beat cancer.

Brownie loved going for walks, but it wasn’t always that way. When she first moved in with us she was terrified to go back outside; merely seeing the leash would send her running and howling. We never forced the issue until she was diagnosed with cancer, and then she *had* to leave the house for treatments. It was a turning point in her life because she got used to going out and became a social butterfly: she learned to trust new people (but remained afraid of children), she began to enjoy playing with other dogs, she got comfortable riding in cars and cabs, she went to parties and even ate in restaurants (True! She had the grilled cheese). She stole a softball from one of the teams that plays down the block, and she was so comical trying to hide behind me with it that they let her keep it. People from all over the country sent Brownie cards and toys. Everybody loved Brownie.

Brownie loved flowers and perfume. In our neighborhood a lot of people have container gardens in front of their houses, and when Brownie and I were on walks she would make people laugh because she would stop and smell their flowers. She was especially fond of petunias, orange blossoms and roses. In the photo at right she was so persistent in her desire to smell the Walking Iris bloom I couldn’t get a shot of it without her nose in the frame. It’s one of my favorite Brownie photos.

Brownie had many names including: Brownie Girl, Sweet Georgia Brownie, Bad Leroy Brownie, My Brownie Valentine, Clownie Brownie, Brownie Walnuts (she would shake my husband down for walnuts), Gor (a word she used to say), Puppycat, and a very special name I’ll tell you all sometime in the future.

Some of you – especially my forum friends – may wonder why it took me three weeks tell everyone. Brownie was the canine love of my life and I'm heartbroken so I needed a little time before I could talk about it. I do want you all to know your good wishes over the years meant the world to our family – thank you for helping us celebrate her life.

Good Girl Brownie!

Much Love,

Religion is the smile on a dog.
~Edie Brickell

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