As I tried to think about what I could say about our friend Andrew, I knew that no words could do Justice to his beautiful life. But if I had to use one word to describe Andrew, it would be LOYAL.
As many of you know, Andrew is known to his friends from Hotchkiss as Dogg, or The Dogg. I never realized how appropriate this name is, seeing as how a dog is man’s best friend. Because that is what Andrew was, the best friend anyone could ever have.
I was fortunate to go to both Hotchkiss and Yale with Dogg. Knowing that I had Dogg with me, we eased into the college life attached at the hip. While I was making new friends on my new team, my attitude towards new people and things was never very positive. And it was my friendship with Dogg that really helped me meet the friends from Yale that are here today with us to celebrate his life.
Dogg was the reason that I joined a fraternity at Yale, and the reason that I chose Delta Kappa Epsilon. From moment one, Dogg embraced the brotherhood almost like a new family, because that was his way. Being one of the only brothers not on the Football or Baseball team, Dogg made his friends his team. Dogg was a varsity friend and certainly a first team All-American pick at that.
I have never met a happier, more cheerful person than Dogg. Dogg enjoyed every aspect of life, especially the simplest of pleasures. The pleasure he took in being with his
friends, talking about his friends, and just being friends with his friends, could make a person feel better about themselves like nothing else. I know, because I cannot tell you how many times I relied on Dogg and he helped me.
In all my years of watching and playing sports, I have never seen such a die-hard fan. Whether it’s his Yankees, his Jets, or his school’s team, he knows all the stats and never misses a game. Again I know this because I have done nothing but stand on the sidelines for the last two years at Yale. Still I have had the loudest and most supportive fan in the entire Bowl, yelling, screaming and smiling, singling himself out of the crowd.
On a more serious note, it was his dedication to me that helped me through the most difficult time of my life, this past year and a half at Yale. I probably spent five or six nights a week in Dogg’s room. I was there so much that his roommates were making plans to give me my own bed in their room. I sought refuge from my troubles and the world in Dogg’s room where I was sure to find him, every time, sitting in the same seat, with his ridiculous Bullwinkle slippers on, and the most inviting grin on his face as I opened the door. Just to see him was enough to make me feel better. But better wasn’t enough for Dogg. He wanted to make me feel great. He would even subject himself to playing James Bond on the PlayStation 11, for this was the only game that I could ever come close to beating Dogg at and he hated it. But he did it for me.
When I was down, he made me feel great. When I was in trouble, he’d do anything in his power to save me. And from this I learned a lesson. My whole life I have tried to live by the motto: “Everything in Moderation.” But Dogg’s way was different. Dogg did nothing in Moderation. His ability to make the best of every situation was unparalleled. His love for meat and cheese, and his hatred for vegetables was unheard of. His ways were unique and sometimes odd, but always Dogg. And most importantly, his generosity, care, and love for his family and friends had no limits.
On Friday, I met Chris at the hospital in Fairfield. We spent that whole day reminiscing about all the amazing times we shared with Dogg, much as we have spent the last few days. But what struck me about this day was that, each time Chris’s phone rang, and as he explained to his friends what had happened, he referred to Dogg, not as his first cousin, but as his best friend.
So as we celebrate Dogg’s life, and search for the good that will come from the tragedy of a few days ago, we can rest assured that Dogg is in good hands because we know that “All Dogs go to Heaven.”