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Courtesy - Facebook

May 18, 2016 1:54 PM

Saying goodbye to Atticus, a famed four-legged literacy star from Jackson


JACKSON — The Mount Washington Valley has lost a noble hiking enthusiast and four-legged literary star.

Atticus M. Finch — the "Little Buddha Dog" of author Tom Ryan's "Following Atticus" book fame — died Friday at the age of 14, according to The Conway Daily Sun.

The sad news was posted on the "Following Atticus" Facebook page Friday night, after which the page received more than 330,000 hits from around the world.

That page was created following the incredible success of Ryan's book, "Following Atticus: Forty-eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship." . On Saturday, Ryan posted about Atticus' death on Facebook.

"Hello, everybody. There is much to be said still, stories to be told, memories to be shared. But as you might imagine, I'm feeling many things right now and my heart is both full and broken. There are a million different things I loved about Atticus and I promise to do my best to share them with you, but for now I'm sitting in the quiet, taking walks, visiting with a few friends, and accepting grief as it tears at my soul, and just considering this incredible 14 years and my time with my friend," Ryan wrote.

On Tuesday, he posted another Facebook message, saying he has chosen the Conway Area Humane Shelter as a place where people can make donations in Atticus' memory.

"From the moment the mountains and hiking became a passion for Atticus and me," said Ryan, "I've looked for a way to use the trails to give back to those who might not as be as fortunate. Through the years we've raised money for cancer patients, the medical needs of animals, and lately, through bringing attention to the Conway Area Humane Society, we've tried to help local animals in need. Now, with Atticus gone, none of that changes."

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