A few minutes ago, Mina and I said goodbye to our neighbors Nancy, Joe, and Mina’s friend, Max. Here they are in a video taken last July. Seems like a year ago …

We’ll miss Nancy, Joe, and Max. They’re such nice, caring people and they’re very fond of Mina. Every time we return from a walk, Mina goes to sniff at Turk’s door and then down the breezeway to Max’s door. She’s always so hopeful of running into either of her boyfriends. Friendship on Mina’s terms means walking together and sniffing and marking together as she’s not able to play any longer. But her tail wags and her eyes brighten whenever she sees her canine buddies.

Nancy and I were hugging goodbye and crying and Mina just looked confused. Nancy gave Mina a kiss and promised to keep up with her blog as soon as they’re settled in their new home in South Carolina. I’d love to drop in on them sometime on one of my trips to Florida to visit Dad.

Last night was a hard night for Mina. I screwed up her dose of Prednisone and gave her 10 mg. instead of 5 mg. and didn’t give her the Benadryl because she was so calm as we went to bed around 11 p.m. I don’t know what time it was when the gagging and coughing started, but it did not stop except for a few minutes between bouts until around 2:30 a.m. That was a half hour after we went outside for a pee break and I gave her the Benadryl. This morning she’s doing pretty well, we took a walk around the entire complex at Mina’s slow pace, and she ate an enormous breakfast.

This evening we’re driving out to Auntie Sue and Uncle Robin’s house to visit the cousins, Amber and Pearl, and have dinner. It think it will likely be Mina’s last visit to one of her favorite places with some of her favorite people. We first visited their home in the Blue Ridge piedmont for Thanksgiving dinner in 2002 and we’ve been friends ever since. Mina’s spent a few nights out there, which always freaks her out because we can hear the wildlife, and she loves Thanksgiving Day with all its opportunities for illegal snacking. Mina knows the moment we turn onto the roads leading to their home and she gets really excited.

I hate all these “lasts.” They kill me. They’re important for Mina, though, because I want her life to be as full as possible until the very last minute. Mina’s a very social girl and I’m positive she’ll be everyone’s favorite in heaven.