Mina’s Auntie Sue told me yesterday morning that she and Uncle Robin made a special donation in honor of Mina. Auntie Sue contacted the The Sprecher Institute for Comparative Cancer Research at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University to find out about making a donation. Sue’s dad, a retired veterinarian who met Mina a couple of years ago during a visit, graduated from Cornell’s veterinary medicine school.

Here’s the letter she got when she inquired about donating in memory of my precious baby girl:

Dear Ms. W.,

Please accept my sympathy at the loss of your friend’s beloved companion. The Sprecher Institute for Comparative Cancer Research at the College of Veterinary Medicine is devoted to researching the cause, prevention and treatment of numerous cancers in all species, including canine lymphoma. I believe that a gift to the Sprecher Institute will be a meaningful memorial to Mina.

You may make a gift payable to Cornell University and enclose instructions designating the gift for the Sprecher Institute for Comparative Cancer Research in memory of Mina. If you include your friend’s name and address, we will be pleased to notify them of your gift. You may mail your gift to:

Office of Alumni Affairs and Development
College of Veterinary Medicine
Box 39
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853

You may also make your gift online at the following Web site by clicking on the “Give Now” link and choosing Sprecher Cancer Institute from the drop-down menu under College of Veterinary Medicine. If you choose this method, please e-mail me with the name and address of your friends so that we can acknowledge your gift to them.


I hope this information is helpful and please contact me with any further questions. Thank you for remembering Mina through a gift to the College of Veterinary Medicine. Our work is driven by the hope that someday we will be able to prevent and cure cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Sincerely yours,

Kevin Mahaney

Sue and I both cried in my office when she gave me the news. I spent some time reading about the program and learned that some dogs get cancers that are resistant to chemotherapy, just like my Mina. Every day I ask “WHY MINA?”

I also found some useful information that Sue also used when her beloved Ariadne died of a long illness. The vet school maintains a pet loss support hotline and I now carry the number with me in case I need to call them some evening. I realize that my friends can’t carry the burden of counseling me in my grief over many months, so it’s good to know I can bother strangers with it.

There’s also some interesting information about the stages of grief that I’ll keep checking to make sure I’m not in any danger. So far, I wake up every day feeling like I’m living some alternate life, wondering how this happened to my Mina, and desperately wanting her to come home. It still just doesn’t seem real.

If you’d prefer to make a donation to Cornell in honor of my Mina, that would be wonderful. You can also donate to Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in her memory.