Today’s post written by my dear friend and Mina’s Auntie Sue in celebration of the girl we love so much.

Mina won’t be at Thanksgiving this year. There it’s been said. It’s a truth that is hard to accept but we are so thankful for Mina that we will celebrate Mina this year with warm memories and with love.

I first met Mina at Thanksgiving in 2002 when she came bounding through the door with her Mom, her Auntie Donna, and Cousin Erin. She was the perfect guest greeting my niece and nephew with fluffy tail wagging high in the air, with kisses (not the air kind), and perkiness for everyone. It was love at first sight!

Mina was clearly the star of the show. She helped in the kitchen keeping the floor clean and keeping all of us company. She entertained Josh, Sarah, and Erin during the long wait for dinner to be on the table and, as had been said before, she made sure that the appetizers were always fresh even if she had to clean up the dregs herself.

In thanks to Mina for all of her hard work, she was rewarded with a small amount of turkey and plenty of pats and hugs. Even my beloved Ariadne was thankful for Mina. Having Mina in the house meant that she would not have anyone bothering her and she could look down from the balcony on all of us and still enjoy her turkey.

Mina came to visit at other times too. Sometimes with her Mom and sometimes without her when I had the privilege of taking care of her for a day or for overnight. As always, Mina was the perfect guest. After her Mom left, Mina would sit in the front room and stare at the door for about two hours and when she realized that she would be with us for a while, she would settle in and sit with us or, most importantly, help me with chores.

Mina at Auntie Sue's, waiting for Mom to return

Now, I understand from other sources that Mina was not a big help around the house and I find that very hard to believe. As I mentioned before, Mina kept the kitchen floor immaculate! I would take Mina on walks in our yard and she would be sure we were safe. We walked all over! We went down by the pool to drain the water off, we weeded in the garden — all the time Mina was on alert for the odd bug, butterfly, toad, frog, or salamander. The deer, bear, and fox stayed far away from me when Mina was on duty!

I always had a box of biscuits for Mina in the pantry so on our return from out outdoor adventures, Mina would head straight to the pantry for her “paycheck” and it was always my pleasure to provide it. She would sit in a most lady-like manner with her beautiful face and her loving eyes waiting for her treat and she would always thank me with the fluffy tail wagging and then she was ready for our next adventure.

When Mina got older she would rest some after our outings and often our kittens (feline cousins Amber and Pearl) would sneak downstairs and circle around Mina sniffing her and checking her out. Were Mina to move in the slightest however, Amber and Pearl would evaporate!

Mina in the kitchen at Auntie Sue and Uncle Robin's house - 2006 or 2007

Mina’s last visit to our home was much like the first. She came in wagging her tail and displaying her perky walk. She headed straight to the pantry where I had some “approved” biscuits for her. She helped in the kitchen always checking the floor for me to be sure it was clean and she even extended her cleaning skills to the dining room where she gathered up those few stray flies for me. Always a perfect guest.

We took one last walk together, too, and we talked about all the good times. It was dark though so we didn’t go too far from the house and it was clear Mina was tired. It wasn’t a long walk, but it was a good one.

I saw Mina one more time after that and I am thankful that I could be there with her and her Mom.

That is why this Thanksgiving I will be giving thanks for Mina and for all the joy that she brought to so many lives — especially to our family.

Mina, I could not have loved you more if you were mine