Dear Mina,

It’s Christmas Day, baby, a day that we used to spend quietly together, taking our walks and watching our movies and just being ourselves. Together.

We didn’t need presents, did we? Just some snacks to share, some special treats for you, and belly rubs and cuddling. Your love and devotion are the best presents I could ever wish for and I’m so lucky to have them. I know that you love me, right now, and I know that you’re checking on me even though my grief is too heavy for me to feel you near.

What do I miss the most about being with you? It’s not all the adventures, the trips to wineries, the rides out to the countryside, driving over mountains and across rivers, or the road trips. What I miss the most is our deep, profound level of familiarity, that sense of you wherever I was in the apartment, the sound of your breathing or your barking at people and canines passing by, the ordinary things of our lives together.

Just knowing that you were here made me happier than anything else in the world.

Things that seemed ordinary now seem incredibly precious to me: Watching you sleep on the couch or curled up by the living room window, hearing you drink from your water bowl and then stepping in the pools of water you left on the floor, marveling at your natural ability to live in the moment and how you tried to get me to live in those moments with you. Simple, sweet, daily life …

Yes, honey girl, I still cry every day because I miss you so much it hurts. How you can be gone is still hard for me to accept when you were always so here.

Is it Christmas in heaven, too? I know you’ll be with the people I love and all your new friends and I hope you get lots of your favorite treats and I hope you have some snow. Watching you hop through snow drifts and use your muzzle to dig through piles of snow brought me such joy. Your joyful heart was evident in everything you did.

I love you so much, baby girl. I’ve never loved anyone more. I miss you every minute of every day and I look forward to the day when we’re together again.

All my love forever