It’s funny and really nice when some memory of Mina will pop into my head. The other day as I was getting into my car to go to work, a neighbor I haven’t seen in a while came by with his big yellow Lab, Chance. I’m not exactly sure but I think the very last time I saw Chance and his human was the day Mina died.

I was wandering around the property and carrying Mina’s squeaky Vermont man toy when I saw Chance and his human approaching. Sure enough, the first word’s out of the man’s mouth were: “How’s Mina doing?” I’m pretty sure I was already crying but he was shocked when I told him that Mina died that morning.

When I saw them the other day it was better, he asked how I’m “holding up” and I told him that I’m OK most days. Chance was busy sniffing around the grass, as Mina would’ve been doing, and I petted him a bit.

Max and Mina

Chance was one of Mina’s favorites. She liked boys and she didn’t seem to have an age preference. Her very best boyfriend was Peanut, who was only six years old last we saw him; and Turk, who lives downstairs and must be 14 years old by now, then there was Max who was just a couple of years old, and Chance who’s at least Mina’s age, 13 years old.

mina and chance

Mina and Chance during Mina's chemo

Chance and Mina would walk together for a bit, sniff the grass and each other, until Mina would smell or see something else and pull me away. Chance liked to give Mina kisses on her face and she didn’t seem to mind.

Mina loved the company of her fellow canines, she just didn’t like them in her house.

Oh yeah, she was a territorial one, my Mina. She was free to barge into any other canine’s home as if she owned the place, but no one had better step foot in her territory! I brought Peanut upstairs one day after running into him and his mom while taking out the trash and Mina barked until he backed out the door! That’s my girl – double standards all the way.

Whenever we went downstairs to visit Turk and his mom, Mina would walk in like she owned the place and head straight for Turk’s food dish. She’d have had a hissy fit if some dog had done that in HER house but she felt quite entitled to do it to other dogs.

I’ll bet that Mina has a lot of boyfriends in heaven. She’s a looker and she has a bright, fun personality. It was rare to meet anyone, human or canine, who didn’t like Mina right away. If they didn’t, then I knew there was something deeply wrong and so did Mina. I miss her protectiveness very much because I didn’t realize how much I relied on her senses to keep me from harm.

Love you always, baby Mina