People would often comment on Mina’s ears whenever we were out walking or visiting. I’ll admit, the first time she had them groomed to remove all the long hair hanging off them, I was shocked. The groomer apologized for making Mina look like the Flying Nun.

Here’s her first puppy groom with the long hair on her ears

and here’s how she looked without the long hair on her ears.

Insanely cute, aren’t they?

We moved to Herndon, Virginia in 2004 and suffered a series of unfortunate accidents. First, the plumbing in the bathroom of our apartment died and we had to move out for a weekend while workers jackhammered the floor, put in new pipes, then put it all back together. Mina developed one of her ear infections around that time, and I put in some nice herbal drops and sorta forgot about it while dealing with finding a place to stay and harassing management to get the repairs made promptly.

I should’ve taken Mina to the vet because the ear infection got crazy and she ended up with a gigantic, swollen ear full of blood – a hematoma. Mina had to suffer having the blood drained off her ear, which was done in the lab where I couldn’t watch, then having a plastic drain tube shoved into her ear cartilege. I can’t even imagine how that hurt, but her vet said she didn’t utter a sound.

Always the stoic, my baby. She had that tube in for three weeks and every time she shook her head, blood splattered all over the place. I was sitting on the edge of the bed one morning, putting on socks, when I noticed the blood splatter on the wall. I had to call in and say: “I’m going to be late because I have to clean the blood off the bedroom wall.” You wait your whole life for an excuse like that, doncha?

The tube was removed three weeks later, and Mina did squeal in pain when that happened, she healed up fine and I kept a vigilant watch on her ears for the rest of her life. Her vet said the cartilege in her ear was damaged and her ear would flop over. That didn’t happen for a couple of weeks so I thought she’d be OK but, alas, her ear flopped down and was never perky again.

Mina got older, as we all do, and her muscle control got weaker, as happens to human animals, and her ears were no longer as perky. That didn’t stop people from commenting on them from time to time, and telling me that she looked like a puppy. She did have a youthful face, right up until the cancer and chemo aged her considerably.

Last night I was thinking about my baby Mina, and remembering how she loved to have her ears scratched and how I loved to kiss the side of her face. I miss her, all the time.