Last week I thought about Mina an awful lot. I guess it must’ve shown in my face because a colleague stopped me in the ladies room to ask if I was feeling OK. She understood when I explained that I sometimes go through periods of feeling Mina’s loss keenly, as if it had happened yesterday.

Thinking of our lives together is not always sad; there are many times when I smile remembering Mina’s quirks and habits and how much she loves me. One thing that we didn’t agree on was the weather.

Mina likes cold weather. Really cold, like below 70F, a temperature I consider the dead of winter. Every degree below that is another step into Arctic hell. We kept the thermostat on 67F in the winter to keep Mina from sitting on the tile entryway, panting, and giving me that “Damn woman! Can’t you see I’m melting here!” look. I spent the winters wrapped in sweats and blankets, dreading each walk outside into the snow or otherwise freezing air. Mina? She was rejuvenated by the freezing temperatures, trotting along happily using her nose as a snow shovel and sniffing for that one perfect place to pee.

Summer is a different story, oh yeah, that’s my time of year! I live for days when going out for that pre-dawn walk in shorts and sandals means the day is gonna be hot like Georgia asphalt in July. Mina? not so much. The early morning walk was usually OK, but after that she’d cut her walks very short, even foregoing her daily visit to the leasing office if it was just too hot for her. We kept the thermostat around 76-77F in summer so that I didn’t freeze to death and, again, so Mina didn’t melt. It’s set higher now that she’s off living in heaven. I kept a bath towel in the freezer for her so that her petsitter and Auntie Lolo could cool her off after an afternoon outing. Mina really seemed to love that freezing cold towel.

What about rain and my sweet Mina Bean? She wasn’t a fan of getting wet, for any reason. Mina would avoid walking through puddles, wouldn’t go out if the rain drops got in her eyes or it was pouring, and she hated peeing on wet grass. You could tell by the way she barely squatted and leaped up before she was quite finished. I laugh now thinking about her rain habits. I didn’t make her into such a princess, she came by it naturally.

If it was rainy and windy or just windy enough to blow her ears back, that meant a shorter-than-usual walk. Girlfriend did not like the wind whistling down her ears, no sir. Can’t say as I blame her, I don’t like it, either. Maybe she did actually learn her dislike of wind from me?

I wish you were here, sweetie girl. I miss you every day and twice on Sundays. Love love love …