Hey baby girl,

Mina lounging at Dad's, 2007

I’m getting ready for another road trip down home to Florida soon and can’t stop thinking about you. I cleaned up the car some and fixed your seat cover so it stays in place, just in case you feel like riding along. You’re such a good companion on road trips and I miss you every time I get in the car. I miss packing up all your toys and bowls and stand and your food and treats. I miss walking you around rest stops in various states. I miss taking you for walks in Dad’s neighborhood so you can sniff all the new smells while avoiding sand spurs and the occasional snake.

 

I was braver when you were here; I had to be to protect you from any harm.

So, tonight I’m getting out the ginormous suitcase to start packing. I never used to get it out so early when you were with me all the time; I know it upset you because you worried I might leave and not take you along. I’m sorry that you ever felt that way, sweetie girl. We didn’t spend that much time apart and I always kept my promise to come home to you. The rest stops aren’t the same without you, Mina Bean.

Auntie Kestrel told me the other day that she had a flash of Tosca and she was in a natural environment. That’s how I think of you, too. I see you running in huge green fields with other dogs and playing until you fall asleep under a tree or in a soft bed. I also see you eating a lot of pizza. Some day I’ll run with you and we’ll eat pizza together.

But for now I’m off to Grandpa’s house without you – again. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to making this trip alone. My plan is to stop more often this time, like we used to do, and to pet any canines I meet at the rest stops. Sort of a way of remembering our many trips together, I guess.

I love you, punkin head.

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