You know what I miss? Taking you for a walk at 4:15 a.m. Well, not when the morning temps are below 75F, you certainly know how I feel about winter, but I miss being outside with you when no one else is around and it’s quiet. I thought about our walks this morning while throwing stuff in a blender for breakfast and how I’d much rather be walking around the complex with you.

I missed you on the trip to Florida, too. I wasn’t very good about stopping as often as I should, but I did hit the pet areas of a couple of rest stops. I didn’t meet any canines, though. There was a nice dog in Dad’s neighborhood that I met twice – Buster. His people told me that he’s too rambunctious when he meets other dogs and I smiled thinking about your enthusiasm when you met your canine friends. Sometimes you didn’t like the other dog for reasons I didn’t understand but respected.

2008 Pet of the Month winner and her prizes Photo: Auntie Lolo

There’s a dog at the winery now that you’d like; his name is Birch. I think he’s your kinda boy because he’s so busy chasing toys that he wouldn’t cling but he’s handsome and older and I can see you sniffing around him and maybe going outside with him to watch him chase toys. Maybe you’ve already met him?

Y’know I miss having you around to take care of me. I think that was one of the hard things about your cancer; that our roles reversed and I became the caretaker. You were too sick to worry about me and fuss over me. I guess some people might think that’s one blessing out of a terminal illness – that we became even closer (and I didn’t think that was possible) and you relied on me for absolutely everything and you didn’t have to be on guard all the time.

Some days, like this one, are hard and I wish you were here to comfort me. This whole world is a harsher, harder place without you, Mina Bean.

Tomorrow it’s 10 months without you. It seems like longer and yet I can sometimes smell you and see you so clearly in all your places. I love you, sweet girl.