A while back I donated to help a nice dog get necessary surgery. He lives with a friend of a friend and the surgery was, as usual, fantastically expensive and the lady needed help. I understand that position very well, so I gave and in return I’m getting a wonderful gift.

Another friend of this lady is making vector portraits for some donors. I got a first proof of Mina’s vector portrait yesterday, made from a photo of Mina as a fluffy puppy.

vector portrait of Mina

Mina Loves Bones

The finished portrait will be 8.5″ x 11″ and I’ll frame it and hang it at home over my desk.

I love the pictures of Mina when she was young and ridiculously energetic. When we lived for a time in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, we were a couple of blocks over from a country club golf course. There was a cart path around a stream that ran through the course near the neighborhood and we’d walk it late in the evening or early in the morning when no golfers were about.

One morning we were walking along and Mina was off leash and we got to a part of the stream where the bank was low on our side, but high on the side with the houses. Mina was trotting ahead of me when suddenly, without any warning, she leaped into the stream! The water was up to her belly and she tried to climb out on the other side but it was too steep. I was calling her and yelling for her to get out of the damn water and when she made it to the low side I had to help pull her out.

She was covered in the thickest, blackest, smelliest mud I’ve ever seen. When she started to turn her head to shake, I ran up the trail from her! Then I put her leash back on, scolded her, and took her home for the longest bath … ever. It probably took an hour to get all that black, sticky mud off her belly and legs and then shampoo her so she didn’t smell like stagnant branch water.

Mina was never a big fan of water before that incident (indiscretion?), except for standing in shallow water in a stream in Denver, and she stayed out of it the rest of her life. Mina didn’t even like the deeper puddles after a rain, she hated getting a bath (although she cooperated), and she disliked wet grass.

Mina at the dogpark in Denver, 1999

Sometimes when it rains, I crouch at the front window that still bears her nose marks and imagine she’s sitting beside me, pouting because we can’t go outside. I miss my baby girl every minute of every day.



This is the last photo that I ever took of my sweet, wonderful Mina Bean. Why didn’t I take more pictures of Mina after that date? Because Mina started to look very ill and frail right about that time and that’s not how I want to remember her once I’m able to remember her past the end of her life. I took it on October 28 as she was drinking from her water bowl. Mina always drank from the “back” of the bowl, nearest the wall, and that caused her muzzle hair to dip into the water. When she raised her head her muzzle would drip with the water and she created this constant wet zone around her bowls and onto the carpet. I tried about a zillion things over the years to keep the water puddles under control, but nothing really worked that well.

mina last photo

The last photo of Mina that I ever took - 10.28.09

When Mina was a puppy, we discovered her ability to blow bubbles in her water bowl. I’m not kidding, she used her nose to exhale air into her water bowl and create bubbles and a watery mess all over the floor. My sister and I discovered this by accident one evening while sitting at the dinner table, I think. We’d been wondering how Mina created a pool of water around her dishes lately when we heard this odd sound coming from the kitchen. We quietly peered around the corner and saw Miss Mina gleefully blowing the water with her nose!

We laughed quite a bit. Mina has a good sense of humor so whenever she makes you laugh, she keeps doing the behavior until she gets so excited that she just has to jump and play. She didn’t blow bubbles ever again after she got a few months older, but it’s one of my favorite memories of her brief puppyhood.

Another wet activity that Mina enjoys is raspberries. Oh yeah, she likes me to blow raspberries at her face so she can frantically lick my lips while I’m making the raspberry noise. It’s big fun for Mina and it makes us both laugh and laugh. Mina enjoyed this activity right up until the end of her life.

But, being a proper terrier, Mina was never one to jump into bodies of water if more than her feet were going to get wet. She would avoid puddles, if possible, after strong rains and was never once tempted to get into my Dad’s swimming pool. She hated baths but she tolerated them for my sake. I didn’t bathe Mina more than about four times per year and that was typically done by a professional groomer. We had to start giving her somewhat regular baths in the Malaseb shampoo during chemo because of all her skin problems, and then there were the three infamous lime-sulfur dips that cured her sarcoptic mange. Other than those times, I was happy with Mina’s particular smell – it was Mina, after all! I wish I could smell it ever day but it’s faded so much that I only notice it when I’ve left the windows open on a rainy day. My Dad says that will fade quickly, and it makes me so very sad.

All my love forever, honey bear