Sundays being what they are, a day to relax a bit and catch up on chores, meant that I was doing laundry yesterday. This is all stuff I’d have done when Mina was still with me, too, only with more walks outside. I did take a hike in the Manassas National Battlefield Park so my outdoor requirement was fulfilled.

It was while making the bed with fresh linens later on that I came across an old set of sheets that I’d bought while living in Arizona. They were part of my “getaway” stash of household goods that I needed to move across country to the National Capital Area. The bed linens were in great condition less than two years later when I adopted Miss Mina Bean.

Mina, as you’ve read in previous posts, was a wild puppy and she chewed everything she could get her teeth on – my niece’s toys, tablecloths, socks, crayons, paper napkins and towels, and bed linens. Mina never got over her love of chewing paper napkins and towels so I stopped using them and never kept a trash can in the bathroom. She’d raid that in a minute. In fact, the last time we were at Dad’s together (2008) he left some tissues on an end table and Mina spread them all over the family room while we were out at dinner. She thought it was great fun!

Anyway … I still have a few sets of sheets left over from our early days together. They’ve all been “customized” by Mina, which means they all have holes chewed through them. One set has a hole big enough to put my foot through and at the top another hole that’s caught my arm a time or two. I no longer use that one but I keep it because it’s something that Mina did; tangible proof that she was once a puppy who loved chewing almost as much as she loved me.

mina with vermont man toy

This comforter met a violent end

There’s also a blanket that’s a few years old that Mina loved to lay on while chewing rawhide bones. That stuff never comes out in the wash. The rawhide bits are still on the blanket, many years and washings later. We used the blanket to cover the plastic sheeting on the couch in her final days and it’s now retired to the top of the bedroom closet, as is the comforter that used to be on the bed. Mina spent a lot of time on those two pieces of cotton and since I can’t bear to wash them, they are retired from use.

In two weeks it’ll be a year since Mina died. I’m sure there are a lot of people who think it’s odd or unhealthy or whatever that I still have her toys and bowls and leash and other stuff out where she left it. I simply cannot bear to remove these physical vestiges of her life; of our lives together.

Mina by dad's pool

Mina relaxing by Dad's pool

You are always with me, Mina … always.