A couple of days after Mina died (November 9, 2009) I started pulling out old photos of her from various places around our apartment. Many of those are available on my Flickr page in various sets, which you can also access through the “Mina Multimedia” page on this blog.

I sent a lot of the photos and some of Mina’s old collar tags and her collars to my friends in Atlanta, Missy and Heather. They are very crafty women and offered to make Mina’s Official Scrapbook. Well, the project is completed and on its way here! I can hardly wait to see it – again.

You see, when I was briefly in Atlanta on New Year’s Day I got a sneak peek at what was finished to that point. It’s beautiful. I mean, really beautiful. I’ll post pictures when I get it here. Missy incorporated journaling pages into the book so I can write Mina’s stories to go with the photos and other “artifacts.” I have some other things here that need to go into the book, too, as you can see:

Some photos and flyers and other things for Mina's scrapbook

Another idea I’ve been ruminating on is an annual fund raiser in Mina’s honor on her birthday, October 10. It may be in conjunction with the winery or it may be something I do the old-fashioned way, by hitting all y’all up for your hard-earned dollars. I think the beneficiary will change, too, or maybe not. I haven’t really worked out the details. At all. If you want to help out, let me know and we’ll get together this summer to iron out details.

I wish Mina were here with me today, because it’s a nicer day than we’ve had in months. She’d enjoy walking outside in the sunshine and 50-degree temps and visiting all her friends. I’d sure enjoy taking her for that walk. Our walks were the most important activity in Mina’s daily life and I miss taking them with her. I miss her more than I can say and more than some will understand. I still cry every night after ending yet another day without my girl.

s.

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We had this portrait taken on August 23, 2008. Mina was due for a summer shave but I put it off until after the Lil Pals portrait studio rolled into our apartment complex. Mina was one of only a few dogs who took advantage of the mobile pet portrait studio that day, and I’ve been so glad we did it ever since.

I think Mina’s sitting was a lesson for the photographers. They let Mina come in and sniff around the place, they showed her all sorts of squeaky toys and bells and other playthings, then they took off her collar.

Big mistake.

Mina gets nervous and suspicious when her collar is removed. She knows it means a bath is coming or maybe something even worse, a full grooming! I told the photographer that if she wanted any cooperation from Mina she’d have to put her collar back on.

The photographer ignored me.

Mina did exactly as I knew she would – she didn’t cooperate. The photographer and her assistant would lure Mina onto the bench with a squeaky toy, but Mina would slide off as soon as they turned their backs. This went on for several minutes as I stood by, very amused, until the photographer sighed, looked at me and said: “Please put her collar back on.”

It’s like magic. Mina didn’t give them all the goofy poses they wanted, but she did sit for several takes. But, it was all over when they tried to change the setting to a fake beach. I had no interest in all the silly backgrounds and set ups they had, so I let Mina do her thing for a couple of tries and then I called a stop to the session.

I got exactly what I wanted – a gorgeous photo of the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen (of any species) on a plain black set to show off her blonde and black and white and tan colors. See?

August 23, 2008 Photo: Lil Pals Studio

You can see larger versions on Flickr.

As for me, I have, as Sue said, “good moments and bad moments.” Yesterday was one long, bad moment. I dunno what today will be like and I just take it as it comes now. Grief is a process, I know this, and I will give my grief its time without rushing it or trying to stifle it. I miss Mina desperately. I still wake up in the middle of the night to check on her and I still turn on the light and walk out into the living room. I know she’s not there, but I still go through the motions. I don’t know why. Coming home is worse than awful, waking up without her is heartbreaking. That’s how it is, period.

s.