Yesterday’s event at Barrel Oak Winery to honor my beloved Mina and raise funds for Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary was pretty cool.

The weather worked against us with icy conditions early in the morning and rain and fog the rest of the day. But, most of the people who came to the winery and bought wine were there because of Mina and the Sanctuary and I’m very grateful for all the support. There were people from where I live at Masons Keepe, colleagues and friends from where I work, one of Mina’s vets, our friends from Chow Now Pet Food, a friend from Houston who flew in for the weekend, Sanctuary volunteers, and many friends of friends whom we’ve never met.

Mina at BOW, August 2009

Mina’s Auntie Sue and I baked yummy vegan cookies and Uncle Robin brought the awesome, huge tip jar. I brought the 5×7 photo frame collage of Mina at the sanctuary (with photos by Deb) and Mina at BOW early in September. I included a photo of Mina at two months because most people who know Mina have never seen her puppy pictures. Deb also brought brochures from the sanctuary, we had flyers on the wine bar and all the tables and we were ready for 2 p.m.

The big surprise came when I learned from one of the staff that Brian (he and his lovely wife Sharon own BOW) decided to donate 10 percent of sales from all wines sold to the sanctuary. I am grateful for the generosity of Brian, Sharon and BOW in helping to remember Mina in a way that helps other non-human animals. They’re really building a community of caring people at BOW and that’s a great idea.

Everyone seemed to have a good time, lots of cookies disappeared, a few tears were shed, and we made $338 for the sanctuary! Terry is going to give me a current number on donations to the Web site but it looks like Mina has raised about $800, so far, to help her fellow non-human animals at Poplar Spring!

LET’S DO MORE. Please, if you haven’t already donated, visit Poplar Spring’s Web site and click on the “Donate Now” button and make a donation in Mina’s honor. Mina gave me love and joy and security and peace and I want to work to help other non-human animals who weren’t as fortunate as Mina.

Friends have said that Mina was lucky to have me in her life. Truth be told, I am the lucky one because Mina loved me perfectly and unconditionally and that’s a love that will stay with me forever.

Thanks again to everyone who helped get this little event together, to everyone who’s donated to the sanctuary, to everyone who came to BOW yesterday, and to everyone who couldn’t be there in person but joined us in spirit. I am so grateful for all of you.

Mina baby, you are so loved and you will never be forgotten


In Memory of Mina, A Fund Raiser at Barrel Oak Winery to Benefit Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Poolesville, Maryland

Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary is a 400 acre non-profit refuge for farm animals and wildlife located in Poolesville, Maryland. Our mission is to:

  • Offer care, rehabilitation, and permanent sanctuary for neglected, abandoned or unwanted farm animals.
  • Provide protected habitat for wildlife.
  • Furnish information to the public regarding farm animal and wildlife issues.
  • Promote compassion and humane treatment for all animals.

TIME: 2-5 p.m.
DATE: Sunday, December 13, 2009
PLACE: Barrel Oak Winery in Delaplane, Virginia – Directions to the winery

Barrel Oak will donate 10 percent of all sales of Bowhaus Red wine, Bowhaus White wine, and their awesome sangria to Poplar Spring on the above date and time! I’m determined to get as many people there as possible so if you’re in the National Capital Area, PLEASE COME! We’ll have a table set up for cash donations and brochures from the sanctuary and some vegan treats and photos of Mina at BOW and the sanctuary.

Mina protected me and loved me and took care of me for 13 years. I can never repay her for all that she’s given me, so I want to spend the rest of my life doing whatever I can for non-human animals to honor Mina’s life. This is a nice start.

mina at bow

Mina at BOW in January, 2009 for my birthday

If you absolutely cannot make it to BOW, please donate to the sanctuary directly from their

Yesterday, I surely thought Mina was feeling about as bad as she ever has with the cancer. She slept most of the day, wasn’t interested in taking any sort of walk until early evening, but she ate more than most dogs eat in three or four days.

We got in the car around 4:50 p.m. to visit Sue and Robin, but Mina showed no interest in the ride until we turned off 66 and started on the back roads. It was cold, but I rolled down my window so she could stick her head out, and kept my speeds around 40 MPH so she could enjoy the smells. She perks up when she smells the cows ever since her visit to Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary.

Mina was happy to walk inside Sue and Robin’s house, and headed straight for Sue in the kitchen. Mina knows who’s got the goods, and Auntie Sue didn’t disappoint. She was mashing cooked sweet potato for Mina and had a special box of cinnamon-oatmeal biscuits for her. Mina had just eaten her afternoon meal before we left, but that did not stop her from gorging on an entire sweet potato, a few biscuits, some bread during dinner, some crackers, more beef and oatmeal that I’d brought along, and TWO DEAD FLIES she found in a corner.

In her entire life, she’s never done anything but avoid insects, but last night she was on an eating rampage and they smelled tasty, I guess. I was mortified.

We had a great dinner and desserts and wine and after about three hours, Mina was ready to leave. She did get a glimpse of cousin Amber before leaving, though.

I gave her Benadryl when we got home and she went to sleep pretty quickly. I heard her gagging around 1 a.m. and we were up for about an hour, then. We went outside for a pee break, and I rubbed her belly for a while, then we slept until about 5:30 a.m. Mina seems much perkier today than yesterday and I guess that’s how it’s going to go until the end. She is having trouble with food, so I have to make sure it’s as tiny as possible and mushy is better. I think her throat is restricted because of the lymph nodes, which I examined last night and found them even bigger than last week. The mandibular nodes are starting to make her jaw look big, and her prescapular nodes are visible.

Now it’s time to sit with my girly girl, because every minute is precious.