Today I went walking through the Battlefield Park, despite an insanely high pollen count, because it’s a beautiful, warm spring day and I wanted to be outside. Somewhere around the halfway mark on the First Manassas Trail I have to decide whether to go down and walk next to Bull Run to the Stone Bridge, or skip it and keep going towards the Visitor’s Center. I’ve chosen to skip it for nearly a year. Today, I walked down there.

The last time I walked that path or stopped at Stone Bridge was April 17, 2009 with Mina. It was to prove a fateful outing because that evening we ended up at PWEVC because Mina had a nosebleed. Dr. Smith gave her a thorough exam and found several huge lymph nodes on Mina’s body. Since then I just haven’t felt like facing those memories or re-living the fear of that evening by walking along the run.

What I’d forgotten about Bull Run in April are the bluebells. Once again, I just happened to be there during their peak blooming and they are spectacular. I remember that Mina kept trying to eat them and the little white flowering weeds that grow near them. I remembered that she’d been feeling poorly and not eating well for several weeks but she seemed brighter and perkier walking along the trail.

bluebells at manassas battlefield park

Bluebells at Manassas Battlefield Park, April 2008

I think she was there with me today because I didn’t feel as sad as I’d expected. We saw quite a few trotting, smiling canines, all just as fascinated with the water as Mina was last April. I love the idea of spirit Mina trotting along beside me on four good legs, mouth open, ears perked up and her tail in a high curl.

mina at the battlefield park

Mina near Stone Bridge, March 2009

Whenever I see bluebells I’ll always think of you, my sweet, wonderful Bean

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Thank you Brian and Sharon and everyone at Barrel Oak Winery for sponsoring a fund raiser in Mina’s memory to benefit Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary. I could not have managed this without the kind people at BOW, my friends at the sanctuary, my friends at Masons Keepe whh my friend Deb who’s blogged about Mina and took great pictures of my little girl, and all my friends who are going to meet us at BOW and buy wine and celebrate my beloved’s life.

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