Minnie May 2010 -2021
A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than she loves herself.
I have heard people say they would never get a dog or cat because they require constant care. What they don’t realize is those animals give constant care.
We live in a world where people forget to be grateful or if they do, it’s for a short time. Then they go into the state of, ‘what have you done for me lately?’
When you rescue an animal, they are grateful every second of every day. They never forget that you rescued them. Eventually you will find out that they have actually rescued you.
Their gratitude never waivers. Their love never dies.
On Friday, September 3rd, I had to put my beloved dog, Minnie May down. She was almost twelve years old. Last June she had a seizure and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. I was told she would die within the week, and I had to prepare myself for that. But in true Minnie fashion, she lived another fourteen months.
I used to say she was a rescue dog but in reality, I am a rescue human.
Well meaning people have said to me, “You’ll get another dog”.
What they don’t understand, and what people who have never had a pet do not understand is, it’s not about having a pet; it’s about a twelve-year friendship that cannot be replaced.
Over the past twelve years, I have fought a fierce battle with PTSD, gone through a major back surgery, lost my mother, lost two brothers to suicide, retired from the career I loved and that’s just a few things.
In the throes of PTSD when everybody else threw their hands in the air and walked away, Minnie stayed at my feet. When I was recovering from back surgery she would jump on my bed and put her nose exactly where I hurt. It was as if she could feel the pain also. Through the loss of loved ones she would lay silently next to me and allow me the space I needed.
Eventually she would go to the front door and look back at me as if to say, “Get up. I need to be walked.”
Through raging snowstorms, driving rain and sunny days, I would put on my coat and pick up her leash. We would walk for hours through trails, up mountains or around our neighbourhood. Those walks did me more good than any pill or therapy session. I would work through my thoughts with her walking beside me, gently nudging me back to reality when I went too deep.
Those thoughts eventually turned into ideas for my books.
I would record the conversations I had in my head on my phone as we hiked. Those conversations turned into six bestselling, award-winning novels. Inside the cover of each book is a dedication to my co-author: Minnie.
What we have lived through over the past twelve years cannot be duplicated with another dog. It was our personal journey. The funny thing is I never wanted a dog. My daughter did. Minnie was supposed to be her dog, but she took to me.
Looking back, I think Minnie came to me when I needed her, and then left when she felt I was safe again.
I miss her everyday and I don’t think there will ever be a time when I put on my hiking boots that I don’t look up to say, “Come on Minnie. Let’s go.”
As the old saying goes: Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.