Monday, August 5, 2013


We had to say goodbye to an old friend last week. Our dog, Mini, was the younger of our two golden retrievers. We got the first one, Brees (named for you-know-who, of course), in the year 2000, the year my favorite quarterback led Purdue to the Rose Bowl. She was born to Jim's cousin's dog, right next door, and of course our family thought we needed a puppy.

Two years later, Tom's dog had another litter of puppies, and of course, we needed another puppy. We had lots of discussion trying to think of a name for the second female, and since, at that time, she looked like a mini version of Brees, she was called Mini Brees, or just Mini.
They were a pair, those two. Always together. Brees and Mini. Mini and Brees.
And although they looked alike when she was a pup, Mini grew to be more golden blonde than Brees. She was also much fluffier, and the more affectionate of the two. Being outside farm dogs, they greeted guests, chased cats in the barn, and happily welcomed treats and table scraps from the girls out in the office.
Last year, Mini had a little health issue when I found her down in the barn, and unable to get up. We had her checked at our vet, and, seeing nothing broken, we were referred to an acupuncture/chiropractic veterinarian in a nearby town village.
I loved the old time feel of the office.

Mini was comfortable there, even though she was still not walking on her own.
Although she was an outside dog, when I took her to the vet, she put her head in my lap as if we spent time sitting together on a regular basis. She was just a good girl.
They loved Mini at the clinic, and took such good care of her. They made a fuss over her and loved on her at each visit, as if she was their own dog. 
The treatments helped, and after some resting time at home, she was up and about again.
Around the middle of June, I took both dogs to get haircuts. We like to do that in the summer, so they don't get so hot, and to get rid of the dirty old hair from living outside all winter.
Here is Mini before her haircut. She has always had a lighter face, but you can see how gray she had gotten at age 11.
They don't go many places in the car, so it is a bit of a job to get them loaded up, especially since they can't really jump into the car by themselves anymore.
After the grooming, my friend Judy called to tell me they were ready to be picked up. She also told me that Mini was very thin. It was hard for us to see that under all that hair!
She looked quite different!
I made an appointment with the vet, who put Mini on medication for a heart murmur.
Later that day, we learned that she was also in severe kidney failure. Poor old girl.
We tried a special diet in addition to the medication, but, in the end, her old body just gave out on her. We buried her out by the holly bushes, where several other old farm dogs are buried. I don't know if 'all dogs go to heaven' is a theologically sound statement, but I believe that God has a special place for all His creatures, especially those who have loved and been loved by their humans.
Rest in peace, Mini. We'll miss you. We loved you.
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small.
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

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