Mini – Thank You!

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Two days ago was one of the saddest, most horrible days of my whole life.

In my grief, I spent the entire day and most of the night full of self-doubt. Scrutinizing every detail of the past several days. Second-guessing every decision I had made and every action I had taken — or didn’t take. Trying to calculate whether I could have or should have done something more, something quicker, something better, or something different that might have made things turn out differently.

Torturing myself, wondering if I had done anything or not done anything that might have actually made things worse.

A few of our closest friends reassured me that I had done exactly the right things — the most loving, unselfish things that anyone can ever do for a beloved pet that is an incredibly important member of their family.

My wife reassured me over and over that I had done everything that I could do — and that I had done all of the right things. That I had done the only things that I could have done out of love for our little Mini.

But no matter who tried to make me feel better, I was completely inconsolable.

Late that night, exhausted, I lay in bed, continuing to replay every recent memory I could think of over and over, unable to find the missing puzzle piece that would reassure me and bring me peace.

I had hoped that sleep would eventually bring me some relief, but when I finally fell asleep, it was fitful. I remember waking up several times during the night, sometimes after only 15 or 20 minutes. And each time, the tremendous sense of loss and the deep, empty aching in my heart washed over me immediately.

But at 5:00 in the morning, I had an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime dream that ended my agony, confirmed my beliefs, woke me up, and made me eager for my wife to wake up, so that I could tell her about it.

In my dream, I was sitting at my desk, facing my computer screen, just like I’m doing right now. But Mini was sitting in the middle of my desk, right in front of my monitor, looking at me expectantly. She looked strong and healthy, and her coat was shiny, with the dark, rich-colored markings of her youth.

In real life, there is no way that Mini could ever, or would ever, have been sitting in the middle of my desk, but in my dream, it seemed perfectly normal that she was there.

Just like I had done thousands of times before, I leaned forward slightly and gently cupped her right shoulder with my left hand, as I stroked her velvety smooth, warm little head with my right hand. Her ears went back in her long-familiar “smile.”

And just like I had also done thousands of times before, I leaned forward a little further and softly pressed my lips against the place right behind where her snout meets her head — in the way that she had always loved for me to “cuddle” her. For several seconds, I gave her tiny, gentle, comforting kisses as I continued to stroke her little head.

Then she did something that took me by surprise — something that she hasn’t done in many, many years: She gave me several happy puppy kisses all over my face.

You’re welcome, my little sweetheart. You’re very, very welcome.

And thank you.


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7 Responses to Mini – Thank You!

  1. Izzy says:

    I’m sorry to about the loss of your beloved Mini, I lost a pet 14 years ago and it still brings tears to my eyes. I found this article about a week ago, and remembered it when reading your post:

  2. ComputerBob says:

    Thank you very much, Izzy.

  3. ComputerBob says:

    In this afternoon’s mail, we received a touching personal note from our veterinarian. He wrote, “I wanted to let you know how sorry I am about the loss of Mini. I know how much she meant to you and I’m sure you’ll miss her. I just hope you can find some comfort in the knowledge that she lived a long, happy life with such loving people. She was very lucky to know you.”

  4. Paulo Tadeu says:

    Hello, greetings from Portugal.
    I am sad, you lose Mini.
    God bless Mini.

  5. ComputerBob says:

    Thank you for your touching message, Paulo. My wife and I really appreciate it.

  6. Kimberley says:

    I found your site by way of a Google search about Linux drivers for the Targus card reader. I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for, but in clicking the picture of Mini, I read about your pets and about this special little girl. I’m sitting here in tears because it hits so close to home. We put our sweet old girl Sarah to sleep right after Christmas 2010 and I can relate to the second guessing. She had stroke-like symptoms suddenly one morning. She likely had canine vestibular syndrome, something which might have been temporary.

    To compound things, we have health problems which would have made it very difficult to carry her up and down stairs to go outside until she recovered, if she did. Our vet said it could also have been a tumor, since she had many lumps and bumps on her body. She advised would likely just be prolonging the inevitable if we didn’t let her go. Poor girly couldn’t even walk, she was so dizzy. Oh, what a morning that was. 🙁

    So, we made the gut-wrenching decision to put her to sleep. It just broke our hearts. I still feel bad about putting her to sleep. From one pet lover to another, thank you for posting this.

    Here’s Sarah in happier days:

  7. ComputerBob says:

    Dear Kimberley,
    Thank you for sharing your story about Sarah — it’s obvious from your video of her that you loved her very much, and that she is as big a part of your hearts as she was of your family. My wife and I have now lost both of our first pets (Mini and Pookie) that were both with us their whole lives, starting at only 5 1/2 weeks of age. They both went very quickly. We’ve learned that the faster they go, the harder it is on us, but the easier it is on them — given that choice, I am glad for the way it turned out for both of them, and that they both went peacefully, in a loving setting. They’re still in our hearts and they’ve changed our lives forever. If you haven’t already looked at it, I hope that you will find some comfort in my poem, The Dream.

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