New min-pin wins our hearts

Published 1:28 am Saturday, November 10, 2012

All of us learn at an early age that life does not always run smoothly. Sometimes there is just no cure for a hurt, but now and then, we find something to help ease the pain. Last week when my daughter Amy’s dog, Minnie the min-pin, died unexpectedly, it was a crushing blow for her, her husband Mike, and me. Their daughter and my son were not around Minnie often, but she had won them over on first contact. They shared our heartbreak.

Amy and Minnie were inseparable. When Amy left the house, Minnie watched for her return. Even when she left a room, Minnie’s eyes followed her. When Amy sat on the couch at their house or in a recliner in my house, Minnie snuggled beside her. She was always at her feet in the kitchen. Minnie was funny, loveable, friendly, and occasionally a bit stubborn. Of all the dogs I have loved in my lifetime, Minnie had the sweetest disposition.

Some people who lose beloved animals decide they just cannot endure loving and losing a pet again. They decide never to get another. Minnie was such a ray of sunshine and joy to Amy that she pondered whether she would be untrue to Minnie’s memory if she got another dog right away. And then somehow she found herself searching for min-pins by Internet. She doesn’t really understand how the Monroe County Animal Shelter appeared on the monitor in front of her. But there it was with a picture and information about a year-old female min-pin. The owner had grievously brought it to the shelter when circumstances forced a move where she couldn’t take the dog. Amy decided to apply to adopt it. Following several telephone calls, e-mails, and paperwork, the shelter approved her application.

Amy and I saw the little tan min-pin in a cage when we entered the shelter. She wasn’t barking like some of the other dogs. One of the volunteers brought the trembling Sadie (her shelter name) to Amy. Almost immediately, she swiped Amy with a big kiss and settled down in the fuzzy dog bed in Amy’s lap. I took my turn holding her while Amy signed papers and completed the transaction. Sadie rewarded me with a kiss on my nose. She curled up in the dog bed in my lap on the drive home. I was amazed at how calm she was. Every once in a while, she stretched her long, spindly legs out in the dog bed and reached over to plant kisses on Amy. We knew right away that Sadie had received loving care from the former owner.

Sadie is finding her way in her new surroundings. Her new “parents and grandparent” are adjusting to a frisky young dog. She is dishing out plenty of love and receiving plenty in return. She hasn’t taken Minnie’s place. She is just winding her own way into our hearts, helping to heal the pain of our loss.