My Minnie Dog left the planet on January 3, 2014. It was a 2 month illness probably cancer that took her out very fast. She was a healthy, happy, crazy little dog prior to getting sick. Unfortunately, at the same time my Father was dying, so there was not much I could do for my Minnie. I did treat her with homeopathic medicine while working with a DVM who specialized in that modality. Sadly, it didn’t work. My Father passed away on Jan 12th. So the next couple of months were spent with my sisters, disposing of my Father’s possessions. It was a busy and frantic time. During the middle of that, I sold my dog training business, Durango Dogs. Then the grief hit. I cried every day for my Minnie and my Dad. Now, I can get through a couple of days without crying for one or the other, so time does help.
Minnie was a one of a kind dog. Demanding, smart and the funniest dog I’ve ever known. You could hear her say “listen to me, this is what I want”. I always said, “if Minnie’s not happy, no one in the house is happy”. But when she was in her joy moments, like playing in the garden hose, swimming, attacking a hula hoop, humping her Big Blue Bunny, she was oh, so funny. A friend said years ago, “That dog is a cartoon character”, indeed she was. There will never be another Minnie. She was a unique individual and she taught me so much in life and dog training. She was with me through my divorce and my only dog when I moved to Durango. It was her and me, navigating a new life together, not an easy time for me and she was the greatest comfort I had.
You’ll probably think I’m a little nutty, (well I am), because when Minnie passed, I put her in my basement freezer. Being a Jack Russell Terrier, she was small and she was skin and bones when she died, probably not more than 10lbs. I thought I would bury her and I had a stone engraved. It’s beautiful and I love it. The months passed. I scouted out a place in the national forest to bury her. But, each time I visited the secret spot, I just could not get excited about it. I let more time pass.
One day I was talking to a friend and we discussed taxidermy. I thought, wow, that would be kinda neat to have Minnie with me forever. Why not? People put deer heads on their walls, why can’t I have a standing Minnie? So I called a local Taxidermist. He shot me down immediately, said that he didn’t like to do pets. So I dropped the idea. Then I was in a National Park on a rainy day and chatted with a couple. The guy was a taxidermist, so I broached the subject with him and he said that it was weird and why would someone want their pet stuffed. Unfortunately, I didn’t think of my comeback at the time. Why would someone want heads of giant animals on their walls staring at them? Oh, well, I didn’t pursue it anymore. I still think it could have been kinda cool to have Minnie riding on the dash of the motorhome. Thanks to Ann & Eileen for supporting this idea. Most others think it’s creepy.
More time passed. Then I thought, why don’t I just cremate her and I’ll take her everywhere with me and the boys. So this is what I did and it finally felt like the right thing to do. When I pulled Miss Minnie out of the freezer, I felt her fur and it was still soft as a bunny. It made me long for her little body up against me in bed.
The boys and I picked up Minnie in a nice little wooden box. I came home and put some of her ashes in a little film canister that I found in my Dad’s things. Now Minnie will travel and have her spirit honored in many places. I decided to log all the places that Minnie visits with us. She would have loved this life of traveling and I had really wanted to have her with me on this new journey, so it gives me comfort to do this. I love and honor Miss Minnie