This is a really tough one to share, friends. Just before Christmas, we said goodbye to our girl Nina. As she went, my heart broke into a million pieces. At the time, I wasn’t ready to write this post although I did share on Instagram and the outpouring of love and support helped so much in those first few days as we grieved. Nina was my sidekick and partner in crime for 12 years. She had the kindest eyes and was impossibly, unendingly sweet, even at the very end when she laid curled up in my lap. Always a lover of labs, I adopted her entering my final year of architecture school and she lived with me in the world’s tiniest, coldest apartment where she quickly became the mascot of sorts among our circle of friends. I graduated from college and then grad school, and then somehow, unspeakably, the years slipped past us into a decade and then more. From career changes to countless moves across and throughout New York State, through divorce, the rebuilding of my life, the birth of our baby girl and moving into our dream home, she was always my trusty companion and I her doting momma. Behind the scenes, she was present for the shooting and creation of thousands of blog posts, dutifully keeping me company as I crafted long hours into the night or serving as clean up crew when food props would go flying as they always inevitably do. She was my family in every sense. I wish I could find words to adequately say everything she meant to me and her boys and all those who loved her. There are none. I am grateful for her years of loyalty and the sweet tenderness and love she showered upon our kids over the years. They’re as heartbroken as we are. I am grateful that in the end she found peace and that she didn’t have to suffer any longer than avoidable. I am mostly grateful to have been the human lucky enough to call her my girl all these years. There is no love like that of a doggie and I will miss her every day from here on out. Ninerdog, we love you so so much. Our hearts will never be the same with you gone.
p.s. If you haven’t thought about doing so, please please please consider having professional photos taken of your pets at least once. I am so grateful to have these beautiful images of our girl when she was at her prime. When she’d swim for hours and chase a ball enthusiastically just as many times as you could throw it for her. I miss her every single day, but I have so much peace in knowing that at least in this way, she’s with us always.
[Photos by Alice G. Patterson.]