I’m sorry, dear reader.  This is not a post I want to write, but it is one that needs to be written so my heart doesn’t close against this hurt. Just pass it over or bear it along with me.


Nilla Bean, December 26, 2011-October 31, 2012

Nilla Bean filled our lives for nine months with her brilliant puppy light and boisterous spirit.    She was a force of nature with exactly two settings: BOUNDING JOY or asleep. She welcomed every guest in our home with a two paw greeting, manic kisses, and often a little piddle on the shoes because she just couldn’t keep all the excitement contained.

She loved to chase cats, balls, and children around the house and yard.  The more noise these things made, the better. If something else wasn’t making a racket, then surely she needed to be. She learned to bark and growl menacingly from a German Shephard at the park.  Whenever she spied Nickel the Barn Cat in the garden, she would stand at the bedroom window and use her “Big Dog” bark to complain about it. She also used her Big Dog bark whenever she went to the vet to show the other dogs who was boss. Every morning her “big ole tail” pounded out a tattoo on the floor, the bed post, the wall.  Then she would get all chatty, going on and on about it all in this prolonged grumbly-howl-chewy-bark-sneeze sort of way that always made us laugh, no matter how many times we heard it.

She loved rides and I loved watching her ears sail on the breeze.

Nilla Bean was a beautiful girl, brimming with enthusiasm, vitality, and joy. Her short life reminded us to love with wild abandon, to celebrate life, to enjoy every moment, and to take joy rides with the windows down.

The passing of her sweet spirit is deeply felt. She will be greatly missed.


He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds; my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him. (I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.)

When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy  unbounded.  When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags.  Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful. He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant. His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me… whenever… wherever – in case I need him. And I expect I will – as I always have. He is just my dog.

 —Gene Hill

RIP Miss Beans