I am having such a hard time sleeping. Even when I do fall asleep, my dreams are filled with thoughts of Heidi. Every noise leaves me hoping that it’s the sound of her nails tap tapping on the hardwood floors or her snoring, so loudly, like a grown man. Our alarm chimes every time you open the door and that was usually followed by a loud series of barks. Not anymore, just the chime and then a very deafening silence.
I thought it might help me in the grieving process to write down some of the things that made Heidi the wonderful dog that she was. I don’t ever want to forget the little things and I feel like as time goes on, I will start to do that if I don’t write things down.
I remember working with people who would call in sick when their dog died. I thought, “why, it’s just a dog.” Now I understand. Heidi was our family. She was AKC registered as “Princess Heidi Sue Lee”, changed to Beynon when Drew and I got married. Heidi was a behavioral nightmare and would never have been a “Best in Show” kind of dog, but she was family.
I got her when I still lived in Pensacola and was there the morning that she was born. She was one of four, the only female and as soon as she could stand, she wobbled over to me, all ½ pounds of her with those long chicken legs. We were a pair from that moment on. At only three months, she traveled cross-country with me as I packed everything in my car and drove to San Diego, CA for my first traveling nursing assignment. I couldn’t have asked for a better roommate or travel companion. In just a few years, we moved to Maryland, Connecticut, North Carolina and back to Maryland. Drew jokes that he may have even fallen for her before me.
The first night I brought her home, I remember the breeder telling me not to let her sleep with me. It was important that I crate train her from the first day. When it came time for bed, I put her in the crate and went into my room. Within minutes, she started to cry. I of course felt guilty because she was so tiny so I brought the crate into my room. I laid on the floor with my fingers in the crate and that appeased her for about 5 minutes. Finally, I was so tired that I put her in the bed with me and she fell sound asleep. 10 years later, that silly girl was still sleeping with me every night. She had my heart from day one.
It wasn’t hard to fall for her. She was a most unusual Min Pin. Most are loyal only to their owners, but not Heidi. She walked into a room with the assumption that everyone there loved her and if they didn’t, what was wrong with them? She had so much personality and smarts to match. Sometimes her smarts got her into trouble. It was nothing for her to remember that we had had chicken that night for dinner and after Drew and I fell sound asleep, she would sneak out and have a midnight snack right out of the trashcan. We always had the cleanest floors because “Heidi Hoover” kept it that way.
She had the best temperament and tolerated most everything. Way back before the girls were born, Heidi had clothes, yes, I dressed up my dog. She had sweaters in the winter, bathing suits in the summer and even a cool Hawaiian shirt that she wore to a party once.
She had a sixth sense for when I was sad and on more than one occasion, licked my face if I cried. She knew just when to cuddle up next to me and without having to do anything, I felt better. When the twins were born, I remember the look on her face as we brought in not one, but two car seats with new babies. She looked back and forth at them and then at Drew and I like, seriously, two? But she loved them as much as they loved her. And then again when we brought home baby #3, Heidi gracefully took her place as 4th. I never worried about her with any of the girls, she tolerated everything they did to her and never retaliated, even when they dressed her in doll clothes.
She always just wanted to be near us. She had to be where we were. She just wanted to have her little paw touching you, maybe your foot, your hand, or your leg, just needed that physical contact.
Heidi brought so much joy & laughter to our life & home. I've been tempted to feel guilty for neglecting her once the babies were born. But Drew has reminded me that she knew we loved her. Although we have been occupied being parents, Heidi knew she was loved. Heidi knew she was loved, very, very much. Heidi’s existence had purpose.
I am so thankful that Heidi was ours for 10 years. For 10 years, we were her home. Her safe place.
I know as the months pass and we begin to try to heal, there will be more stories and memories of our girl. The tears have not even begun to stop, I don’t know when they will. We love you so much, Heidi Sue and I miss you, I really do.