This is really hard to write, but I had to say goodbye to a member of our family. Our sweet black lab, Minnie, passed away in her sleep yesterday afternoon. She was taking a nap when I left to pick up my daughter from Summer Enrichment Academy, and by the time we returned home, Minnie was gone.

I am so broken-hearted. Minnie has been a part of my life for the past eight years. I remember meeting her the first time I went to Will's apartment in Southside Birmingham. I used to get up in the mornings and take her for runs around Glen Iris--she had so much energy and ran so fast I could hardly keep up with her.

When Will and I moved in together, Minnie became a part of my every day life. She was like our first child in a way, and we loved spoiling her. We went to Pet Supplies Plus and bought her a ton of treats for Christmas Eve and called it "Puppy Christmas." When I had my tonsils out at 27, I was in so much pain I couldn't process it--I would sit in the bathtub and sob... and without fail, Minnie would come into my room and nuzzle and lick me. It was her way of caring for me.

When we brought Dolly home for the hospital, Minnie used to sit by her bassinet, keeping watch over the new member of our family. As Dolly grew older, so did Minnie, and time took its toll on our once-playful dog. The last year of her life was spent taking lots of naps, and my heart breaks to think about all the chances I missed... all the treats and hugs I could have given her.

I am going to miss her so much.