Nina was rescued as a stray dog, having had a litter of puppies, loosely associated with a pack of stray dogs in a trailer park in the northern most parts of Miami. She was about two years old. She’d lost a bunch of fur to a bacterial infection due to being without shelter during rainy season in south Florida. The very moment she was caught was captured by a film crew for Animal Planet’s reality TV show “Animal Cops Miami.”
In the next frame, she’s shown at the vet who had tested her for mange and heartworm. Tests came back negative and she was put up for adoption by Paws4You. Having suffered the recent loss of my Cambodian dog, I was at the time beginning to be interested in adopting a new furry friend. Our paths crossed.
At the adoption event, at which shy little Nina stayed in her crate indoors, she became my number one. She basically told me that I was hers and she was mine and that we should be together. She did this by putting her little forehead up against my leg upon being released from her crate.
She was so gentle and affectionate. I was told that this was common after a dog has had a litter of puppies. She let me hold her and walk her around as I talked to her and asked myself if now was the time. She was wearing her heart on her sleeve and this act alone won me over.
Knowing what she’d been through and what shape she was in, I was taken by how hopeful she came across. She had an aching heart that broke my own. The love came pouring out.
I was allowed to take her home on a temporary basis until I could be cleared for a final adoption. With only a bicycle, I walked her on her leash on the sidewalk. We came to a little park with fresh green grass that she rolled in and let her tongue wag for the first time. She was a happy girl for the first time in a long while, it seemed.
We made it home. I was amazed by how quickly she made herself at home, including on my futon that lay on the floor. We bonded. That was 2010. Now it’s 2020 and she’s moved on to doggie heaven. I held her and let her go. She was brave and vulnerable, trusting me to the end. Always accepting my affection, even when it was only for my benefit. “You’re the best baby. You’re my sweetest best girl. I love you. Thank you for being in my life. I’ll miss you.” And with that, she was gone. She’ll remain in my heart forever.