This is about a little dog we all cared for. Her name was Heidi, and she was my niece Laura's little miniature pinscher, or "min-pin" as the canine cognoscenti say. We all loved Heidi. She was the kind of dog who would come running to a friend, her spindly legs all flying about and her little claws skidding across the kitchen floor, coming to a halt at your feet so she jump up on you, all full of doggie hugs and kisses. She was so smart, she knew when she heard the car keys rattling that it was time to get in her little box or in the car or whatever. We would take her for a walk, and the words "walk" and "outside" and "go" all were in her vocabulary, which was quite extensive for a dog. (Beside her native German, she was also fluent in English and the languages of Mexican, Italian and Asian carry-out shops.)
The end came all too soon for Heidi, at about 12 years or so. But that sweet little spirit in her kept on right until the end. Even at her final ebb, she still snuggled and said goodbye in her special way. I know I get all misty over her even today but I see her cavorting around making the other angels happy, so it's all good.