I recently changed the “cover” of my Dogabout photo album from the Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, which I’d been using since the creation of the album, to my sweet Sara. Certainly you remember her. I mean, how you can forget this face:

Her mom, Maria — who became one of my favorite people in this city from the moment I met her toward the end of August — sent me the following email two days ago (shared here with her permission):

My dearest Jodi,
Thank you for making my angel a cover star. She is also now a star in the sky….Sara died Wednesday, Sept. 28th, at 10:25am. She had septic shock and it was irreversible. We brought her to the ER in a coma, very low pressure, unresponsive. My dying angel in my arms and my son’s arms.
We brought her home together from Northshore Animal league on March 21st, 1990, at 12 weeks of age, and we sent her back home to God’s kingdom, after 16 years of pure love and joy. Lots of grief…I will be informing the entire neighborhood with cards giving details of her passing and one of her great photos.
The source of infection was unknown…but had been in the process for 7-10 days prior to her death. Meeting you was God’s plan. How intuitive of you to see her soulful face. She probably was sick even then. I had noted a change in her speed and in her bowel movements over the past 3 weeks. She went to a doggie birthday party Tuesday nite at 8:00pm. Eight hours later, she was in a coma.
My son said the party was “her” party, a “Celebration of Life” party and her last opportunity to say goodby to all the neighborhood dogs. This woman hardly even knew us. But she walked up to us on last Friday nite and said..”I love your dog, always have. Please come to my dog’s birthday party.’ And she handed me an invitation.
We have cried so much over her..we stayed home yesterday and did things to be with her spirit. We set up a shrine; a Sara album; flowers; candles; we kept her toys at the shrine and her collar. Every minute I think of her. Our lives are very empty. She was my little girl, and the little sister my son always wanted. Call me..we’ll have coffee. Blessings…..

Tomorrow I am attending the annual Blessing of the Animals, where, even though I am not religious in the least, I plan to “bless” the sweet soul of Sara, along with that of every other animal on the planet.
Here are two more pictures of the girl who made my day every time I saw her — and even those I didn’t:

Sara would have been 16 on 5 November. Maria and I had planned to celebrate all three of our Scorpio birthdays on that date. If she’s up for it then, we still will.
So long, Sara. I miss you already.

I’ve opened comments for this entry. Maria reads my site faithfully, so if you want to say something to her, please, I encourage you to do so.
The original entries where I posted these photos can be found here and here.