My little dog Ann passed away this evening; I am still numb from it really. She has been around for almost half of my life, and has been my constant companion in the studio. She was there before I ever lifted a brush, and even before I lost my sight. She was an amazingly clever little girl; she even picked up how to alert for seizures by merely being around a seizure alert dog and seeing what he did. She got along with everyone and everything; some of the friends that she made over the years included a cockatoo that used to groom her, a goat that used to sleep next to her, and even cats used to treat her as one of their own. When I first got her I also had a cat named Mojo that hated dogs with a passion. Stray dogs quickly learned to walk on the other side of the road when passing by or they would have to answer to him. It was more than once that I walked outside to see Mojo riding on the back of some random dog that was feverishly trying to buck him off like they were putting on some sort of weird circus rodeo show. Ann was a long haired Chihuahua, and when she was a puppy she was little more than a tiny ball of fluff. When we got home from then breeder I sat her down, and the first thing she did was to tear off running all the way across the yard straight for the dog hating cat that was sleeping on his back in the sun. I just had time to yell out a prolonged, “Noooo!” slow motion cartoon style, and have her brief little life flash before my eyes as she crashed into him and sent them both tumbling. He immediately enveloped her in his wolverine like claws, and promptly began to lick her all over purring the entire time. I knew right then that she was very special, or maybe just incredibly lucky, but whatever it was she had it. Most little dogs seem nervous and bark a lot, but she was always quiet and confident. She did therapy work when she was younger, and her sweet loving nature brought a lot of smiles to people in the nursing homes that she visited. It was amazing to watch her work; she just seemed to know who wanted to play a little rougher, and who would rather sit quietly and stroke her fur. I am going to miss her so much; like I say right now I am still numb, but I just wanted to say a few words about her. In the short time that I have been writing this, before it has even been posted, word has spread of Ann’s passing and support and warm thoughts have been coming in from those who knew her. We talk sometimes of limitations and of having to overcome obstacles, and when I consider how this little creature who didn’t have language, and who wasn’t even human for that matter, but managed to touch people all the same it inspires me. It makes me think of how much better off we all would be if we just followed our nature, and were a little more like Ann.