>One crisp, beautiful Fall morning, in 1995, I woke up with one thought echoing in my mind…”Go get a dog. Now.” And so, I got out of bed, put on some clothes and brushed my teeth before driving over to the Atlanta Humane Society. As I walked through the adult dog section, I passed rows and rows of dogs that I could have taken in. I had at least 20 cage numbers written down, when I came up on a black and white dog who just sat in her cage…no jumping, no barking…just sitting there thoughtfully. She had the sweetest face. Her name was Oreo.

By the next day, I’d signed all the papers and she was in the backseat of my little red Nissan eating McDonald’s french fries and speeding towards her new home with me.

Hero was smart and sweet and always patient with me. I wasn’t nearly as patient with her. I wasn’t nearly as good a mom as I could have been. And now, all these years later, I regret that I didn’t show her that love, always. There’s never enough time at the end of life to show that kind of love.

I held her face and petted her and told her that I loved her. Told her that we were going to let her go…that Prissy, and Maggie, and Bogey would be there to meet her…told her that she could come back and visit me any time…and before I knew it…16 years…gone. She loved me unconditionally. She never cared about my weight…what size jeans I wore…she always thought I was beautiful. I was Mommy and she was my Hero.

RIP Baby Girl…