I first held Afi in my hands when she was only 2 weeks old. She opened her eyes long enough for me to fall in love. In that moment we understood that she was my dog and I was her human. She became my confidante, my shadow, my best friend. Over thirteen years later I held her for the last time in my arms on July 13, 2010.

Part bird dog, part mountain goat, she loved the outdoors – hiking rocky cliffs, sprinting along sandy beaches, wading in the cool ocean, bouncing through fields of tall grass, and always, always pursuing those pesky sea birds who teased and tormented her. We travelled the province together. She was always with me. Everyone who met her fell in love. She was beautiful, kind, affectionate, playful and smart, so incredibly smart. And stubborn, though she always preferred to be called determined! She was truly an old soul, wise and compassionate. She was a vital part of my health care team when I was recovering from not one but two difficult surgeries. She was stoic and courageous in facing her own health problems. Few people knew that in later life she was completely deaf. I swear she could read lips.

She loved eating broccoli, licking ice cream cones, watching old movies curled up with me on the sofa on a rainy Sunday afternoon, riding in the car, walking the beaches, rolling in stinky smelly things, having her belly rubbed and her back scratched. I think of her every day, wishing she was still here, grateful that she chose me.