It is with a very heavy heart I share that earlier this month we lost our dear friend Dini. Dini had been part of our family and a fixture in the Out-U-Go! office since 2000, and her absence leaves a huge hole in all of our hearts.
For me personally, Dini was my shadow. By choice, and by necessity, Dini was rarely more than 5 feet from me. The one exception to this was when she was at the OUG! office, where she felt happy and comfortable spending her time with everyone else. For the most part, though, Dini was always at my feet. This started from the day I adopted. That night she slept in bed with me. I quickly found out that just being in bed wasn’t close enough for her—she also needed to be touching me the entire night.
Dini’s original shelter name was Houdini, and we shortened it to Dini. It wasn’t for weeks that we really figured out how she “earned” her name. She was a natural born adventurer and escape artist. When she was young, she proved her ability to escape from any crate. Gates and doors? Hardly a challenge for her. Dini was even able to figure out how to escape situations by swimming away (twice).
Of all Dini’s ridiculous—her escapes, her rodent hunting, her undeniable talent for finding the grossest stinkiest thing around, then rolling in it—she was the sweetest and gentlest dog I have ever met. She always played perfectly with other dogs and was so child tolerant it was hard to believe. When my son Pierson was one year old he would use Dini as a step stool to get up on our couch. He’d put his little foot on her head and prop himself up there. Dini wouldn’t budge. She’d just sweetly lay there, with a slightly disappointed look on her face.
Dini touched so many people in her life, many of them during her 13 years at the OUG! office. She always made sure to greet all new people to the office by sitting next to them during interviews and meetings, happily offering herself up for pets and scratches. For so many people, she offered a warm welcome. For some, like the sales people in black suits, she offered the same—it just wasn’t received quite as warmly.
Dini even touched the people in our neighborhood. We live on a high traffic street in Chicago. Dini used to love hanging out in our front yard. She was just the right size to squeeze her head through the fence and look all the way up and down the sidewalk to see who was coming. After many years, Dini made many friends. People in the neighborhood would often bring their children and puppies by to see her and pet her through the fence. She was such a staple in our yard that you can even see her laying there on Google street view.
Not long ago my son asked me what kind of dog Dini was. I explained to him that she was a mutt and a mix of all kinds of dogs. He responded, “so you mean she’s one of a kind?”
Dini really was one of a kind.
Thanks to all of you who have been so kind and loving to Dini over the years. Dini was a very lucky pup who had a wonderful life. She gave out a whole lot of love, and it was returned to her many times over. And really, that’s all that we all want from life.