I got really terrible news last week and while it’s not like me to be posting about things like this, my parents called me to say that Thea, the terrier I am holding in my arms in this picture from December, died an untimely death. All my life animals have been really important to me and they have taught me a lot about listening, feeling and observing. They can be patient and they are willed by their own nature. They teach respect and have made me humble, reminding me there are always things I will never know, even about those I am closest to. Maybe someone says “Oh, she was just a dog,” but in my mind, animals are souls with personalities who have roles to play in this world and we forge important relationships with them. My mom pointed out how Thea had brought so many people together, from my grandmother to friends who stopped by our house from time to time, made them laugh and made them feel good. She was an important companion to my parents and to me when I was in Maine. She will be sadly missed.