I found her in Bear's house. She usually never went in there, but for her own reasons she had sought out her brother's place as refuge. Seeing her there, pure white and tail wagging ever so slightly, she almost looked like she was just resting.
But we both knew the truth: That our time together had almost come to an end. I crawled into the dog house with her, wanting to give her comfort with my presence, but needing her soothing closeness even more.
Holding her sweet face with one hand, and her paw with the other, I retold her the story of how much she meant to me.
Snowy was my surprise baby. One day nine years ago I came home, and there she was: Lying on the couch with Rich, a little orange bow tied around her neck, looking at me curiously. My husband had bought her without telling me, for reasons that are lost to both of us now.
I fell in love with her on the spot.
So did she: She would follow me around for the rest of her life.
Her best friend as a puppy was Eddie. Eddie had the patience of a saint: Her favourite game was pulling his tail as hard as she could, or sinking her sharp little puppy teeth into the scruff of his neck.
He let her, never once growling at her.
At four months old, we took her on an epic road trip through the States. She encountered buffalo, had her first (and last) bath at a pet store, and hiked with us through the magnificent Arches National Park.
It is one of our favourite trips ever taken, in large parts due to her being there with us.
But she was most in her element on the farm. Snowy quickly became the alpha dog, protecting her territory fearlessly. She understood the difference between friend and foe, greeting friends with exuberant joy and her trademark crotch sniff.
Her special gift was passing on her love for walks to me. Early on she developed the habit of sitting by the door, waiting until she heard me, and then scratching vigorously until I came outside, leash in hand.
It was our special time together.
Knowing that she would protect me with her life, I often walked at night, when the neighbourhood was quiet.
The darkness was never scary when I was with Snowy, but peaceful. During those hours together I would tell her about my day, mull over problems and have little epiphanies about life. I will never forget those walks.
When I started taking photos for the blog, she was the real star of the outfit photos.
She cheered me on during every single yoga session outside.
I'm so very grateful for the time we had together. She was my baby, my fitness coach, my protector, my best friend. I can't believe she's gone.
Snowy, I will love you forever.