My Loss, and How Nina Helped Me

Pets love us unconditionally, support us, and help us through emotionally difficult times. Nina, a pit bull, has always been there for her owner, Illiana. In the following personal diary entries, Illiana reveals the tragic losses in her young life, and why she so dearly loves her Nina.

A Magical Day

Today, Lensetti, Salsa, Mom, and I went to the river down south. Today was like no other. It was different! For some reason, it felt like magic. The dogs entered the water, and Nina caught a fish! It was a great catch, and amazing that she did it. Lensetti, Nina, and Salsa started eating it raw. Later that afternoon, we went for a walk in the woods. As soon as they saw the deer….ZOOM….they were off! The deer was a little faster than they were! We enjoyed the walk, but not the running. We decided never to walk in the woods where there are deer again, so we went for a walk near Ms. Danly’s house. (Old Lady Danly was making some oatmeal, and she invited us in when she saw us through the window. Ms. Danly was a single, old woman, who had a Yorkie named “Cookie.” Cookie had mood swings. First, she liked us; then she didn’t.) Ms. Danly made the best oatmeal in town! She sold it in a fund-raising event, and made the animal shelter a lot of money! She never wanted to exclude the pups, so she searched for some dog biscuits, and gave us a good supply. After the great oatmeal, we said goodbye to Ms. Danly, and strolled off. Next, we went to Petco. They were training dogs in the little area. Lensetti charged for that area! We said “sorry” to the staff, but inside we were laughing! While we searched for a harness for the dogs, we met up with “Violet,” a labrador with beautiful eyes. Despite her beauty, Violet had bad manners. She charged at us, and barked, and peed! It wasn’t so pleasant! When we returned home, we watched “Scooby Doo,” and fell asleep.


Tragedy and Heartache

Today, my good friend, Melissa, got a new car, and asked if I wanted to go somewhere. I said “no” because I had the feeling that she would crash. Lensetti got in the car, and they left.

Salsa ran away today! I don’t know how; the gates were closed! Later, I found a little hole in the gate by the garage. Melissa didn’t even know about it. I called all the shelters in town, and hung up posters without any luck. The next day, I got a call from the hospital. Melissa had been in a car accident. The air bag made it difficult for her to breath, and she died. And Lensetti died with her! They said Lensetti was in the front seat, and he was also hit when the air bag deployed. I am heartbroken. I ran home crying. Melissa was my only friend in school. She protected me. She was like my sister…and now she is gone…forever. I had to find and save Salsa. The next day, I received a call from a shelter reporting that Salsa had been found and adopted by a nearby family that I knew. I immediately went to see Salsa.

I knocked on the door. When the family answered, they told me “that wimpy thing (Salsa) is dead.” I was astonished. And very frightened.

“Why did you kill Salsa?” I asked.

“None of your business, little girl!” They replied, and slammed the door.

I had lost another friend! My only friend! I didn’t know why a family would adopt Salsa, and then kill her. I needed time to think, so I walked into the alley…and there was Salsa, laying dead with a gunshot wound in her belly. I picked up Salsa’s body, and cried.

Then I remembered Melissa’s white cat,, Sugar! I had to save Sugar! I ran as fast as I could to Melissa’s house, and found the key under the mat. I opened the door; Nina ran inside, and started barking.

The house was empty. I had no idea where Melissa’s parents had gone, but I knew with certainty that they wouldn’t care for Sugar.

I found a crate in the attic, and put Sugar inside. Then I heard Kirby, the parrot. I had forgotten about Kirby!

Kirby was inside his cage. Barely able to hang onto Nina’s leash, I carried Kirby and Sugar out of the house. I couldn’t run; I might drop the cage. My house was just a few blocks away! When I reached home, I put Kirby and Sugar in my room, and then explained the situation to my mother. She agreed to keep the animals if I promised to take care of them. I promised that I would.


Just Me and Nina

Six years later, Kirby and Sugar have passed away. Now I have no-one but Nina, and Nina has no-one but me. Why was this happening?

I went into the kitchen one day to get some food, and asked for my father.

“Where’s Papi?” I said.

“Your father and I are getting divorced, honey,” My mother said. “We didn’t want to tell you, but now you asked. I’m sorry, sweetie.”

I ran out of the house with Nina, and went to the lake. I traced all the names of my lost loved ones in the sand: Melissa, Papi, Sugar, Kirby, Lensetti, and Salsa…it all just blew away so fast.

I decided to visit Ms. Danly, but when I got to her house, there were piles of mail by the door. I looked in the windows. The light in the kitchen was off; nobody was cooking oatmeal.

I heard someone say: “Ms. Danly had a heart attack, hun.”

There was Mr. Peterson, Ms. Danly ‘s next door neighbor.

“She’s dead?” I said.

“Yes, hun. She’s gone,” Mr. Peterson answered. “Now go home and tell your Mom.”

I walked home to tell my mother. Then I locked myself in my room with Nina.

“Why, Nina?” I cried. “Why us? They all died so fast. Even Papi is gone now, too, Nina. Nina, I never want to lose you! And I hope you never lose me! Nina, we will live through all this. Don’t worry; we can do all the same things that we did with Melissa…just you and me. Nina, I love you.” ~Illiana

Thank you, Illiana, for sharing this with us. If any dogpawfile member would like to share a personal story about their pet, please email


4 responses to “My Loss, and How Nina Helped Me

  1. Bubbles, Tusche, Che and Jodene

    We are so sorry for the sadness that Illiana has endured, but so thankful that she has the true love of Nina to see her through it. Illiana also has many friends here at Dogpawfile. xoxoxo

  2. Twinkle & Skye

    oh we are so so sad for all that you’ve been through Illiana. Thank God for Nina! You have our hearts ♥♥♥



  4. What a story!! Thanks for sharing!!! xoxoxo

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