Adopted in Chicago and named for the Colorado town, Estes the bestest was a bright spark in a dull world. Great big paws, great big heart, and great big underbite, she was rescued from a puppy mill when she was just a baby. So smart and so goofy, it was more like having a non-talking toddler in a furry onesie shuffling around the house than a pup. Estes was a master snuggler and social butterfly, a comically clumsy canine and silly clownfish. When she was excited to see you, she did a butt-wiggling, circle-prancing dance with happy yips. When she met a stranger, she did a butt-wiggling, circle-prancing dance with happy yips. Before we went on walkies, she had to “limber up,” dramatically stretching her front paws out in front of her in an exaggerated down-dog. And when she yawned, it was with the loud, howling abandon of an old man who can’t be bothered. She was a patient, tolerant sister to Maggie Mayhem, her Westie bestie, enduring many a soggy chewed ear and unsolicited cuddle sessions. But during car rides, big sis Estes always felt more secure when she snuggled against Maggie, her protruding chin resting on Maggie’s slim shoulders. She died a year and a day ago and it has taken this long to muster the courage to write this tribute, because nothing was ever going to encapsulate this beautiful soul. Her life was cut far too short at 11 years. Westies are supposed to live forever–or at least to 16 or 17. My husband, Maggie and I miss her every day. She made every single person she met feel special. I wish you could have met her, too.