Monday, November 8, 2021

Thank you.

Hello friends,

This is an impossibly difficult post to write but I feel I owe Bella's followers some closure. If you haven't already seen our post on Facebook, we helped our old friend cross over Rainbow Bridge on Friday, October 15th, 2021.

While the rest of the world was closing down, Bella had the best year of her life in 2020. I started working from home in early March and have been here ever since. She and I took an afternoon walk together almost every day and she got all of mom's attention as she had always wanted. She got treats and lovin' and she sniffed and wandered for as long as she wanted.

She was the constant in our lives when the world had gone mad. She kept us grounded and gave us a routine when nothing else made any sense. And our little family held tight to each other as our world, like everyone else's, became so much smaller.

In 2021, as she turned 13 years old, we could see she was slowing down. She still came to get me for our afternoon walkies but we didn't go as far. Sometimes walkies turned into sit and watchies. And that was okay. We were together and she was happy.

Over the summer though, it appeared she may have had a stroke. Our vet noticed some neurological signs that indicated Bella probably had a brain tumor that would eventually take our girl from us. She was never in pain. She just appeared a bit more weary.

Sometimes she would seem a little confused. But then that moment would pass and she'd be back to her happy new self: the one that loved to snuggle and couldn't hear the 4th of July fireworks or summertime thunderstorms to be afraid of them.

We discussed end of life care with our vet who offered to come to our home when it was time to help make Bella's passing easier. The last thing in the world I wanted was for Bella to be afraid or panicked at the end. So we agreed we would rather let her go a day too early than a minute too late.

We watched for signs of her condition progressing and on Wednesday October 13th, Bella didn't come to get me for her afternoon walk. On Thursday, I called the vet's office to make the arrangements we had discussed, scheduling for the following Tuesday hoping to spoil her silly over the weekend.

But Friday morning, Bella let us know that she was ready to go. Because her regular vet was off that day, we made arrangements to bring her to the office later that afternoon where they would help us let her go.

We spent a beautiful sunny and crisp New England fall day doting on our best girl. She spent time on her bed outside on our deck sniffing the myriad scents that waft through the yard. We fed her sliced turkey and grilled salmon - the only things she would eat that last day. I brushed her, and washed her, and kissed her and held her. And then we got the car ready for her.

As I helped her to the car, she stood at the door of the garage and looked out at the yard as if she was taking it all in one last time: her home, her grand adventure, her long and wonderful life with us.

Our house is quiet now. While we’ve packed up most of her things, her presence looms large everywhere we look. From the moment she entered our lives until the moment she left, Bella took over our hearts and made a home there. She will be forever missed.

As ever, thank you for following the adventures of my crazy dog. Peace...

Monday, March 23, 2015

"So Long, And Thanks for All the Fish"

Boy, it's hard to write a headline to say so long for a blog about a dog that isn't going to make people panic.

Bella is fine.

Jan is fine.

I am fine.

But I think it's time to admit the blog is not so fine.

All good things and all that...

I started Bringing up Bella as a journal about my crazy, smart (and crazy-smart) scared-y dog. It became so much more than that.

And while I am grateful for the friendships we've made, amazed by all the other pet lovers and bloggers we've discovered and so very humbled by the trust other scared-y dog owners have put in us, I am also more than a little exhausted by the amount of effort it takes to keep "it all" going.

I've made some half-hearted attempts over the last year to reinvigorate things here but the fact is, the time I've devoted to the blog in the past is time now being devoted to Bella et al in the present.

It's also true that I have less to offer the scared-y dog community since, well, since Bella's not quite the scared-y dog she once was. No, she'll never hang out with dogs at the dog park again and yes, walking or driving places with her will always be a lesson in patience and humility, but over the years she has grown into a pretty happy, healthy dog.

Bella has her own special set of issues that we will continue to work with her, her doctors and her behavioral team to address but I need to put my focus back on her, myself and my family. There are only so many hours in a day and I already spend far too many of them in front of this computer.

Photo © Amanda Jones

I will keep the blog online as I know there are people who've found comfort and camaraderie here, but I will not be updating it again. I guess I just needed to say it out loud so I could stop pretending in my head that I was going to get back around to it one day.

As for my original intent of this blog, I've started a private journal to keep Bella's stories for myself. Who knows, maybe someday I'll put them all together to share with the world? And maybe I will drop some pictures here again over the years.

Or maybe, just maybe, I'll inherit oodles of cash from some long lost relative, quit my job, save all the animals and find myself with copious amounts of time to dedicate here again. Hey, it could happen.

In the meantime, I will continue to share stories and pictures on Bella's Facebook page. If you haven't already found us there, I hope you'll take the opportunity to drop in and give us a "Like".

Thank you to everyone who has visited, commented, emailed, Tweeted, Pinned, worked with or sworn at us. It has been a blast and I have loved every minute of it.

"Life is short. Play with your dog."

Wishing you and yours
All the best,

(With all due respect and admiration to the wonderful, but sadly late, Douglas Adams, for the post title.)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Journal Entry - January 19th, 2015

Bella played ball with me yesterday.

It wasn't exactly fetch. Sometimes she brought the ball back. More often she picked it up and played with it by herself - swatting and stomping on it with her feet, pushing it with her nose, tossing it in the air allowing for a second catch, and chasing it again when it rolled down the hill.

But she got excited when I did get hold of it, jumping up and down, and watching and waiting in anticipation of it being thrown again.

She is almost 7 year old and I think she has finally figured out that ball is a great game made better when played by two.

It was delightful.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Christmas, everyone.

From everyone here at Bringing up Bella, we wish you the happiest of holidays
and all the best in the new year.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wordless Wednesday 135 - Photo shoot first peek

You didn't expect her to be quiet, now did you? Oh no, not my little blabbermouth.

Photo credit: Amanda Jones Photography compliments of Petplan Pet Insurance