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...