My Bella

My life has always been filled with animals, especially dogs. Although I’ve loved them all and appreciated the joy they brought to my life, a few stand out more than others and at the top of the list is my sweet Bella. She was a gift from my nephew when I was at a very low point in my life.

On that Christmas eve so long ago, Zachary showed up for our annual gathering with his coat pocket bulging. I was stunned when he pulled out a little black fur ball with a bright red bow and handed her to me. Who could have imagined how this tiny little thing would grow into such an imposing and beautiful mass of fur, paws and teeth. She stole my heart and brought so much happiness into my life. We helped each other through so many ups and downs over the following dozen years. She was my protector on many adventures out and about with my camera, my confidant when I needed to vent, and my shoulder to cry on when I lost my mother and a year later my father. She was my best friend.

The last few months of her life were tough for both of us, but she handled it with the same grace and patience as all other struggles she had in her life. She had what was most likely degenerative myelopathy which slowly robbed her of her beautiful gait and caused incontinence which was demoralizing for a dog who always carried herself well and took care of her business in privacy due to having so much room to roam on our property. In spite of it all, she never gave up her daily walks to check on the grandkids, or her desire to go for rides around the coast. Most of all, she never moved far from my side when I was home. I am forever grateful to my DIL who babied her the hours I was away for work and my family who cherished her almost as much as I did. As with the loss of my parents, my grief at her passing is only tempered with the comfort of knowing she is not suffering and her life had purpose and touched so many.