As heard on Toucher & Rich this morning…
Mary and I lost one of our best friends last night. For the past four weeks, our little dog Bella had been in and out of the vet with multiple problems. First, she couldn’t keep down her food, and then the doctors started to find multiple tumors all over her body that literally had appeared overnight. This past Monday, we brought Bella to the Animal Hospital. It was our last resort. We had hopes for a moment that she would get better, but unfortunately, things took a turn for the worst.
On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, we went by to visit her at the hospital. Tuesday was a good day, she looked healthier and even played around a little. But Wednesday was a different story. She didn’t seem to know where she was, and at one point she started convulsing and vomiting blood. We were horrified and saddened. Then, out of nowhere, the most incredible thing happened. Our sweet little pup suddenly had a moment of clarity. She looked up at Mary
and I with her big beautiful brown eyes…and smiled. It was almost as if she knew it was her time, and she wanted to give us one last smile. That would be the last time we would ever see her.
At 1:30 AM Thursday morning, her doctor called and told us that Bella’s heart had stopped beating. I don’t remember much of the call after that…something about ‘she was a fighter’, ‘came out of nowhere’…I don’t know. It was a long night.
Bella was the little pup that no one wanted. She had been abandoned and was living on the streets near the border of Mexico before being saved by a bulldog rescue group named Lone Star Bulldog Rescue. No one seemed to want to adopt her because of her age and history of tumors and physical problems. She had lived a hard life. When Mary and I finally met her, she was just so sweet and affectionate that we had to take her in. She had this giant head that we
used to call her “gorilla muzzle” and the funniest looking teeth which all seemed to go in separate directions. She had the tiniest little bark that she only used when she had to go to the bathroom. When we brought her in, she had no hair on her tail. Within a few months, it was completely covered in fur once again. Mary used to say, “Love makes it grow”.
She made me laugh everyday. I’ll never forget the time she was in that doggie fashion show dressed as a ballerina in a pink tutu (not our idea!), where she poo’ed in front of all of the male models and had them screaming and running for air. She used to grunt when she was happy, she’d slobber all over you when giving you kisses, and would frequently make the kind of toot noises that always cracked up the 12-year old minded me. There was no one who ever met Bella who didn’t instantly fall in love with her. She was, hands down, the most affectionate dog I have ever met. If you were sitting on the couch, she was resting her giant muzzle on your lap.
If you were on the computer, she was resting on your feet. When you came home, she would greet you by running around in circles and grunting like a happy little piglet.
Some of my favorite memories are walking in on Mary as she was laying on the living room floor, softly petting the hair on Bella’s back while singing to her a song in her sweet, soft voice.
Mary would lie there singing until Bella would fall asleep. Every morning, Mary would walk Bella and Rooby, who were a combined 150 pounds to Mary’s 105. They’d drag her in every direction, but she loved it. She’d give Bella her medication everyday, and Bella would take it like a champ…never flinching or not cooperating. Mary LOVED Bella, and her heart was broken last night like I’ve never seen it before.
I used to laugh at people like me who make a big deal out of losing a pet. What kind of real man cries over the loss of an animal? I guess…I do. I can’t believe this hurts so bad. Mary and I have never had kids, so our pups are like our children. I feel ashamed that this has hurt more than even the loss of most friends or family members. There’s just this huge void now…I don’t know how to explain. Little things I see of hers make me sad. A half eaten can of food, the couch where she slept, her doggie bed, hairs on her blanket, her favorite pillow…and our dog Rooby.
She doesn’t know where her friend is. Does she understand what has happened? I don’t know. In the end, Mary and I are just going to focus on the great times we had with Bella. Times like these just make me appreciate what I do have even more. I have Mary to share my life with, we have our amazing dog Rooby, and we have our health. That’s more than a lot of people right now can say. We’re gonna miss our “Little Stinker”, our “Gorilla Muzzle”, our “Bella Bonita”, our “Pupwich”, our “Sweet Stuff”.
Thanks to everyone who sent us Emails of sympathy. Many of you sent us a poem that Mary and I read together tonight, called “The Rainbow Bridge”. We both just sat here and cried as we read it together. If you have a pet, hug her a little more tonight.
Mary and I miss you, Bella. We know you’re chewing on the world’s biggest bone, cuddling with St. Francis, and stinkin’ up Heaven as we speak.
Your Mom and Dad