Saying Goodbye to Bella
Saying goodbye to Bella was what we did on Monday night. Honestly, the most heartbreaking experience I’ve had yet. But, what makes it okay and what makes me feel at ease are all of the precious memories Bella left me with. She was an amazing friend who demanded my attention and tested my patience. She was also the cuddle monster, the earliest riser our house has even seen, and the chuck-it champion.
Here are a few photos and some sweet memories of my cherished Bella-rama.
Bella was born on October 13, 2004 and Bryce picked her up in a massive snowstorm – he told me the adorable story of her curled in a ball on the back seat of his baby blue ’92 Camry. Clearly, she enjoyed car rides!
We got our Honda Element knowing it would be perfect for our pups – here they are ready to hit the road.
Bella came into my life in early 2007 when Bryce and I started dating. We would take her for walks at Conroy Pit in Ottawa and make her run up and down the hill at the back. I would stand at the bottom and Bryce at the top and we’d call her back and forth trying to tucker her out so she would last through a movie on the couch – that rarely happened.
This was her newish chuck-it. Her old one was so dirty, yet well used and loved. Everyone, Bryce’s parents, Bryce and even me played chuck-it with Bella for hours. She loved every moment of it – pure bliss.
Below, that’s her trying to steal my marshmallow. She loved the sugary treat.
One of my most favourite memories of Bella was the summer of 2012 and we were having Bryce’s co-workers over for a BBQ in June or July. We had about 25-30 people over and the party started around 4. Bella loves people – she loves to smell them and lick their pants. She played with some of the kids and ate steaks and samosas off of people’s unattended plates.
Around 11:30 at night we were sitting around the fire and she came up to me and just crawled in my lap, head over my shoulder and she just collapsed in exhaustion. I held her for about 20 minutes while she slept and I can remember feeling this beautiful sense of calm and peace. I was exactly where I was meant to be.
Summer fires were the perfect end to busy summer days.
Who doesn’t love a cereal themed birthday! This girl was turing was turning 8! One of 4 wonderful birthdays she spent here on our acreage. She wasn’t too impressed with her hat…
…but the marshmallow cereal cake with peanut butter and nuts was a sure winner. Who eats cake like that? Just taking it all at once. Such a little rascal.
Lily was her best friend and they loved sleeping, napping, and tv watching on the couch. They often snuggled and just loved being together. Bella was certainly the alpha, though. If Lily was in a spot that she wanted, Bella got it and Lily moved kindly to make sure Bella was comfortable.
Ah – family photos! We have a few good ones and last weekend we spent a couple of days in the mountains at Jasper Park Lodge and got a few amazing family shots. I’ll share those next week – she even got to sleep in the bed.
The red couch Christmas photo shoot was so much fun – Bella loved having the couch in the yard. And, once we moved it outside it then ended up in the shop which was even more perfect. Bella would nap on the couch in the wood shop while Bryce worked away on various projects. She just loved to be around people.
Sweet potato chips – for her 11th birthday this past October. She was spoiled. Look at those eyes!
She loved the sun and staying warm and toasty. Here she was keeping watch and enjoying some rays.
I often gave Bella and Lily baths. The curl on her back showed up after I gave the first few.
There was one day when I got home from visiting Bryce in California during the fall of 2014 and I had to give her a huge bath. I flew in around noon and Bryce’s parent had picked me up and even left a few groceries in the fridge. It happened to be a Tuesday, though, and Save-on-Foods had a 15% off sale the first Tuesday of every month. So, I loaded Bella and Lily into the car and away we went. I got a small container or milk for cereal and a few other items. When I began to merge back onto the highway this car cut me off and I had to abruptly slow down. As a result, Lily stepped back onto the groceries and popped the milk – Bella, covered in milk made her way into the front seat and just sat there. The Honda was covered in milk and so were the girls.
Bath time for all – the Honda included. It was so funny and Bella had this look of pure annoyance on her face. I’m laughing now just thinking about it.
She wasn’t a big fan of selfies, nor am I, but I snagged this one of us just a month ago. I love her.
Me looking at Bella and Bella looking at Bryce. Pure joy.
This is the face you make when Bella kept you from getting off the couch. She had this way of snuggling into you and even if you had to get up to pee you would spend an extra few minutes with her on the couch then try to slither out from under her. The best part, when you returned, she most likely would have stolen your spot. Sheldon Cooper wouldn’t have had any patience for Bella.
This is Bella, Bryce and Lily on the lawn at JPL last weekend – I was setting up the tripod for our family photo and caught this one in a test shot.
Sweet Bella – we miss you each moment of each day. You were truly one of my very best friends and my heart continues to grow with love for you each day. Since she got sick in the summer of 2013 we slowed down and took the time to really enjoy and be grateful for every moment we had with her. We were given 11 1/2 years with this stinker and she truly made Bryce and I better people. She had a great life, a full belly, and played right up until her last few hours.
Bella-rama – you are so loved.