Bella [03-11-07 ~ 09-17-10]

RV's Never Say Never "Bella"

[03-11-07 ~ 09-17-10]

Where do I even begin? Bella came to me at 10 months old. She came to me with her own issues, and to be honest, I took her in with issues of my own. Together we worked through issues each of us faced, as a team, until on September 17th, 2010, at just under 4 years old, I was forced to say good-bye to my heart dog. You can read more about her story in the older posts of the blog until I have time, and emotional strength, to write it all down.

She was an amazing dog and will always hold a special spot in my heart. And this blog is in memory of her. Because all her life, she was just trying to hear those two words, 'Good Dog!'.

On the four month marker of losing Bella, I wrote this. It's not planned out, or well written, but it was really good for me to get it off my chest.
Oh, man, what can I say about this dog to possibly display half of the adoration I had and still have for her?

One of my earliest memories of Bella was the day she finally was calm around me. She was still at Nicole's - I hadn't talked mom and dad into letting me have her yet - and I had just been playing with her. I sat down on the picnic table she frequently laid on, and she came up beside me, and instead of mauling me like she would have any other day, she laid beside me, calm, with her head in my lap. It was the first time I remember her being able to be calm and relaxed around me.

I remember fondly the day my trainer finally admitted she was stubborn as a mule, but said "She really does love you."

Or the first time I took her to the vet, and she handled it like a scared puppy who'd been kicked out just one time too many.

Or the last time she saw a vet, where she greeted him with such poise and maturity that it brought tears to my eyes. It was like she knew what he was there for, and was grateful, almost, because it meant an end to her suffering.

And her goofy nicknames. Boo, Boodle, Boodleshnitzle, Boo-boo, Bella-ba-loo, Aboo, Bella-baby.

I remember the day she met Psyche, and how all it took was one little snark before they were best friends, and Bella started training Psyche to be the best dog she could be.

I remember the anticipation while driving to pick her up on December 3rd, 2007. So excited to finally be bringing a dog who'd wrapped herself around my heart home.

I remember the first time she stuck her head in the snow, down to the shoulders, and every time she did it after that.

I remember her first wade in the pond, and how she adored doing it any chance she could after that, even if it made her ears hurt.

Oh, and god, those ears. All the problems they caused, but how much personality they added. I loved those soft, squishy ears.

Or the time I forced her to actually SWIM and put her in a life jacket and carried her out into the lake, and how she clung to me.

I remember her last days, that were spent in my bedroom, tears in my eyes, just cuddling my girl for the last times I'd ever be able to.

I remember taking her for her last car ride. And giving her an Oreo cookie. And that she loved them. And the swim she got after that.

Oh, and her feet obsession. How you could always get her going by pushing her around with your feet, until she'd mouth at your pant legs and bark.

And I love how in her last few months, she'd come up to me and put her head against my chest and just stay there.

I remember trying my best to find any chance I could in her short life to say the words "Good dog, Bella" to her. To praise her, or reward her, even though she was "bad".

And I remember saying good-bye that last time with her head buried in my neck, saying "Good girl, Bella. Good girl."

I remember failing. I remember succeeding. I remember doing it all with her by my side.