Last night K and I were playing in her room, when the Daddy person walked in looking less than pleasant. He had been on the phone with his mom. Belle died.
A little history about Belle…
In March 2007, I had been offered a job in Denver and had gone up for 3 days for an interview and to look for apartments. I got back late at night, exhausted from driving and the excitement of moving, and was in the process of unloading my stuff when I caught a glimpse of what slightly resembled a snake with legs in the street light. I stood on the porch trying to decide what exactly it was and it kept approaching, quickly.
The suspicious slithering thing turned out to be a tiny, oily, old dachshund. I brought her inside. We took photos and posted Found signs all around the neighborhood. I posted ads at the local animal control. I called vet offices. I took her to be scanned for a microchip. My vet estimated that she was at least 15 years old. No owner turned up.
I always imagined she probably lived with an elderly person and they didn’t have the ability to search for her. She liked to eat, nap, and eat. She was very mild mannered but would attack Miles if she saw the need to do so. She weighed about 7 pounds.
She got out of the yard twice. Once not long after I met Sam and he mowed the yard and forgot to shut the gate. She was gone for a week. She got out again a few months later and I searched animal control twice. This would be when I met Chester but I can talk more about him another time. She was gone for a week again. She always seemed to turn back up.
When we found out we were having a baby and moving, all of the dogs went to stay with Sam’s parents temporarily until we could find a house and get settled. Once we closed on the house and got the yard dog ready, Miles and Penny moved with us. Belle and Chester stayed behind.
Sam’s parents have taken excellent care of them and I still got to see them. It turned out to be a win, win situation.
We went up to visit this weekend and I went into the yard to see the dogs. Chester was running around like the awkward ball of fur that he is and Belle was no where to be found. Sam came out and I asked him if Belle had died and he had just not told me. He laughed. I finally found her snoozing away. Her hearing was almost gone at that point but she still managed to love all over me.
This was the last picture I took of my sweet old girl. She had a stroke. She couldn’t come back from it. They chose to euthanize her so that she wouldn’t suffer.
And as quietly as she showed up, she left.
I cried for awhile. My three year old showed wisdom well beyond her years.
“Momma, let’s say a prayer so that you can feel better. God, we love Belle and we will see her again sometime. She is in Heaven and that is a nice place. Belle, you were a good dog and we will hug you. Amen God.” Followed with “Momma, I will wipe your eyes and you will feel alright.”
I’m so blessed to be her mom.
I read the Rainbow Bridge poem years ago and I read it again this morning when I woke up with a heavy heart and deep ache in my stomach and it took me a few seconds to remember why it was there.
Belle had a great, long life. She had two homes the last 4 years that loved her very much. And I believe she had a great home for the first 10 or so years too. We will miss her. I’m thankful she spent the last of those years being loved on and not hit by a car because the half blind old lady loved a running away adventure. And I imagine she’s running around now. We’ll miss you Belle.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….