Monday, March 26, 2012


Yeah, I realize that I've already posted tonight and that this is just overkill, but these two posts just can't be combined.  (Just scroll down for the cheerful one about Max.  I wanted to write that one first since this one is a major downer...)

Such is the schizophrenia of the past few weeks.

We brought Max home a month ago.  We learned that Bella was gone on the same day.

She would have been three today.

I think that for most people, a dog's birthday is something that you may or may not mark -- it's on a paper somewhere (or not), but without real memories attached to it, it has no real meaning.

That's not the case for us, though, because Bella was literally born in my lap.

This is Bella (then Squeaker) and Mia (then Red-tail and then Rosie) the next morning.  Bella is the one of the bottom -- though the only way to tell is from the red nailpolish on Mia's foot!  They were born around 2am and we put a foam mattress next to Cleo's whelping box so that we could make sure everything was OK with mom and puppies for the next few nights.  The funny thing is that the mattress has been in Max's room in the exact same place for the past few weeks for pretty much the exact same reason.

Puppies grow up fast.  Too fast.  The next 8 weeks or so were some of the happiest memories of my life.  Bella and her sister were just that adorable.  

It seems like it took forever for them to open their eyes, but when they did...well, that's when things really got interesting at our house.

(I guarantee that this was Bella.  Mia was always better behaved...)

(Proud mama!)

Eventually Mia went to live with some dear friends of ours (and we still get baby-sitting privileges, which is pretty awesome) and Bella went to live with Jason's sister.  She came home to us about a year later, and while we had never planned on having three dogs, there was always something about Bella that just made you love her.  She was the loudest and the naughtiest of our dogs, but she was also the snuggliest and the softest.  

I miss her terribly still.  It's a quiet grief now, I am guessing that only Jason still realizes how much it remains present in our life -- simply because it is the same for me.  But every day there is a moment -- when I go to fill a dog bowl that isn't there or when I automatically check the front window as I drive up to the house to see if someone has jumped over the gate again -- when it hurts enough to choke.  

Somewhere she is three years old today.  Happy birthday Bellsabee.  I miss you.

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