bella the beagle

Bella died on Friday night. She started having terrible seizures during the day which intensified in the evening, due to the cancer spreading through her little body. It was agonizing to watch her have the seizures, but I held her and talked her through them. I could give her that. She wasn't walking, eating, drinking...she wasn't even sleeping really. Just waiting or suffering...whichever it was we knew we could help her. We went to the Animal ER where they gave us the best care we could have asked for. I knew we were in good hands the moment we entered the dying room (my name for it) and they turned on some lamps and turned off the too-bright overhead lights. I had thought to bring Bella in her bed and I am so thankful for it. She seemed very comfortable and I hope the smell of her bed outweighed all the other strange smells. We sat in the room for a long (or a short, depending on how you look at it) time. Finally the paperwork was done, the bill paid, the questions asked and answered and it was time to tell Bella goodbye. I don't know what you say to a pet who is going to die. I don't know what words to say to a dog who has lived with you for ten years, who has trusted you, loved you, obeyed you, defied you, wagged their tail every time they saw you. I don't know. There probably aren't any. We prayed - prayed that the Holy Spirit would be heavy in the room as we ushered our dog from life to death. I prayed Jesus would meet her and take her home and that she would tell him hello and the same to my grandma and grandpa. It is a strange thing to tell someone "okay" and have them inject a heart-stopping something into a pet you cared for since a puppy and loved with your whole heart. At first I had to stop him...not yet. I had to say one more goodbye before it was over. I stroked her head and kissed her ears and smelled her smell...just like when she was a puppy and all my maternal feelings were coming alive. We said "okay" and in went the stuff to free her from pain. I talked to her the whole time, petting her, and saying, "Good girl, Bella, good girl." I knew she understood "good girl" and I wanted her to know that's exactly what she was. She didn't fight, didn't move, just surrendered to death and she was gone. Forever. We were left with her little body, so still and quiet. Death. And the relief that had come from knowing it was the right decision, to being strong enough to hold her while she died, was soon replaced with a heartbreaking sadness and grief. Our dog, our good dog, was dead. And our home, our lives will never be the same.

How do you mourn a dog? I don't know. But I do know I hear her, I go to let her out or check on her, and I miss all the little things. I miss her trying to get her tummy scratched on my feet (even when I exercised which drove me crazy). I miss her following me upstairs. I miss her scratching on her kennel when we had forgotten to let her out. I miss hearing her prancing through the kitchen - her nails click-clacking on the floor, tail-wagging and happy. (I hadn't seen that dog for a while - I really miss how she was before.) I miss having a dog around. Bella has been with me for ten years and I am used to a life lived with her. Not this life, with her not in it. And I hate death and sickness and grieving. I hate everything death stands for and everything it takes. And I want to cry and cry for my sweet dog, for her living such a good life with us, and for being such a good girl. I hope she knows how much I loved her and how hard it was for me to say goodbye. I hope she wanted to go, to be at peace, to be free of cancer and seizures and pain. I hope she can understand our decision to say "okay," for choosing to stop her heart. I hope she is in heaven. And I hope beyond hope that I will see her again.

Comments for bella the beagle

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Dec 02, 2012
Sweet Bella
by: Anonymous

I have to believe in my own heart that you will see your Bella like I will see my Apsara. I cannot believe that God would give us such blessings if we were not to see them again.

Nov 17, 2012
For Bella
by: Patricia

I'm so sorry you have lost your sweet little beagle. People who are not true animal lovers don't understand the pain of losing a beloved pet. I lost my sweet girl in October. She was 17 years old. She passed at home and spared me from having to make the choice to put her down. I think she knew how hard that would have been for me.

Your pain will lessen in time. Hopefully you can find it in your heart to love another sweet dog and give them your love and a furever home.

They won't replace your Bella, but will bring you another type of joy.

Nov 14, 2012
bella the beagle
by: Doreen U.K.

I am so sorry for your loss of bella. What a sad and tragic loss of such a beloved dog. I can't imagine how it must have been for you in that room where bella's life ended. Looking down at her knowing this was a fatal injection that would put her to sleep forever. How very very sad. You say in your post. What do you say to a dog who you mourn? How do you grieve the loss of a dog? What you can do to honour the dog you loved is to keep a bella journal and write down all your feelings in this book which you will have forever. You can express yourself in a way you may not have been able to do in person. Bella was suffering so much and this is the only good thing about putting her to sleep. She is at peace now and not suffering.
I cried and cried when I picked up a half dying bird off our lawn. Rushing to the Vetinary surgery hoping they could save its life. The poor bird lay out on the cold lawn all night. There have been many times I rescued a bird from the cold only for it to die. My heart breaks for the pets that die. Oh how I wish Death didn't hurt so much. It sort of destroys us from Knowing and Loving so much we can't bear the sorrow that crushes us.
I hope that you go on to have another dog and hold her/him so loosely that you can part knowing that you both had a good love relationship and brought such love and happiness in to each other's lives.
The hard part of loving someone and a pet is that we have to release them back to God who gave them to us in the first place till God makes the ultimate decision of whether we have eternity when we meet Him. May life be gracious to you and bring you Peace in your sorrow.

Nov 14, 2012
love of bella
by: mom to 3 4legged kids

Your Bella is in a better place you showed your love for her by not letting her suffer. I know how you r feeling. we had to but "our Buddy Boy"(beagle) to sleep 1 year ago august. he was 13 I also was with him telling him how much we loved him . So take heart when it's your time Your Bella will be waiting to welcome you home.

Nov 14, 2012
by: Debi M.

Family of Bella -

Tears came to my eyes as I read your story of Bella. What a sweet girl. Our babies with fur show us such unconditional love - letting go of them is so painfully hard. You gave her a good home and she knew that you loved her so. Keep her picture near. I lost my little girl Chewy in May and having her picture near my computer gives me comfort. My 17 year old dog Shadow is nearing the end of his days - I call him my old man baby. Have been trying to prepare myself, but it is never easy. God Bless you for taking such good care of Bella. Comfort to you in the days ahead.

From one animal lover to another,

Debi M.

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