Today I lost a friend. One who came into my life a little over twelve years ago and has been by my side ever since. She never asked for much. She never gave me any trouble. She was faithful in all things and was always ready to be by my side whenever I asked her. She made me laugh and today she made me cry. I am broken hearted at her loss. It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t expected. Yesterday she seemed well enough, but today she had horrible symptoms. She could barely breathe and could barely walk. So I did what I had to do and called her doctor.
“Come in at four and you will see Doctor Witt, ” I was told. Or rather she would see Dr. Witt. We had to sit outside in the car while they took her inside. It did not look good. She had a mass in her throat and she would have to go through all kinds of tests causing her much stress and I just couldn’t bare that. David signed some papers saying we agreed to the last procedure. One which she would not live through. I could barely contain the tears. My throat felt tight. My heart, oh, my heart was breaking.
You see, it was my dear dog, Belle, who went to the Rainbow Bridge today. I could not bear to put her through all the stress of tests and surgeries . She was old and didn’t need that, but it still did not make it easy. They made a cast of her paw and I can’t bear to look at it right now. Maybe later.
Belle was such a good dog. I remember when I saw chocolate Lab puppies advertised in the paper and immediately called their owners to see if I could come see them. When we got to their house they took us to their garage where they had a low cage for the puppies. One jumped over the cage and came right to me and I knew then that she would be mine. I named her Belle Lattedah, her registered name and we called her Belle. She came home with us that day and she’s been a blessing ever since. I watched her grow and she and I took long walks together almost every day until one day I couldn’t walk because I had hurt my leg. The walks got shorter and less frequent. I knew she missed them. I sure missed them. She’d get excited if I even touched her leash. I felt like I had failed her in some way. But we still played in the yard. She and Bonnie were buds and then we brought home a third dog that decided she would rule the yard and Belle let her for the most part. I saw her growl and snap at Molly a few times to show her authority, but as she grew older and Molly grew bigger and stronger, Belle was no longer the dominant dog. She spent her days lying under the porch where it was cool. Sometimes she’d come out to chase a rabbit or bark at the neighbor’s dog, but she spent most of the time sleeping.
Yesterday she seemed fine or as fine as an arthritic twelve year old dog can be, but this morning David told me Belle was not acting right. She just stood and hung her head and her breathing was labored. l It reminded me of the day when Bonnie died and I knew this day would not end happily. And it didn’t. I know one day I will get another puppy. That’s a given. It will never take Belle’s place, but it will make my heart a little less sad.
So, farewell old friend. I really hope there is a Rainbow bridge. I can’t think God would create something so wonderful as dogs and not allow us to see them once again. I know animals don’t have souls, but God knows our hearts and what we need so I’m planning on seeing all my dogs again one day. I love you, Belle. Good-bye.