Goodbye, sweet Bella boo

You get a once-in-a-lifetime dog… and Bella is mine.

I fiercely loved this little dog for her entire life. All 14 1/2 years. And I’m going to miss her with my entire heart until we can be together again one day.

Bella was a Valentine’s gift from the Pilot when we’d only been dating for a few months. We had gone to look at puppies and she was my very favorite: the runt of the litter with slightly apricot curly fur and what I could tell was a spunky spirit and sassy personality. I was studying at my apartment a week later, and the Pilot left to “run an errand.” He came back with Bella, who was damp from the quick bath the owners had given her, and wrapped in one of their t-shirts. I fell in love with her instantly and from then on, she was my very best friend.

She lived with us in Fayetteville, Valdosta, Orlando, Tucson, San Diego, back to Valdosta, and back to Tucson.

She was with me as I finished college during the Pilot’s first deployment. We were together for three more deployments, the birth of our babies, job promotions, major life changes, the highest highs and the lowest lows. She’s been my constant in the chaos that was our military life and she loved me and always had tons of puppy kisses and a tail that would shake her entire body with excitement. She’s been to movie theaters with me, many patio dining experiences, parks, vacations, and so many car rides and neighborhood walks.

Although she routinely ate her servings of dog food, any human food left unguarded in her vicinity was at risk of being snatched up when we weren’t looking. We joked that she was the “trash can” and she had a stomach of steel. Over the years, she’s had an entire chocolate bar(!), coconut curry chicken and rice, pizza, waffles, pancakes, pasta, and anything chicken, to name a few.

(That one time she stole a chicken tender and took it outside to enjoy on the grass.)

Bella was more of a person than a dog. She was wise and brilliantly smart. She always had a twinkle in her eye and knew exactly when you needed a kiss or a snuggle. We called her The Healer because if you were sick or sad, she snuggled up with you and stayed by your side until you were feeling better. I never really felt like I had to “take care of her.” Yes, I gave her food and and water and made sure she was groomed, etc. but it always just felt like we were hanging out and having fun together. If anything, she took care of me.

She thought she was a big dog. At the dog park, it’s like she was offended that she had to stay on the little dog side. She’d bark along the fence at the big dogs until they’d sprint with her, back and forth. We could never believe how fast she could run! She would sprint back and forth until she finally trotted over to a shady spot to roll in the grass and relax. Just until this past week, she’d still get the zoomies and run around upstairs, or coerce Caro into chasing her in the backyard.

She had a thousand nicknames (Bell, Belly, Za Beal, Bealerton, Señor Beal-o, Bell-bell, Bella-boo, Bamboozler, the list goes on and on and on…) and it was very common to add her name into top 40s songs. Even the girls did this and it was normal for P to sing, “I love it when you call me Bell-erita.”

I read somewhere that we don’t deserve dogs and wholeheartedly agree. She always felt too good to be true, and since she was a tiny puppy, I never took her for granted. Every single night, I would snuggle her, tell her how much I loved her, and I’d jokingly tell her that she has to live forever.

This past weekend, Bella’s tiny energetic body gave out on her, after a lifetime of unconditional joy and love she brought into our house. The sarcoma ravaged her so quickly it still boggles my mind. The ophthalmologist said we had days or weeks left with her and I didn’t want to believe him. I’d think, “It’s Bell. It’s a horrible prognosis, but she’s strong and feisty. I think we’ll get longer than that.” When she stopped eating and just wanted to be held the last day, we knew it was time. It was an impossible decision but in the end, we didn’t want her to suffer or feel pain, or to selfishly wait a couple more days just to have more time with her.

The vet came to our house so she could be in her favorite spot. The girls kissed her goodbye and my mom took them up to the playroom, and I cradled her in my arms. As she began to fall alseep, the Pilot pet her curly fur and gazed into her eyes while we both told her one last time how special she is, how much we loved her, and thank you for always being there. I held her the entire time as Bella left earthside, and cried into her fur when she was gone. I can still feel her body snuggled up in mine as I type this. Forever wouldn’t have been enough time with this amazing girl, but I feel so thankful that she was with us for so long.

She taught our babies to love dogs. She taught me how to be a mom. She’s a part of me that will always be there but I can’t believe she’s no longer here. I’m still trying to make it through a day without randomly crying. The emptiness and loneliness is crushing. I still expect her to come bounding through the garage door with her tail shaking her entire body. She’s slept next to me for 14 1/2 years and she was always in the kitchen when I was cooking, hoping for me to give her a bite.

I’m going to take a couple of days off the blog and will be back for Friday Faves. I know that blogging will help to give me a sense of normalcy as I navigate all of this.

Thank you for those of you who have reached out and for loving Bella from afar for all of this time. I’m sure she’s up there watching golf with my Tata Gene, sprinting with the big dogs, and eating whole rotisserie chickens.

xo,
Gina

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120 Comments

  1. Bo on September 7, 2020 at 7:08 am

    Oh Gina. I am so, so sorry for your loss. My heart is with you as you work your way through this nearly impossible time. It is a gift to go through early adulthood with the unconditional love and steadiness of the best dog in the world (for you, I have one too). While the loss is profound, as you said, it is a small price to pay for the years of love you all shared. I have have been reading you for a looooooong time, I know you will take the time to grieve and come out the other side. Peace and love to you and yours. Xoxo

    • Katie on September 7, 2020 at 8:18 am

      Oh Gina – you and sweet Bella are amazing. You (and the whole family) loved that little spirit wholeheartedly. Your readers (that sounds too impersonal) could feel the love you shared through pictures and your amazing ability to put into words things most of us are feeling. I’ve been a reader/admirer since your first Valdosta experience and you’re right, she was a constant in this crazy world we live in. Just know that your readers are holding you up in prayer, and support, and so much love. Take the time you need to grieve – though I think when we have a special spirit like Bella, the grief never really ends, we just finally get used to the pain, and looking around, and expecting them to bound back into the room. We will be here when you get back, and we will be praying/sending good thoughts/holding the entire family in our hearts.

      XoXo from your tribe, we’ll hold you up as you transition through this tough time.

      • Jan Fernandez on September 7, 2020 at 10:03 pm

        What a beautiful tribute to a very special little dog. She was as lucky to have you as you were to have her. I agree that those once in a lifetime dogs. I have my own best friend Leo. Leo has thyroid cancer and I know that this has an ending in the not too far off future. I really hope that I can make it through. The idea of coming home to no one as well as spending the evenings with out him is unbearable. He’s an amazing listener. Always there for me. Well God bless Bella and your family. Keep those memories close to your heart.

        • Holly on September 7, 2020 at 11:59 pm

          Grief and loss are different for everyone. My voice still cracks when I talk about Lucy passing in April. Our furkids are our nurses, therapists, kindest companions. I have lost 3 dogs in my lifetime and even though I can’t bear the loss, I also can’t live without one. Sydney, Lucy and Bailey. Luce and Bail I had together. They are with us through it all like no other. I recently rescued an older pupper and she has been a great comfort. She was scared and sad when I first got her and I was sad and lonely. I feel like it is a tribute to my older girls and after 2 mos. Maddie is a new dog. Take care of yourself. Love is love it comes from the same place no matter who we give it to and grieving is what happens when we lose that connection. I lost Sydney in 2007 and I still remember her so vividly. All of them, I will never forgot, our hearts are knitted together. I am glad I made an album with some notes for each one and I have an amazing geometric wooden urn I bought online to keep some of their ashes. It helps me to read about how much love people everywhere have for their non-human companions. It makes us better people.

        • Lou on September 8, 2020 at 12:26 am

          So sorry for your loss..it’s like I’m reliving my own loss 2yrs this Sept 23rd. ChewyG (G was for gangster, and that’s how my 4 and half pound Black and Tan Yorkie walked and lived his 14 and half years. 4 and half pounds of pit bull. Yes, queer as it may sound he was and is my soul mate. Despite having a 4 and 5 year old little humans, aka kids, he was it and it was only him for long time. Today he is still with me, our unconditional love for each other is everlasting. The loss is a continuous surreal feeling, that you vaguely had an idea would come, but the thought of it, while they were alive, would never seem real, after all their lives were fueled by this endless love for them.
          Then it happens,…it sucks! My heart goes out to you guys….hang in there, take care

          • Deirdre Turner on September 8, 2020 at 1:27 am

            Wow. I cried all the way! She was beautiful & very special little fur baby! I’ve had too many, return to fur baby Heaven, too soon. I’ve cried buckets. I now hug. Kiss & have them saved, to be with me forever. I also remember this story. “When “God” this world, he also made sure We had “Dogs”

            He told the “Dogs” you are you stay with the humans. Guage them. Love them. Play with them. But most all. Keep them save. Because you are there because I can’t be. Yes your name is my , only reversed. “God > Dog”

            Blessings to You & your family, DeeDee



    • Luz Chevalier on September 7, 2020 at 8:36 pm

      As I read this story, it seem to me this little Bella was/is my little Zoe’s twin sister.Amazing! Every word this young lady described on her writings about her little Bella is true with my Zoe, From the cuddles to the rotisserie chicken to steal in little bits from the table to loving children to thinking that she is a big dog she takes seriously the job of defending her family sometimes so I’m afraid she’ll bark at the wrong dog and she’ll get killed. Of course I leave with that fear all my life because in 2016 a pitbull kill my Yorky and I still cry For him I believe people should not be allowed anywhere they should be against the law because this was a pitbull in the family he knew my Yorky saw him almost every day and your key was a gentle soul like friends describe them on Facebook and did nothing to deserve to be killed so for this reason My Zoe never goes out ever only to the vet so I know exactly how you feel miss you must miss Bella a lot take refuge in your children and your family and your prayers and the Lord will take care of your heart. You know something I’m an elderly person and I worry very much so if I go firstWho’s going to love my doggy like I love her, and if she goes first with my heart stand that horrible pain for many years she’s my family since I live alone and with corona people forget that elderly people are still a life I wish I could live near you so my Zoe, Could give you cuddles and perhaps if I go first you’re kinder heart will take care of my Zoe When I’m gone I’m sure you would think every day that she’s your Bella they look exactly alike in the pictures I had to take a double look because I thought he was my Zoe, Like I said they were twins made in heaven. May the Lord comfort you and surround you with love and hug and a kiss from me and my doggy for having been such a special person to Bella.

      • Mary Van on September 7, 2020 at 11:58 pm

        We will definitely see Bella in heaven. Many people have died and come back and told what they saw and they saw their animals and many others.. after all Jesus is coming back on a white horse. I look forward to seeing my beautiful boxer in heaven.. they all have little soles

    • Sherry on September 7, 2020 at 8:39 pm

      I am so sorry for your loss. I have told my fur babies that they are not allowed to die too. But , even knowing that I will lose them , I can’t imagine my life without them. God bless Miss Bella and may she rest in peace.

    • Charlie Flores on September 7, 2020 at 9:23 pm

      https://youtu.be/OfPCvzIv4Io
      This video helped me out a lot when I lost my pet it’s in Spanish maybe you can try to get the English version❤️

    • Tamara S Waters on September 7, 2020 at 9:52 pm

      I too lost my franny. A. Maltese. Poodle a little over a month ago. After 13 years.. I feel your pain and. Saddness. I miss my. Franny sooo much… I know its very hard. God bless you and. Bella. You will see her again…Take care. ..❤❤❤

      • Krissy Pearson on September 7, 2020 at 11:50 pm

        I just read this i am so sorry for the loss of your sweet bella! Reading made me cry my eyes out as my little guy is getting older! Prayers for you and the rest of the family❤❤

      • Deborah Bailey on September 8, 2020 at 2:23 am

        What a beautiful tribute to Bella. As a long time pet person it hard to lose that special fur baby that has stolen our heart. Having lost many pets over my lifetime the one e thing that gives me strength to get through each day during this trying is my little 14 lb. rescue dog…Della. She is always by my side and gives me unconditional love 24/7. My heart goes to you and your family. God Bless you.

    • TOM on September 7, 2020 at 9:56 pm

      Hi. My sincerest sympathy for you losing your girl. I’m just an old man and saw your post. In June, I lost my best friend in the whole world after 12 years. My little girl was as yours must have been, the light of my life, my best buddy. I still get dust in my eyes, every time I think of her or see her picture or watch a video. So my heart goes out to you. I feel your pain.and again my sympathy

      • Corliss on September 8, 2020 at 1:53 am

        The hardest days of our lives occur when we must say good-bye to our furry family members.the vet told me he could keep my Chip alive for a few weeks, but it would be for me.He had devoted the entire 15 years of his life to me, and deserved to due with dignity. Although instructed to leave the room, I refused. Hie was not going to leave the world frightened and alone. I

    • Kimberly on September 7, 2020 at 10:03 pm

      The loss of a fur baby is a spiritual pain that changes you. There is nothing that compares. You are blessed to have been chosen as Bella’s Mom. You will always have that. She has her wings now and she will wrap them around you when you need comfort. God bless.

    • Susan Killar-Jordan on September 7, 2020 at 10:10 pm

      I stumbled on this in my goggle search. Your Bell looks like a Malitpoo. I have a Malitpoo, Jack. Jack will be 5 in November and when he crosses over I will purchase another Malitpoo, hopefully from the same breeder.I want to push you in that direction too.In honor
      of Bell.Don’t wait,Bell wants you to share your love.Sue

    • Karen Segvich on September 7, 2020 at 10:57 pm

      This story broke my heart. I have a beautiful dog “Charlie” he too has been with me for (16) years he is huge part of the family. Charlie always with me every day. I love him so much and understand what you are going through. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. I hope every kind response you receive will give you the support you need to move forward. You both were lucky to have each other. God bless!

    • Nancy Westmoreland on September 7, 2020 at 11:46 pm

      I just went through the same thing with my dearly loved, 16-year companion, Cutipye!!!

      I feel every word…be strong, my sister!!!

    • Joe bruno on September 8, 2020 at 12:02 am

      I don’t know you iam a Italian guy from new Jersey iam a tough guy but your story of your dog as me crying like a baby dogs give you uncontional love I have 5 small dogs I bring the treats every day I love my dogs more then people they give me so much love I know how you feel my stomach hurts reading your story

    • Wanda on September 8, 2020 at 9:10 am

      Gina,
      I could have typed this about my precious dog Peached. My heart goes out to you and the loss of your Bella. I could hardly read your post because of my tears knowing how very special our little people dogs are. You will carry her in Your always! I know it doesn’t feel like it but time will heal you and give you peace. May God give you peace and happy happy memories of Bella!

  2. Leigh on September 7, 2020 at 7:12 am

    This brought me to tears. I have been through this heartbreak twice and understand the pain and loss you are feeling. They are our constant companions and love unconditionally. So very sorry.

    • Kathie on September 7, 2020 at 9:47 pm

      Dear Gina,
      I miss my 180 lbs apricot English mastiff…every day …its been 5 years that she went to the playground in the sky….I feel your pain. We have since rescued a beautiful great Dane who was horrible when we first got him and turned out to be a prince. We talk about Lager as if she was still here and told Lincoln he has some big shoes to fill. A dog is a person’s best friend and once that is established..you will always feel their loss and always be thankfu…because…YOU WERE LOVED!
      You did a great job…and that little one appreciated it!

  3. Emily on September 7, 2020 at 7:31 am

    Hugs to you. I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Brian on September 7, 2020 at 9:27 pm

      So sorry!! She’s at peace now w with all those memories of the beautiful life you gave her RIP BELLA

    • Erin on September 7, 2020 at 10:38 pm

      This made me teary eyed. I have lost two very special dogs in my life time. It was been almost five years for one and 7 months for the other. I miss them both still every single day.:( thank you for sharing this beautiful story of your beloved Bella.

  4. Cara on September 7, 2020 at 7:36 am

    Much love and hugs to you!

  5. Emily M on September 7, 2020 at 7:41 am

    Oh Gina, I am so, so sorry. I lost my first dog, Peaches (very similar story, got her in college, she’s been with me through ALL the things) after 15 1/2 years to a nasal sarcoma on June 1. I know just what you mean about still expecting to turn a corner and she’ll just be there, bc why wouldn’t she be? Sending you a huge virtual hug. What a sweet tribute to your Bella <3

    • Penny on September 7, 2020 at 9:48 am

      Beautiful tribute, Gina. Sending lots of love.

  6. Maggie on September 7, 2020 at 8:23 am

    I’m so sorry. What a tribute and a nice way to be able for you and others to remember her. I’m sure her memory will be a blessing for your family for a long time.

    • Donna on September 7, 2020 at 10:06 pm

      Your post made me cry. I too have a Bella that means the world to me. I can’t even imagine.
      I’m sorry for your loss.

    • Trisha Tennyson on September 7, 2020 at 10:44 pm

      What a touching tribute. They give us so much more than we could possibly give them.

  7. Julie on September 7, 2020 at 8:39 am

    So sorry Gina! My heart is breaking for u. My “Bella” is named Maggie, & I truly can’t imagine life without her. Just in the last year she was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder which has caused her to go almost totally blind. She also had to have one of her toes removed (cancer scare). She’s on about five different medications for the blindness. We still go on walks every day and like Bella she loves to bark at all the dogs and race up and down the fences with them. I’ve had her for eight years and I pray to God I get to have her for eight more. Sending lots of hugs and love to you all.

    • Erica Simons on September 7, 2020 at 9:36 pm

      I am soo sorry for your loss. I know to alot of people a dog is just a dog but i know they are family. I know its extremely hard and painful to loose your doggie. I will pray that you find comfort in her memories. Sending lots of love your way.

    • Melissa withers on September 7, 2020 at 9:38 pm

      My condolences, I lost one of my female mini schbauzers @10 years old! So I know how hard it is to lose your fury child!! Your story is heartbreaking I broke into full tears just reading your story! Again my heart goes out to you and your entire family!

    • Christina Gonzalez on September 7, 2020 at 11:35 pm

      I can completely relate to you. I just lost my baby Candy on Aug 20. She was also the runt, and I fell in love with her the first day I met her. She was with me for almost 17 years. I have almost the same story as you. She was with us before we got married, moved with us from house to house, with me when I had my kids. She was my best friend, companion and my child. It’s been 2 1/2 weeks since she passed and I’m trying to live without her. But it’s so hard. My house feels so cold without her here. I feel like nobody knows how I feel, or how much it hurts.

  8. Layla on September 7, 2020 at 8:39 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. This was a beautiful post and tribute to Bella. You were both so lucky to have each other.

    • Jonna on September 7, 2020 at 8:19 pm

      Gina, I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. My heart is heavy for you. You and your family are in my thoughts xo

  9. Karen Johnson on September 7, 2020 at 9:21 am

    I’m so sorry, Gina.

  10. Ellen on September 7, 2020 at 9:23 am

    I’m heartbroken for you and your family. You gave that sweet girl as much love as she gave to all of you. I’m so very sorry.

  11. Katie on September 7, 2020 at 9:24 am

    I’m so sorry that you and your family lost your beloved friend. This was a beautiful eulogy for her. I hope you take plenty of time for yourself to heal this week <3

  12. Sara on September 7, 2020 at 9:24 am

    I’m so so sorry for your loss.

    • Sarah pinkham on September 7, 2020 at 10:50 pm

      Omg that was the most beautiful tribute to bella,I felt like I new her after reading your article. I feel your pain,and after finishing reading the whole thing I felt just how special and loved she was I was in absolute tears for your loss.Most people don’t say these things about the kids.Its nice to here stories from other animals lovers who treasure their animals like my self. Rest in peace sweet bella you’ll be forever missed.

  13. Ginger on September 7, 2020 at 9:28 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I have lost pets over the years and there is one, with me for 13 years, that still hurts a few years later. I am thankful for the time we had together even though it hurt so much. My daughter was about 6-7 at the time and I think she was blown away by how I cried for days and days, and even on and off later. I try to protect her from emotions that I think could be damaging for her to see (like bad low self esteem moments) but I didn’t even try to hold back then. I needed the catharsis and the time.
    I am glad you are taking a few days off. I hope your heart starts to heal a little bit soon, though of course you will never forget and do not want to!!
    It’s wonderful the girls got to experience her magic, too.

    • Edward Henderson on September 7, 2020 at 9:52 pm

      Sorry for the loss of your dog. I know what’s it’s like to have a loving pet around for that period of time. I, too, have a dog for the past 14 years, and just last week I thought I might of loss him, but he rallied back after a hospital stay. I dread the day when he is no longer with me. To read your story about your loss gives me strength for when that day come. So sorry please take care.

  14. Kirsten on September 7, 2020 at 9:51 am

    Dogs are awesome and such a gift! I’m so very sorry for your loss. I hope my little beloved Scruffy meets her at the gates of the Rainbow Bridge.

  15. Charlene on September 7, 2020 at 10:28 am

    My condolences on your loss. Dogs are family and we don’t deserve them. Bella will always live in your heart.

  16. Elissa on September 7, 2020 at 10:33 am

    Beautiful tribute. I’m crying with you. My Shy just turned 15, I got her when I graduated university, just a few months into dating my now husband. She used to go everywhere with us, even to the Grand Canyon! But now she tends to stay home with grandma when we take the kids away. She still gives us stink eye every time we pack a bag! We had a scare with her eye a few months back, but thankfully it has healed. That trip to the vet also told us she needed kidney medication, so I know our days are numbered. I can’t imagine. She’s on my lap now.

    Sending love to you!

  17. Michelle on September 7, 2020 at 11:09 am

    So sorry for your loss.

    • Kim on September 7, 2020 at 6:00 pm

      Such a sweet post for your bff pup! Sorry for the loss and hoping the memories can bring some comfort!!

      • Myrna on September 7, 2020 at 9:31 pm

        Gina, I just came across your story, my condolences to you and your family.. I also had to put my baby girl Mindy down last month.
        Your Bella was a part of your family and will always be. I can relate how Bella shaped your life in many ways. I miss Mindy daily as well, and she also sat on the kitchen floor watching me cook and waited to get a morsel. I have kept her 2 beds in the same place, and put her picture in a frame and placed them in her beds. It has helped me see her in those spots that she enjoyed.

  18. Wendy on September 7, 2020 at 11:31 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. Pets are such an integral part of our family.

  19. Katie on September 7, 2020 at 11:50 am

    My heart is just breaking for you. There is just no love the like the love we have for our dogs. It sounds like you were both so lucky to have each other. Let yourself cry, and let it hurt. One day you’ll wake up and your first thought about sweet Bella will be about something fun or a happy memory, and you’ll realize that your heart is starting to heal. I don’t think they really ever leave us! I’m sending you all so much love!

  20. Jacquelyn on September 7, 2020 at 11:55 am

    Sending so Much love, virtual hugs and healing to you the girls and the Pilot. I am so very sorry. I can’t imagine what you’re all going through. We love you Gina.

  21. Barbara on September 7, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Such a lovely tribute; thanks Gina, as always, for sharing your heart.
    So many people (including me) have been touched by this, and are sending so much love to you and your family; I hope you can feel it and it gives you some comfort in the face of this huge loss.

  22. Lily on September 7, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    So sorry for your loss. She was obviously SO loved and had the best possible life with you. She’s no longer in pain, but you’ve taken on that pain as your own now and I know it hurts so much.

    This comic has always made me smile: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/85427724151749176/ Bella is hanging with my Bibi (yorkie, also passed at 14 1/2 years) waiting for us!

  23. Amanda on September 7, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    I’m unbelievably sorry. Our pets are our greatest companions and we would do anything for them. Even let them go when we have to. That’s what love is.
    Thinking of you and sending hugs.

    • Marilyn H Cirulis on September 7, 2020 at 11:17 pm

      Your story of Bella brought to mind all the wonderful dogs I’ve loved and lost. I like to think they’re in a better place, romping together and waiting for us to join them.

  24. Melissa T. on September 7, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    So sorry for your loss. I feel the same way about my pup so I can only imagine your pain and grief. Sending you love.

  25. Emily on September 7, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    I cried reading this post. My heart goes out to you and your family. Sending love xx

    • Daniel Romano on September 7, 2020 at 10:24 pm

      I thank you for writing such a beautiful tribute to Bella Boo. I can’t tell you how much I hung on every word because on June 8th our beautiful girl Tori who would have been 16 on October 4th was viciously killed by a mountain lion and I have been a total mess for 3 months now. I cry so much because just like your beautiful Bella Tori was the personality of our household. Her husband and 2 sons are so different from her. They all have these unique personalities and Tori’s was the best ever. When I read your story I began sobbing so hard and can’t stop. I’m happy you were able to say goodbye properly and hold her as she left because I can’t get Tori’s death out of my head. It haunts me and makes me very depressed. I don’t have any friends or family so it’s really hard so reading your story made me feel not so alone if even just briefly. Tori had like 1000 nicknames too. Schmapps Schmappsie Doodles Crazy Pooch Louie Blue Razzberry Goozy etc…
      She was crazy and lazy! There will never be another Tori or Bella and we were the luckiest people on earth to have them in our lives.

  26. Kristin on September 7, 2020 at 2:03 pm

    Gina, I am sooooo so sorry for your loss. I have such fond memories of sweet Bella when I first started reading your blog 11 years ago! She was an angel on earth, and is an angel in heaven right now. Praying for you…

  27. Lori on September 7, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    Tears were running down my face while I read your post. What a beautiful tribute to Bella. You gave her a wonderful life and she was so loved!! Our pups are family and it is so so hard when we lose them. Let those tears out whenever you need to, and take care of yourself! Thinking of you and your family, it is a very difficult time!

  28. Lisa on September 7, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    My heart breaks for you and your family for the loss of your sweet and sassy girl. This is such a beautiful celebration of her life, and it brought me to tears. May you always remember all her little quirks and antics. She will live on forever, not only in your memories of her, but through the posts on your blog. I’ve been following since Valdosta, and always looked forward to seeing Bella on the blog. Your words remind me to never take a moment of my dog’s unconditional love for granted. Xoxo

  29. Aakriti on September 7, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    I’m so so sorry for your loss Gina. I’ve been following your blog for over a decade, but have somehow never commented. I don’t even have a dog, but I could feel your pain so much through this post it made me tear up. Wish you all the strength to get past this and remember the happy times, as you have so well in this post!

  30. Donna Mason on September 7, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    What an INCREDIBLE TRIBUTE to your sweet precious Bella.
    Your first born baby.
    The words you expressed about her entire life intertwined with yours is beyond beautiful.
    My heart is with you. XO

  31. Shannon on September 7, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    Oh Gina, I am so very sorry. I know first hand how hard this is for you. I get that once in a lifetime dog – everyone should be so lucky to have that puppy soulmate experience. It truly is the best thing ever and it’s the absolute worst when you have to say goodbye. It’s been over 2 months since I lost my pup (she was almost 19) and I still feel lost without her. Take care – thinking of you and your family.

  32. Sarah on September 7, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    I am so sorry to hear this. She knew how much she was loved. Sending prayers to you and the girls and the pilot.

    • N. H. on September 8, 2020 at 1:11 am

      I am so sorry to hear about your fur baby Bella. My heart goes out to you and your family with prayers of comfort and healing.

  33. Cathy on September 7, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Sending prayers

  34. Tracy on September 7, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    I am so sorry, Gina. This post left me in a puddle of tears. I wish I could give you a real hug. You have been so blessed by Bella’s love. Sending you all my best. xoxo

  35. Charlotte on September 7, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    So sorry Gina. It is horrible losing a pet. Thinking of you and your family.

  36. Kim N on September 7, 2020 at 7:42 pm

    Big hugs!! Snuggling my 10.5 year old dog extra tight tonight for you. I’ve been an avid blog follower for the last 10 years and have seen how much Bella has been your constant through everything. It’s crazy how much time flies – but you have a blog full of Bella photos and stories to fill your memory tank 🙂 take all the time you need to grieve.

  37. Jannifer on September 7, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Words cannot take away the pain of grief. Just know that others are thinking of you and holding you and your family in our hearts.

    • Emily on September 7, 2020 at 8:57 pm

      I truly loved that you shared such an amazing post like that! We really do fall in love with our pets and its just horrible to have to let them go! It took me a long time to get over my first dog, and I never thought I would ever love another. I’m lucky I got the chance to, and I know that even when his time comes there is nothing like warm snuggles and puppy kisses to make it all worth while. I know your pain girl, and I am sending you all my hugs and know that I cried so much reading your post. Be good to yourself, you gave Bella the BEST life ever, she had an amazing family!!

  38. Michelle Hairston on September 7, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    I’m so sorry your loss. She wasn’t just a dig she was family. Thank you for sharing how much she means to you and your family.

  39. Mark Melancon on September 7, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    I am crying uncontrollably as I know your pain and loss. My Tinker was with me for 14 years until cancer ravaged his body and I had to relieve his suffering and say goodbye on April 17th of this year. I miss him so very much and would give anything to have 5 more minutes with him. May God give you comfort during this sad time.

  40. Lyn on September 7, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    Your Bella was my Tina. I’ve had dogs before and since, but there’s always that one special 4 footer. Heaven can’t be heaven if she’s not there.. Losing her was like losing a child. I was sleeping when she passed, but I could swear I felt her jump up next to me & I still swear I pet her as I drifted back to sleep …thinking the shot the vet gave her must have made her better. Unfortunately when I woke up, I saw she never made it all the way to me & had died at my feet.

  41. Joy saucier on September 7, 2020 at 9:40 pm

    I cried my eyes out reading this. I roo know the love between a dog and her mama. And the crippling loss when they have to leave this earth. Sending so much love to you and your family♡

  42. Ava Timatyos on September 7, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    I am so sorry…God Bless Your Sweet Baby Bella

  43. April Jenkins on September 7, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    So sorry for your loss. This post was a lovely tribute to your sweet dog!

  44. Leah on September 7, 2020 at 10:08 pm

    I’m so sorry for your, loss. Prayers for your family.

    • Islander02 on September 7, 2020 at 10:38 pm

      I’d never heard of you before today, but but my heart broke for you and your family as I read this post. No words can dull the pain, but she was a fortunate girl to have such an amazing family. Bless sweet Bella.

  45. William McDaniel on September 7, 2020 at 10:48 pm

    Thank you for loving Bella and sharing your life with her. Through you Bella was given a chance to do her dog thing and that is to love her human. You might consider sharing Bella’s old home space with another fur friend, I bet Bella would approve.

  46. Lorraine. Rown on September 7, 2020 at 11:09 pm

    As a dog lover and owner of an amazing dog myself, my heart is hurting for you and the enormous grief you are feeling now. Although she lived a pretty long life and filled your life with so much love, losing her is that much more painful. My dog just turned 12 years old today and I pray that she has a good few years to fill our hearts with joy! I hope and pray that you can eventually smile again as you think about the wonderful times shared with Bella,
    and feel blessed I’m having her in your life.

  47. Liz Sauceda on September 7, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss the love of a dog is so Special and unconditional. I hope that she meets my Xena as she is crossing the Rainbow Bridge.

  48. Krissy Pearson on September 7, 2020 at 11:48 pm

    I just read this i am so sorry for the loss of your sweet bella! Reading made me cry my eyes out as my little guy is getting older! Prayers for you and the rest of the family❤❤

  49. Stacey boyd on September 7, 2020 at 11:54 pm

    I know this pain well too much it’s happened so many times to me because I rescue so many dogs I had to put three big dogs down within a year it’s like so painful and I understand so much what you’re going through I am so sorry to leave such an empty hole but they bring so much joy to your life I’m so sorry for your loss such a cute baby☹️

  50. Suzi on September 8, 2020 at 1:30 am

    The words you spoke about Bella are the same ones I say about my cat, Snickers. I had her from birth in 2003 until this May 11th. She is my once in a lifetime baby. We were so bonded to each other. We battled asthma and diabetes together (she had both). I had always promised her I would be there no matter what. In April she was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure, liver failure and thyroid issues. A month later she stopped eating or drinking and we knew it was time. I am so sorry for your loss. She will be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge.

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