I write this post with a heavy heart. We sadly had to put our little dog, Bella down. Bella came to us 5 years ago. She was found in a parking lot and was taken to a cat shelter while they looked for her owners. No one came and because she was old and they didn’t have room for her at the shelter, they were planning on putting her down. My friend found out and contacted me to ask if I wanted a little old lady chihuahua. I did! I drove to get her immediately.
The minute I met Bella we fell in love. The shelter brought her out to me and placed her on the floor. She ran right up to me and jumped up on my legs, I bent down and she kissed me. She knew I was there for her and I knew she would be here for me. Bella became a huge part of our family. My husband was so in love with her and spoiled her rotten, as did I. She was our baby and we couldn’t have been happier. She was spunky and sweet, happy, and occasionally grumpy. Bella was there for me when I got the flu, when I was sad, when I was happy, and when I was lonely. She was there when I took the pregnancy test for my first son and every morning when I had morning sickness. She cuddled my baby bump all night long as it got bigger and bigger, she was with me when my water broke, and was excited when we finally brought Brixton home. She was there for all the late night feedings and sleepless nights. She never left my side, even when a couple of months later we started the journey all over again. When we brought Everton home (our second son) things started to change. I could tell she was getting older and wanted to sleep more, but she was still her spunky little self, just a little slower.
A couple weeks ago Bella suffered a stroke. When I took her to the vet they said that there wouldn’t be a lot we could do, but they did give us some medication and pain pills to try. We tried them and sadly Bella didn’t seem to be getting any better. She would sleep all day and wouldn’t eat. She could barely walk and I just knew that this wasn’t fair for her. I called the vet and left a message asking what I should do. They called me back an hour later and told me that we really only had one choice. I knew they would say this. I knew it when I called. I knew it when I left the vets office the week before. I knew it when I answered the phone. I just knew it, but I still wasn’t prepared to hear the words, to pick a time, a date – to lose Bella. I stood in shock as I hung up the phone. It felt like my heart was scattered all over my kitchen floor in a millions pieces. I could hear my boys talking at the table over lunch. I could feel the tears stinging my eyes. It took all my energy to not slide down the kitchen cabinet and cry. I couldn’t, not here, not with those little ones watching. They would get scared and worried and that was the last thing I needed. And then it hit me, how was I gonna tell them? How was I gonna let them know Bella would be leaving us? Do I tell them now? Do I wait until she has passed? Do I not say anything? WHAT DO I DO? So like all good Mamas, I Googled what to do and found some answers and of course some books to help them understand that Bella would no longer be living here with us.
I already had a book from Barefoot Books in my inventory that would work for this sad situation. It’s called “The Tear Thief by Carol Ann Duffy.”
The Tear Thief is some sort of fairy that takes children’s tears. She is invisible but a little girl sees her reflection in a puddle of water one day after losing her dog and gets to talk to her. You find out what happens to all the tears, and that they come in different colors depending on what causes them. After the Tear Thief has collected them, she sprinkles them in the moonlight where they sparkle like jewels.
I thought this would be a good book for my boys. I wanted them to know that their tears and sadness were important feelings and that it was ok to cry and feel this way. It was ok to miss Bella and that their tears had a purpose.
The other book I found to help us all with the loss was, “I’ll always love you by Hans Wilhelm”
It’s about a little boy and his dog. Every night before going to sleep, the little boy tells Elfie, the dog, “I’ll always love you”. They grow up together, but one day Elfie sadly doesn’t wake up. The family mourns the loss and buries Elfie together. It shows that loving someone and losing them is part of life. It teaches everyone that it is ok to be sad and to cry for the loss of someone so important to you.
Bella will always be an important dog to us. We will miss her forever and are so thankful for every minute we had with her. We will always love you Bella, have fun running around and eating all the doggie treats you want. May you Rest in Peace.