This wasn't on our fabulous Carolina itinerary.
No one wanted this.
Bella, my parents' beagle, went into kidney failure this weekend. She's 13.5 years old and lived a divine life...but I didn't expect her time would come this one week of the whole year that we're here.
I love that I could say goodbye with snuggles...but quite honestly, it was way harder being here. For me, it's easier to take being removed and just processing it as not seeing them anymore. It's how I handled my Dad, Grandmommy, and even our other two beagles, Lizzy & Buck.
Knowing Tuesday was her last night (why we came back faster from SC) was pure torture. I can't bear to think about when it's Bonnie's turn; she's 11 now...
Telling the kids was rough. They were semi-prepped, b/c I told them we knew Bella wasn't doing well when we arrived last week. I would *not* tell them Bella was being put down, though. They have an excellent, very mature, clear view of death - its earthly finality, going to Heaven, always being spiritually connected, & that it's a natural part of life; but the huge point I make w/ them is that *we* don't decide when we go, only God does. I just don't have it in me to explain euthanasia right now. I don't feel like they're ready for that; so I told them Tuesday that the vet said Bell would probably pass on Wednesday, (& just left out the part about the 1:30 pm appointment.)
Annelise cried. I cried. Will didn't, but he wanted to. I told them it was totally ok to cry about this, that it's better for Bell, but it *is* sad for us.
I took this pic of them with her Tuesday night:
It just felt so insane to *know* this was it. Never in all my losses have I known for certain that "tomorrow" would be it. I had the very hardest time with that part...
I asked my BFF Wendy (she's really been through this, too) why this seems harder with dogs than people? She hit the nail on the head: "Because they can't speak. Otherwise you would have words to hold onto as well as love."
So pray for comfort for us, especially for my mom & Hershel. My brother & I gave them Bella for Christmas the year they got married; they've had less than a year together w/o her. Also pray that all the fun stuff we have planned for the rest of this trip (concert, Tweetsie, animal encounter, etc.) can still be joyous for all, not begrudgingly burdensome.
We love you so much, sweet Bella dog!!!
I will never forget how truly scared I was the one time you *really* got lost: you were almost a year old, and I was working up at the law firm in Wisconsin. I wanted to fly home to search for you so bad!
I know you were jealous of my teal Aqua Blast nail polish I got at the beach that next summer and wanted it on your claws. ;-)
You're the only beagle I've known who hasn't been a big licker. I loved how you always wanted me to get right in your face and say, "Oh, Bella! Oh, Bella!" :-D
I will always think of you finding your bark to fuss at UPS delivering all my wedding gifts...and b/c of you, I will always choose FedEx over Brown. :-P