I’ve grown up with pets. I’ve had dogs, cats, guinea pigs, iguanas, rats, hamsters, turtles…we’ve really run the gamut. But, dogs have always been my favorites. And I’ve had some fantastic dogs in my life, but Bella – pictured here with my daughter a few years ago, has been a special one. She is smart and sweet and totally protective of the little one there.
There she is when we first got her. She was a cute little puppy and I knew she belonged in our family when the cat would snuggle up with her and let her chew on her ears. She loved to go on walks, play with her toys and go for car rides. She still loves those things.
A few weeks ago she started getting finicky about eating her food. I thought it was just her being spoiled. She would eat good stuff – cat food, chicken, table food, etc. but didn’t want to eat her dry food. Four days ago, she started vomiting. A lot. And pretty consistently. So, I took her to the vet. They ran some tests and $250 later told me that they couldn’t find anything seriously wrong with her. To take her home with some prescription IBS food and see if that helped. The next day, it was worse. We went back to the vet. She was now dehydrated and losing weight. They gave her a subcutaneous fluid treatment and me some meds to give her. That night she threw up twice. The next day she would not drink water. We went back to the vet. They admitted her and $1400 and 24 hours later we picked her up with a new thing of meds and instructions.
Another 36 hours have passed since I wrote that. Another overnight stay. Another $1000. A couple of new meds and no new answers. And tonight, I flew to San Diego and my husband had to take her in at 3 a.m. to be put to sleep. She was suffering. She was not improving. We had done all we could. The next step was exploratory surgery of the abdomen despite the fact they could see nothing in the ultrasounds or X-rays that would be causing a blockage and the symptoms were not really blockage-like. Personally, I think she had cancer. They named it as a possibility the first time I went in, but said it was a small possibility. There was some abnormal appearance on the duodenum. When they said cancer, it just seemed to click.
I hate that I wasn’t able to be there to say goodbye tonight. I hate that she only lived for seven short years. I hate that we didn’t do more with her – more walks, more swimming, more things she loved to do. But, we loved her lots. She slept with us, traveled with us. She loved Bean and protected her and worried about her. She loved playing with other dogs.
I am going to miss her a ton. I’m incredibly sad that I was not there to say good-bye, but I’m more sad we couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her and fix it. But, sometimes, there is no fix. Sometimes there is no clear answer, only blurry choices seen through tears. I love you Bella. I hope you are playing in a big dog park in the sky and loving every minute of it.