Winding Down and Preparing to Say Goodbye to Our Furry Friend

April 24, 2017

Time in our tiny house is winding down.  So is the life of our first ‘child’ Bella. A week and a half ago we were faced with the fact we would lose her sooner than we imagined.  As I wrote not long ago:  Time Doesn’t Stop.

Even though she is almost 13 it still sucker punched us..


My husband jokes that Bella sees the grim reaper coming and she thinks he is going to throw his sickle to play catch with her.  That is because we’ve almost lost her a couple of times. She has always rallied. The grim reaper eventually gets annoyed with her zest and leaves her alone.

This time we aren’t so sure.

Bella was diagnosed with vestibular disease, which looks very much like a stroke. At her age it is difficult to overcome. Her appetite waxes and wanes, but she hasn’t yet wavered from gobbling her marshmallows with her medications hidden inside.

The morning we took her to the vet, not knowing for sure what was wrong, I popped popcorn for her. It’s her most favorite of all treats. I wanted her to have it one last time before she died. My daughter hand-fed it to her.

Popcorn Treat - Bella

We prepared the children for the worst and dropped them at school. When we learned she had an opportunity to get better we emailed and texted their teachers, so they could let our children know.

My oldest son and my daughter sighed with great relief. My daughter’s teacher even sent a picture of her to me.  She was so happy.

Preschool - Bella

My youngest son, who is in the same class, wasn’t pictured. He thinks Bella looks a little too much like a wolf.  And, simply put, he is not an animal fan – despite Bella’s attempts to woo him. He stands fixed and steady on the platform while the rest of us ride the sickening emotional roller coaster.

This week is going to bring the packing of more moving boxes, and I fear a very tough decision for us.

But life won’t stop and our moving deadlines won’t change – even though we might say goodbye to our sweet Bella.

No grim reaper though. If we have to say goodbye, she will leap across the rainbow bridge and she will see and hear again, no longer handicapped by her visual and hearing impairments. She will see beautiful things. She will hear her name called.  She will forget that in her aged and demented state she stooped to fighting the trash can like it was her worst enemy just because she wanted to get inside for the table scraps or coffee grounds.

Bella will run through green fields chasing tennis balls and butterflies all the while remembering us and especially her BFF, our daughter Eliza.

Tiny Hugs in black and white - Bella

Reading to Bella

Curling Eyelashes - Bella

Cool Shades - Bella

Attack Hug - Bella

Elsa and Her Dog - Bella

Their love for one another is enviable. Maybe Bella will meet my childhood dog – Tiny.  I know they will get along so well.

Tiny - Bella

For now, we pack our things. It is exactly two weeks before we move.  We take trips to the ‘big island’ in our ‘backyard’ knowing that for this summer it won’t be steps and paddles away, but complicated with the addition of a car ride.

Big Island Trek - Bella

Island Exploration - Bella

Button Bushes - Bella

Running on the Sand - Bella

Kayaks - Bella

The children, free from the burden of worry, made sand angels.

Sand Angel - Bella

And, we count the days we have left to walk through this creaky and tattered screen door bursting with more memories than the 720 square feet can hold (hence the package tape 😉 ).

Old Screen Door - Bella

We count our days with Bella and watch her closely.  We take any change for the better as a very good thing and rebuild our hope that she might be with us for a just a little while longer, which honestly will never be quite long enough.

Paws and Feet - Bella

The Domestication of the Dog

Until recently, it was generally accepted that dogs became domesticated about 10,000 years ago during the Agricultural Revolution.  Recent analysis, however, has concluded that dogs were domesticated around the time of human hunter-gatherers about 32,000 years ago.

The origin of this theory comes from a study published in 2013 that compared DNA from dogs and wolves, including 18 fossils.  The findings pinpointed Europe as the major nexus of dog domestication.

And, according to this new tree, the largest group of domestic dogs last shared a common ancestor 18,800 years ago.  They  last shared a common ancestor with a wolf around 32,100 years ago. It concludes they must have been domesticated at some point during this window.

A study published just last year challenges the European origination and demonstrates dogs migrated from the west through Eurasia probably with people.  It implies that all dogs’ ancestry could be traced to Asia conflicting the 2013 findings.

Eurasia - Bella

Not so fast though!

Archaeological evidence throws a twist to this conclusion, as domesticated dog fossils have been found in Europe that predate the Eurasia migration.  Everyone seems to agree that the picture isn’t completely clear, but it does suggest that dogs may have been domesticated twice:  once in Europe and once in Asia.

Regardless of the ongoing dispute as to the exact origination of the domesticated dog, we can all agree on one thing:  hands down we are the benefactors of centuries of work.

We have the gift of man’s best friend, or in our case little girl’s best friend.

Bella Embrace

Journey on and give your furry friends a big hug.  They have journeyed a long way!

xo, the mamabrain at mamabrains


You Might Also Like

  • Were You Too Busy for Mother's Day Like Me? - mamabrains May 15, 2017 at 4:40 am

    […] say goodbye to her.  She was almost thirteen.  We were preparing for the inevitable, as I wrote here, but when I wrote that I didn’t realize we could never actually be prepared.  She was the […]