Nothing Prepares You For Losing A Beloved Pet
It's something every pet owner has to come to terms with, but it doesn't make it any easier.
We got my girl Bella, a tiny little Yorkie, back in December of 2007 and immediately she became a main part of our family.
For the past 12 years "my little bean" was my best friend. She had been there for every major moment in my life and though she was little (we're talking the most she ever weighed was five-and-a-half pounds little) she had the biggest heart.
We knew she was getting older and we would have to prepare our hearts but there's no real way to do it.
With a dog like Bella, I kept telling myself of the friends I have had whose pups lived to be 17 years old. I just kept trying to convince myself that time wasn't a thing and she was going to be around forever.
A few months ago, reality came to slap us all in the face when our veterinarian discovered she had a heart murmur. Then, about a month ago to the day, she went into congestive heart failure.
They gave us some meds to try and they seemed to work which gave us hope and the fact that our vet said if they did work, she's had other pets go on another two years or so.
However, last week she took a turn and my sweet little angel looked weak, like she was just trying to hang on and be there for us.
Wednesday afternoon my mom gave me the call I had been dreading, that it was time to get her looked at and start conversations about "quality over quantity." The appointment came and after an hour of goodbyes and the hardest I have ever cried, our little angel Bella got her wings.
It's not like we didn't know that was something we would have to do, what hurts the most right now is that we went from "we'll have to think about this someday" to "it's time...it's happening now" so quickly.
My heart is absolutely shattered, just writing this I am shaking and holding back from losing my mind. 12 years of love, of friendship, of her teeny kisses, of chasing her around the yard, of her tiny body and huge spirit, just 12 years of my best friend...just ripped away in one afternoon.
I know she is in a better place, she is no longer struggling and I know she will always be with us but right now, I'm grieving and nothing makes sense.
Nothing can prepare you. You can hear everything in the book, you can see other people go through it but you really have no idea how soul-crushing it is until it happens to you.
One thing that gave me comfort in that moment we had to say goodbye and still does now is the last picture we took of her when I was holding her before the vet came to take a look at her. I was wearing my Steve Miller Band shirt and the wings on it made it look like she had wings. I can't explain it but it was a sign I needed to not be surprised by the news we got moments later.
It also just showed me that me calling her "a perfect little angel" over the years rang true and she will be with us always.
I felt like saw her soul leave her precious little body the other day and she took a piece of mine with her.
We get her ashes back next week and I have ordered a necklace we can put some of them in so she will continue to be right by my side.
Today would have been her 13th birthday and while it is strange how the timing works, it really is a lesson in life and loss.
It hurts, it hurts so bad, I think I'm honestly out of tears at this point but I have lots of supportive friends, coworkers and family members. I still love seeing people and their dogs come across my social media feeds and just want everyone to hold their beloved pets a little extra tight and then give them an extra hug from me.
If you are like me and all you want to do right now is look at cute puppies and cry, check out what the most popular dog breeds look like as puppies: