Yesterday was a very sad day as we said goodbye to a very important member of the family. My Corgi-Doberman mix, Belle, was my best and most loyal friend. She was also the love of my life. I named her Belle, not after the Disney princess, but after the French word meaning “Beautiful.” The first time I saw her I thought she was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.
When my dad brought her home she was small, skinny, and dirty. The other dogs that she was with her mean to her and didn’t let her have any food. As soon as he put her on the floor she jumped in my lap and bathed me in kisses. There was one day where I put her on the couch with me and we cuddled for two hours, watching Doctor Who. After that, she decided that she was mine and I was hers. Belle never left my side.
I’d had close connections with animals before, but nothing like I’d had with her. She was there for so much. When my grandfather died, she comforted me. Whenever I’ve been stressed or heartbroken, she made me feel better. The night I came home completely broken she met me at the door and gave me the best hug. We laid in my bed, her on one side of the body pillow and me on the other. I told her about all the terrible things my ex-boyfriend did to me and she just lay her paw on my hand and reassured me with her eyes that everything would be okay.
We did everything together including walks in the rain, listening to music, and watching TV. She loved Doctor Who and The Walking Dead the most. The Nightmare Before Christmas was definitely a movie that she loved. She would bark when Jack Skellington sang. She never argued with me when it was bath time and her favorite part was the towel drying. Belle didn’t bite, snap, or hate anyone. In fact, she loved everybody and just wanted them to love her.
But yesterday she lost the battle with heartworms. She’d gotten them about six months ago and it was her death sentence. She got very sick and no matter what we did for her she just got worse. Belle had a heart murmur we didn’t know about and so the heartworms were affecting her differently. Her body wasn’t able to fight them off, nor could she accept the treatments. We didn’t know this until after her first treatment a couple of weeks ago. She lost about ten pounds, putting her at half her weight and couldn’t keep any food or water down.
The heartworms worsened, damaging her lungs, liver, and various other organs. She was facing organ failure and could potentially go into cardiac arrest. Belle stayed in the hospital for a couple of days receiving treatments for her heart and stomach, but we eventually had to realize that it wasn’t enough. If she didn’t die of the heartworms, it would be something else.
I never thought I’d have to make a decision like the one I made yesterday. However, when I looked in her eyes and saw how tired she was I knew that she wouldn’t make it. So she has gone to be with Jesus and I know I’ll see her again one day.