It's been a sad week around my house. The oldest of us three dogs died this week.
Her name was Bella.
A while back two new dogs, Bella and Arya moved into my house. They brought their humans with them.
When they first moved in, I was unhappy that Bella barked so much. She interrupted my naps which I did not like.
She would bark at cars driving by the yard or loud noises. Suzanne said Bella couldn’t see or hear very well because she was old. She could see the movement of the cars, so she barked. She could only hear the loud noises, so she barked at them.
I guess it was her ikigai to bark. She was really good at it!
Other than that, I liked her. She was a gentle dog. Sometimes she was silly.
She didn’t walk very well and she couldn’t run, but she liked to lay on the deck or in the grass.
She enjoyed the wind ruffling through her fur and all the good smells the wind brought with it.
About 6 weeks ago, I started spending a little extra time with Bella. I don't know if anybody noticed. I shared a toy with her one day. (This is a big deal for me: I do not like to share toys!)
I knew there was something wrong inside Bella. I could tell; but the humans didn’t know it yet.
Bella wanted to go on walks with us, but the only way to do that was for the humans to get out the wagon. They put a blanket in the bottom so it would be soft. They picked her up and put her inside there so that we could all take a walk as a pack. She liked the new smells.
People would stop to fuss over her. I like when people make a fuss over me but it's okay that they fuss over Bella too. An old dog in a wagon is very cute!
It was harder and harder for Bella to get up. Then she couldn't get up without help. She could still walk once she was standing. She would bark to ask for help getting up. This is when you learn what the humans around you are really like.
Bella was still a happy dog but she hurt, I could tell.
They took Bella to the vet and he told them what I already knew: there was something growing inside Bella that shouldn't be there. The vet called it a tumor.
They gave Bella some pills so she didn't hurt so much.
They gave her some time to enjoy doing all the things she liked to do.
She went to the beach and to her favorite park.
When Bella wasn't out on her walks or being kept awake by someone petting her, the pills made her sleep.
She wasn't barking like she used to. While it was nice to be able to take a nap, I sort of missed it too. The house felt too quiet.
One day, Bella had an appointment and the humans were all sad. I knew that meant she wasn’t coming back.
Bella is gone now. And the house is very much too quiet.
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