Submitted by Becky Boilek,
It will have been three weeks ago, today that Aaron and I said goodbye to our Queen B, the Princess Bellarina, Bozzle Wozzle, BeeBop, Bubbles, Bah Bah or as she was more commonly known to those outside our home, Bella crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Bella was a beautiful Red Fawn girl, who taught us what snuggling was all about and taught her brother, Foley how to be a dog. (Dare I say, he taught her how to be a Princessor rather, Spoiled Rotten would suffice) Bella was such an easy girl, she was never sick, she was never grumpy, she was funny, she was adorable and she was so very easy to love. Because of Bella, we became good friends with Kris Lynch and her family and met so many other Bullmastiff friends along the way.
In her last week, Bella didn't seem quite "right". Rather than snuggle in bed or keep my legs warm while I sat in my chair, she chose to lay in her crateshe required a bit of coaxing to eat her meals and wasn't always enthusiastic about her cookies. I took her to the vet on a Monday after work and her physical exam and bloodwork showed that there was nothing abnormal. Yet, something still wasn't "right". So back to the vet we went, two days later for xrays and an abdominal ultrasound, where we discovered that her lungs were full of tumors and her spleen and liver contained masses. The vet took biopsies of one of the tumors and the masses in her spleen and liver and sent them out for diagnostics. We knew that it was cancer, we just didn't know what kind.
We took her home that night and were advised to keep her quiet and not let her get bouncy as she sometimes was inclined to do. Unfortunately, it wasn't hard at all to keep her quiet. Bella walked in the front door and promptly went to her crate and put herself in bed. I made her some tortellini; she wouldn't touch it. I tried to get her to eat some chicken, again she wasn't interested. I took Bella outside to potty around 9:30pm and tried to get her to get in bed and snuggle with meshe wasn't interested.
Around 4:00am, I woke to hear someone crying and went into the Dog's room, to see that Bella was still in her crate, awake, but crying. I took her outside to potty and when she came back in, I sat with her on the floor cuddling and petting her. She never quieted down or was able to relax and fall back to sleep (neither was I). I knew in my heart that we weren't going to be able to wait for the biopsy results and hope for some miracle cure, I knew that Bella was sick and that we had to let her go.
Aaron and I talked about it and we made the hardest decision together. I couldn't get a vet appointment until after noon, so I spent the day at home with Bella, petting and hugging her and telling her what a special good girl she had always been. All too soon it seemed the appointment time came and Aaron loaded Bella up in the car and said his goodbyes to her. I headed towards the Park and Ride in Tacoma, to meet Kris, who wanted to be with us as the vet's. Traffic conspired to delay Kris and so I went on to the Vet's Office and spoke with the vet for a few minutes. The Biopsies had come back; Malignant Histiocytic Sarcoma. I asked Dr. Ron if there was anything we could and he replied that we were doing it.
Kris arrived at the vet's office shortly after us and when she came into the exam room, Bella jumped and kissed and hugged her Aunt Kris, like they were long lost friends. Bella always loved her Aunt Kris and for those few minutes, she was back to the bouncy, lovey Bella we had known for her whole life. Dr. Ron and one of his vet techs came back in and gave Bella the shot, that let her relax and go to sleep. Saying goodbye to Bella was so hard and while I write this, I have tears pouring down my cheeks. It was the hardest thing to do, for the easiest and sweetest dog I'll ever know.
Goodbye Bella, you always were such a good, good girl.