Bella Luna – I’ll miss you.

Bella Luna, our German Shepard last summer on the Fraser River near Fort Langley.

I’m going to miss her, Bella Luna, our beautiful thirteen year old German Shepard, who we lost today to old age, after she reached a point where she could no longer walk without falling down every couple of minutes. Climbing stairs, or getting into or out of the car had become difficult lately, and she was periodically losing control of her bowels.

Clearly it was time, as she’s been near the end for a few months. As long as she appeared to be enjoying her life, and not in too much pain, we were happy to accommodate her in her final days, and celebrate the four years or so she had lived with us. But it was time when she was no longer able to get around comfortably, and it became painful to watch.

I could tell that she was happy, despite everything, which made it even more difficult to make the decision. She had lost mobile and muscle mass in her hind quarter, but she still looked so happy to greet us both, that we felt the pull of her love and friendship in our lives. But it would have been unkind to let her continue to suffer. Saying goodbye was agony, and I wept when I left her with the vet. I couldn’t bear to be there with her when she was put to sleep. I hope that she just went to sleep, without any more pain.

The funny thing about how emotional I feel about having to say goodbye is that I never really wanted a dog, once I had a family with kids. There were too many allergies among our children for us to bring a dog home, so the only way we ended up with a dog is that she was already in the family with my adult daughter, who became unable to care for her when her health declined and entered care. Bella was pretty emotionally fragile when she came to us, but she’d had good care for along time, before it became too much for our daughter to handle it.

So Bella was our accidental member of the family. Kath complained about the dog, frequently, but I could tell that she loved her, as much as Bella thrived under her care. She and I both spent a lot of time with Bella, although Kath was really her mistress while she lived in our home. Kath fed her, and was with Bella almost every all day. I only saw Bella at night after work, and pretty much spent the evenings with her, and walked her after dark. Kath has restricted vision so night time walks were tough for her.

Bella was always so present for Kath and less so for me, but she was constantly aware of our slightest movement, and her ears would perk up when either of us said anything, or got up out of our chairs. She pestered both of us for treats, and challenged us to take her out, all the time. She was a delicious nuisance. I’d grumble a little bit when I had to take her out, or feed. I’ll admit that giving her a bath was a highlight, as she really enjoyed having me wash here and rub her down after. She was wide aware and alert, and you could tell that she was always paying attention to whatever was going on around her.

She was a real member of the family, and I’ll miss her a lot. She really left only love and good memories behind. Damn.

It hurts.

36 thoughts on “Bella Luna – I’ll miss you.

  1. I’m sorry to hear you lost your much-loved family member. I think it would have been cruel to allow her to suffer and you did the right thing at (probably) the right time.

    She would not have suffered as you did the humane thing and asked a qualified vet to end her days.

    (which is why I believe in euthanasia for humans too – everybody with a terminal illness or no quality of life should have the right to choose the end of their days on this earth).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am terribly sorry for loss of your beloved dog Bella Luna. I know how hard it was for you to lose her. We lost our dog Tasha last year, she was getting weaker and weaker and then time came to say goodbye to her. Bella Luna was a very lucky dog because you gave her a wonderful life. She was loved and was loving. It’s so sad that dogs leave such a short life…

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Awww this is such a BEAUTIFUL testimony to Miss Bella Luna! The memories, smiles, laughs, & silly grumbles shared will live on forever.

    All dogs go to ‘heaven’ where they continue to love, cherish & watch over us until we ‘meet’ again.

    Eye bet Miss Bella Luna will pop in to say ‘hi’ during dream time soon ✨.

    May peace, love & light be with you & your family during this transitional time.

    πŸ’šπŸ’šπŸ’š #ThirdEyeUnblind

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’m so sorry for your loss. We had to put our lovely little Cat down last year. For the first weeks I would wake up in the morning, wondering where she was and why she hadn’t come to wake me. Then it would hit me, each and every time. But I take solace in that we gave her four good loving years when we adopted her.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I am so sorry. We took our German Shepherd to the vet yesterday to find out he had a torn ACL and will need surgery, but reading this put it into perspective that it’s just an injury. It’s not just like losing a member of the family. It’s like losing a member of the family you actually like…and love. My thoughts are with you.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’m so sorry for your loss. She sounds look a beautiful dog, and a perfect member of your family. β€οΈπŸ’”

    We had a German Shepherd that we lost when she was seven; we had gotten her when she was two. She too began to get arthritis in her hips, but was still active and happy. One day she couldn’t get up and that is the day my parents took her to the vet. Even the vet cried when we lost her. We all still miss her; she was such a part of our family. In her own way she was more responsive to my parents – German Shepherds are more adult dogs, I think – but she was patient and gentle with us kids, and also played with us for hours. I was six when we adopted her and 11 when we had to let her go because of her hip deterioration.

    When we had to let go of our Australian Shepherd several years ago, our vet now has a practice of sedating the animal so that they fall into a deep sleep, and are no longer in pain. That way you can say goodbye, and they won’t know you’ve gone, and they are also still with you when you leave. The actual injection is given later. That may be something that other pet owners on here can consider if they find themselves in this situation. πŸ˜’πŸ’”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Reminds me of poor Roddy, our golden cocker who had to be put down while she was still very young as a result of distemper. She was very beautiful but very dim! Still, I bawled my ten year old head off about her for weeks.

    Liked by 2 people

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