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Sunday, July 29, 2018

What's Been Happening: An Update

Hey BYA family! So, I've been doing this blog for 10 years now...wow...a decade. A decade!!!  That's crazy!! Anyway, along the way, I've been fortunate enough to gain long-time followers and those of you have gotten to know about my life along the way and of course, my fur-daughter, Miss Bella. So I figured I'd do an update on life and stuff.

Last August, Bella went in for surgery to have a tumor removed. Like a champ, she pulled through and bounced back a week later. Such a strong girl.

My boyfriend even built Bella a grassy area on our 2nd floor apartment so that she wouldn't have to go up and down the stairs to go potty outside and so she could heal. How sweet is that?!


She never did use it for potty though, just liked to lay on it with her toys. lol So instead, my boyfriend would pick her up and carry her up and down the stairs a few times a day for over a week until she healed up enough to be able to walk comfortably. *swoon*

Not too long after all that, my amazing boyfriend proposed to me and I said "yes, of course!", and a month later, we were off to Vegas to get married .

When we returned, we had our first official dance as husband and wife with Bella in between us. The way we planned it. The way it should've been done. Our little girl had to be a part of our wedding. :)

A few weeks go by and Bella wasn't doing feeling well, so we took her to the vet. They took some samples and a few days later we got the call that every pet parent fears: "Bella has cancer."

I lost it. My world just caved in on me. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't think. I was devastated. I asked the doc how long we had with her and she said we didn't have much time left. I was absolutely crushed.

Knowing we didn't have long with her, I didn't want her to pass away in an apartment. I wanted her to have a big backyard to roam around in and be comfortable on one floor with very little stairs. So the husband and I started aggressively house hunting. (We used the hashtag #BackyardForBella on Facebook.) After a month and a half of hard work, we did it. We bought the most perfect one-floor ranch house.

Here's Bella entering the house for the first time.

After moving in, we decided to adopt a puppy from our local humane society. When I saw this face, I just couldn't resist. Those eyes melted my heart. His name is Benny. He's my little peanut. :)

Bella took to him instantly and became a mama to this sweet 2 month old puppy who so desperately wanted one. They were inseparable! Bella had trouble walking but she'd make sure to walk wherever he did and then lay down next to him. She corrected him when he needed it, and loved on him when he wanted it. She was the best mama he could've ever asked for.


A week later, we lost Bella to cancer.

The day she passed, she was very weak. She wouldn't eat. She wouldn't drink. She could barely move. I saw her decline in the morning and I told her "You let me know when you're ready to go, kid." Around midnight that night, she looked at me and with her eyes she told me she didn't have any more fight left in her.

My husband carried her to the car and then carried her into the emergency animal hospital. I laid with her, cuddling her and kissing her repeatedly. Thanking her for everything she's taught me. For all the love she's given me. How much I was going to miss her. How truly special she is.

She passed away in my arms minutes later.


Last week would've been her 10th birthday.

Bella has been with me since BB10 and it's hard to not have her at my feet while I blog this season.

But not only do I have Benny now, but I was blessed by a total coincidence just 12 hours after Bella passed: a woman in Chicago had to rehome her 2 month old female golden retriever due to an unexpected job change. What are the odds of that?! So my husband and I jumped at the chance and drove to Chicago immediately. When I saw her, I cried and she kissed me. It's as if she knew I was going to be her new mama.
Ladies & gents, I'd like y'all to meet Miss Brianna. :)

Brianna and Benny took an instant liking to each other (just like Bella/Benny did). It truly was love at first sight! They are the best of friends, partners in crime, and very much brother and sister.


They are both 9 months old now and they're the best dogs I could ever ask for! Benny is goofy and crazy, yet intelligent and driven. Brianna is sassy, funny, and she's extremely athletic I'm gonna have to enroll that girl in agility. You should see the way she runs..it's really something. They both love to swim, so we take them swimming every weekend on my Sanity Sunday's in case you ever wondered what I do on my days off from the blog. lol


I'm sure Miss Bella is smiling down on them both and is watching them grow up. Part of me likes to think that Bella had a hand (or paw) in making Brianna a part of my life just mere hours after her passing. I miss her like crazy and this post was so hard to do, but I know a lot of y'all have grown fond of her of the past decade and I wanted to share everything with you guys.

Those of you who loved Bella both near and far, thank you for your love. She was the most special little girl and she took my heart with her the day she passed.

Until we meet again, little girl. 

XO,
Jamie (and somewhere out there, Miss Bella too)

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56 comments:

Kristin said...

I’m so sorry to hear about Bella’s passing. I think she wanted to make sure you and your husband were in good paws. Losing fur babies is so hard. This poem has brought me comfort when my fur babies have passed.
https://www.rainbowsbridge.com/Poem.htm

Shoba said...

RIP Bella! Your love for her is insurmountable. Gone but never forgotten

ChrisLucente said...

Dear Jamie,
Thank you for taking the time to write this beautiful, yet very difficult, update on your life for us. I am so very sorry to hear of Bella's passing. She's crossed the rainbow bridge and is at peace, happily watching your every move. Congrats on becoming the proud Mommy of two, new pups! Bella approved, of course.
Your Big Brother blog is fantastic. We friends/fans of your blog greatly appreciate everything that you do.
Stay strong. xxoo
Chris

ChrisLucente said...

Dear Jamie,
Thank you for taking the time to write this beautiful, yet very difficult, update on your life for us. I am so very sorry to hear of Bella's passing. She's crossed the rainbow bridge and is at peace, happily watching your every move. Congrats on becoming the proud Mommy of two, new pups! Bella approved, of course.
Your Big Brother blog is fantastic. We friends/fans of your blog greatly appreciate everything that you do.
Stay strong. xxoo
Chris

romana118 said...

I have read and enjoyed your blog for years, keeping track of BB tactics/ crazy from multiple continents thanks to you efforts. I very much appreciate you. One other thing in common that you and I had was our love of our 4-legged family. I am grieved, indeed, to hear of Bella's passing but happy for you that you were able to share her life, even the last few precious moments. I congratulate you sincerely on your new husband and fur babies. I wish you all millions of years of happiness snuggled up together and watching BB for many summers to come.

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing that. Benny and Brianna are adorable. I'm so sorry for your loss. I understand the pain of having to say goodbye too soon the best dog in the world due to cancer. <3

six. said...

I’m not a dog person at all but I cried through the whole thing! How special it is to be loved and to share love with your pets in the way that you have over the years. Hope you have many many happy years with your two babies.

BBWatcher said...

So sorry Jamie. They are our babies and family too. We have a Dachshund and a Rat Terrier now, but several other dogs over the years. It’s so hard to let them go. Your new babies won’t replace Bella, but will help you fill the hole in your heart.

Vicky Lawrence said...

That me remember all the fur babies I have lost over the years. Can't wait to see them all again someday.

Shilo f said...

Thank you so much for sharing that beautiful story!! I have read your posts daily every season for almost four years. So so sorry to hear about miss Bella and so glad to see the new additions. Losing a family member is never easy and I'm so glad you have an amazing partner to experience it all with. I lost two fur baby kitties in the last couple years and gained another thankfully, all while having my daughter and our fur babies are her best friends. I can't thank you enough for what you put into the blog, your tact and succinct way of summing up the feeds is so refreshing and I love your sense of humor. Thank you for also sharing a part of your self along the way, you're such a great fur Mommy! I hope to look forward to your blog for many seasons to come.

peteinla said...

Thank you for sharing your story, Jamie. I lost my sweet Sophie to cancer last December. It was the hardest day of my life. She too took her last breaths in my arms. The most heartbreaking yet beautiful experience. Our pets are like our children. In my case, she was my child. I think about her every day and know one day I will see her again. Your other little fur babies are so cute and I hope they give you all the happiness in the world! Thank you!

miss ann said...

This is seriously the saddest thing is have read in a long time (Bella) tears were rolling down my face. So happy for your marriage and home, congrats!

AdriSherie said...

I sobbed reading this. I’ve been on your blog the past 9 seasons and lost my Paris in 2011. Such a huge piece of your heart goes! I’m so glad she left you in good paws and good hands!

Unknown said...

OK I am bawling my eyes out. I always looked forward to reading all your extra comments about her. I I lost my girl two years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. You could clearly tell from all your post how much you loved her and that was always a comforting feeling to know there are others out there that love their dogs just as much. Definitely sending all of our love to you, Bella and your new family.

Dianne said...

Thank you for sharing your incredible journey, bittersweet but the spirit of Bella lives on. ❤

Razldazlrr said...

Very much happiness on your marriage - I couldn't read your entire post about Bella - I am so very sorry - my heart has broken in pieces every time I have lost one of my babies - you gave her an absolutely wonderful and happy life - she's running free across the rainbow bridge!

Razldazlrr said...

ok - I saw the comments about new puppies so I went back! They both look beautiful and I'm sure they will have happy lives with the two of you!

KathyC said...

Read your post through tears. I’ve been with you since the beginning and remember your Miss Bella stories well, as well as your courtship and eventual marriage. You are one special lady - those puppies are lucky to have you - they are ADORABLE! ❤️

Lisa Carr said...

What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul. I'm so happy for you that you were able to open your heart to two new pups. When my Buddy passed at 14 years (13 of which he spent with me) it took me quite a while to be able to accept a new dog into my life. They truly are man's best friend.

Danielle Hunter said...

I’m so sorry to hear about Bella. I will miss hearing about her! I’ve been following your blog since BB11. Congrats on your marriage and your new puppies! Thanks for all your hard work on the blog. Couldn’t live without it!

imacruising said...

I know how much she will be missed....so glad you got a new one to help ease the pain...we recently had to put down 2 rottweilers that had cancer and we also waited until they said they were ready to cross that golden bridge...the 3 months later we adopted a dog from the shelter and she has helped heal our hearts..then a 2nd one 3 months later...now we have a happy home with 2 shelted doggies

Lisa Plotner said...

Thank you for giving us an update and sharing your story. I'm so very sorry on Bella's passing. Having been a follower of yours for so long I felt I knew her too. However, I'm so excited for you on your new four legged children! They are adorable and I know will bring you & your husband so much joy! And yes, I believe Bella is looking down smiling that you have new companions.

Cyn B said...

This is beautiful...you truly are an amazing Wife and Mother..Bella watches over you and her sis and bro...I appreciate all you do...I don’t comment much...just read...but I had to comment on this..

Sandra Bartles said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. My heart is melting.

Lisa McClain said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I know exactly how you feel. I lost my atty girl Trixie 9 years ago in June and I still miss her every day. I too have new fur babies and they do help to heal your heart. Congrats on the new house and babies. Hugs to you and I'm sure Bella is looking down with a smile and patiently waiting for you.

Andrea the Great said...

Thank you for sharing. I’m literally bawling right now. I miss my dog who died back in November so much and just today was looking of pictures of her and crying and now I read your story and que the ugly cry....
I also don’t post much, but have been following you a very long time and know what an important part of your life she was. I always loved hearing about her. I really do think Bella did have a “paw” in making sure you’d be ok. Much Love to you and your beautiful family♥️

Jenna Cole said...

I have silently been been reading your blog since BB11, and have never commented. I just loved reading your updates, not only about BB, but also Bella. My heart is just breaking for you and your husband. Thank you for sharing her with us, and I look forward to reading about the two new additions.

Kathleen McAuley said...

Dear Jamie, Bella has been on my mind all summer and I did take notice of no mention of her and was afraid to ask, thinking the inevitable. I am so sorry for your loss but thrilled for you at the same time with your new fur babies and your amazing new hubby!! You so deserve it all! Thank you for sharing your story, I could not hold back the tears but that last picture of Bella looking toward the sun made me smile!! She is running free and watching over your every move. God Bless and big hugs to you all.

Jessica said...

Thank you for sharing! You’re story brought tears to my eyes. Dogs are truly special animals!

Twilla McElmurry said...

Jamie, I've been reading your blog for 10 years. I adore you and I am so sorry for your loss. Bella will always have a special place in your heart. Twilla

Purch Man said...

Dear Jamie, I can only imagine how hard it must have been to write about your heartbreaking loss. Any of us who has lost a cold nose member of our family found it equally hard to read. You've already done the best thing in Bella's memory by rescuing two more. Bella is happy with what you did. Many of us do that as a way to cope with the sadness. One of the two nutty face lickers we have now is also named Bella, and my wife and I both believe that these two and all those that came before them, will see us again someday. We'll all miss hearing about your Bella, but look forward to you sharing with us about your new family.

shhhhhh... said...

Thank u for sharing. What a beautiful life Bella had and you had because you had each other. I am a firm believer that our fur babies give us more than we could ever give them because of their unconditional love. Looks like Bella truly left u in good hands and paws. Congrats on ur new home, marriage and ur new babies.

Dobi said...

Oh my.......so happy and sad for you all in one. Love my fur babies too and it’s so hard losing them. Thank you for your stories. What a good momma and daddy you both are! Lucky doggies!

Unknown said...

So sorry for your loss - our fur babies are the absolute best. Bella was fortunate to have you as her Person.

Momofgus said...

I am so sorry to hear about Miss Bella. I lost my Riley in November to cancer. I had him for 15 years and exactly 1 month later I adopted a 3 year old golden retriever who is perfect! I also felt my Riley had a hand in me and Gus finding one another. Your story made me cry and smile all at the same time. Here’s to many great years with your fur babies . They are beautiful. Thanks for all you do to update us!

Unknown said...

this made my heart melt, thank you for sharing :)

Jamilla Lucas said...

Oh bless your heart. RIH Bella and I wish you, your husband, Brianna, and Benny all the best. Many Blessings to you all 😊

Unknown said...

Awww so sorry for your losing miss bella. I know too the difficulty losing a beloved pet. Getting a new pet really does help. In no way does it replace but the love they supply helps to fill that horrible void. So happy you were able to home to fur babies.

daryl42 said...

Congrats on your marriage! Sorry to hear about Bella I also am an animal lover to the max.

Kimberly Lund said...

This is beautiful. Made me cry. My dogs are our babies(and one human daughter).

Cassi said...

Jamie I am so sorry for your loss. I feel the pain of losing each and every dog I've ever had when I read someone else's story of loss. You may think she took your heart with her but I know she only took a piece and left a piece of her heart with you. You were able to open your heart again to not one but two dogs and that I'm sure was not a coincidence. Thank you for sharing a little of Bella with all of us and for doing all that you do through this blog. Bella was blessed and so are these precious new furbabies❤�� much love to you❤����

Trish Deffenbach said...

First let me say congratulations to you and your new husband on your wedding and house purchase. Second I am so very sorry for your loss and am praying for God's comfort, strength and peace upon both of you. I have been reading your blog for several years now and appreciate all you do - God bless

Hodge said...

I cried today reliving the lost of my Big Boy River, a friendly Basset Hound. He passed just over a year ago of bleeding masses on his abdomen. I quickly adopted a beagle to support my female Basset, who kept looking for River, May they all roam freely together on the other side of the bridge. Never ever forgotten. Sorry for your loss.

Unknown said...

So sorry for your lost. While reading your blog, I felt every word.

arwenmich said...

Hi, So, I don't cry much but this post had me sobbing. Thank you for all of the tenderness and love in this post. I am so moved and touched by the love of both you and your boyfriend and of course Bella. Thank you, it was once of the most moving things I have read in years. I hope you publish it in a book someday. Take Care, Michelle

Cori Padilla said...

I am crying!!! What a sweet sweet story! Thank you for sharing.

Melissa Tempest said...

❤❤❤ I'm sorry for your loss. RiP sweet Bella. Congratulations on the wedding, house and new 4-legged kiddos!

Sandy said...

So sorry to hear about Bella's passing but it sure does sound like she had a hand in all of this!

HokiePokie said...

Jamie your story and your love for your babies is touching. You are gifted with the ability to write eloquently and captively. Very sorry for your loss of your sweet girl. A great big warm elcome to the BB community to your two newest additions.

designdesign said...

Sorry to hear about Bella. She was a beautiful dog. Happy to hear you are doing well and that your family has grown. Wishing you the best!

Unknown said...

Well this made me cry. So sorry about Bella. Happy for your new fur babies, but totally get how losing Bella chips away at your heart!

Rebecca said...

Oh my goodness, I'm so sorry to hear about Bella. I'd always enjoyed your Bella updates. On the lighter side, so happy to hear about your new 2 fur babies. Things happen for a reason! Also congratulations on your wedding and home buying!!
Thanks for everything you do with your blog. I've been reading and sharing your blog for the past 6 years. Love your sense of humor and view of the game. So appreciate you always keeping us in the know. I wish you best!!
-Rebecca

Gak said...

Such a sweet sad story. So sad for you and Bella. Praying you are healing. Some people don’t know that your pet is family and you grieve for them as anyone else. Again prayers Thanks for telling us. Oh lost our Molly a while back, broke my heart still miss her.

Klim526 said...

Jamie, long time reader, love your recaps, and I appreciate all your hard work. I’v never posted, but had to now, I am so sorry for your loss of sweet Bella. I’m a cat mom, and have lost some of my fur babies over the years, and it’s never easy. Thinking about you, and want to wish you congratulations on your marriage and your new little ones. Thank you so much for all you do!

Alison said...

Oh my...tears flow down my cheeks as I saw that picture of Bella walking up the trail. Your story of Bella hits my heart as I have held my fur babies as they have taken their last breath also. Heaven is full of our angels. Much love and peace to you friend. Thank you for sharing.

Nicole Chenault said...

I don't cry - I really don't. Except when it comes to fur babies. And Lord girl, that made me tear up. I hate that Bella is gone, she was such a huge part of you (and us by extension), but you have been given two new beautiful babies, and what a gift that is for you. Can't wait to see their misadventures!

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