The Bella Blog June 7, 2020 15:12 2 Comments
On Monday we said goodbye to our wonderful and wonky Bella, she was 14 years old and suddenly lost her battle with Westie Lung Disease (Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis). We knew that the prognosis was not good six months ago when she was given 12-18 months to live but the speed of decline was just horrid. After a very difficult few hours she died in Ruth’s arms at the vets. After losing her sister Hattie only six weeks ago this is just awful. However, let us celebrate the life of a Cairn described by our son as “bloody ridiculous”.
Bella came to us with her sister Hattie as an 8 year old rescue in 2014. Hattie was a gentle, dignified and slightly stiff lady, perhaps a little old before her time. Bella was a little fireball. It was only later that we were told some of the things that she had got up to during her brief period of foster care. Let us just say that she had mastered the art of the protest poo!
Within a few days we realised what we might have. Looking out of our kitchen window into the garden, where the girls had been sent to do their doggy business one morning, we were greeted by Bella’s face. Unimpressed with being put outside she had jumped onto a chair then onto the table against the wall and was leaning on the window looking in to let us know that she was ready to come back in. She jumped on everything. Before long she had bitten all of us, just to let us know her boundaries, it took a while for this behaviour to calm down.
Bella was a lifetime ankle biter of visitors, especially one of our son’s friends Owain who got it every time. To be fair it wasn’t really biting, they call it aggressive mouthing, where the dog bangs their mouth into someone to let them know they are boss. She also hated the postman with a passion and the barking as he approached the house was incredible. She even tried to get into his van when out on a walk once to get at him. She was also a toy hoarder, once rounding up all of hers AND Hattie’s toys, carrying them very deliberately to her bed, forming a mound and then lying on top of then all.
The counterpoint to this was that she was a complete cuddle-bunny. She would lie for hours squashed up against your legs, or on top of the children. She loved our daughter very much but completely doted on our son, and he on her. Bella was the funniest dog we have ever known. There was something about her that could make you burst out laughing by just looking at her, the bustle when she walked, the way she would plunge into any water anywhere for a swim. And she burped, regularly and extremely loudly and always looked pleased with herself afterwards.
A few years ago Bella had to have two rounds of cruciate ligament surgery. The first came after she launched into the air from a 6 foot bank while on a forest walk (typical), the second almost inevitably 11 months later after the strain of the first one. She was massively unhappy about the enforced cage rest, but came though both. She had come to us with poor dental condition and she also had two serious extraction surgeries. Bella was a very tough little girl.
If you look at photos of Bella, she is generally running, sleeping, or her ears are back. Unlike her sister who was very tolerant of pictures, Bella disliked having hers taken. We thought that she thought that the camera was trying to steal her soul! It wasn’t and many have remarked that she was stunningly beautiful. Thank you all for this and for loving her.
Bella’s decline was fairly swift. In her last few months suddenly running upstairs became a chore and she was a little unsteady coming down (one day she slipped and fell, Dad caught her so she rewarded him by biting him). As her breathing got worse she followed Mum everywhere and the loss of her beloved Hattie may have been the final straw for her.
So we have said goodbye to our wonderful and wonky Bella, until we do meet again. We just know that she went over the rainbow bridge at speed, nipping a few ankles en route. She will be sitting on a pile of Woody's, Homer's, Gizmo's and Hattie's toys with a look on her face that says “Yeah, and what?”. Everyone up there will absolutely adore her. We should all remember this ridiculous Cairn because it was her world, and is now her heaven. Our beautiful girl.