Check out this dog napper…

See what I did there?

Seriously, Bella was a sleeping champion. Gold medal all the way. I wish I could relax like that! It’s something to work towards, right?

Sleepy face via wantmorepuppies.com

Her favorite letter? Z

Digging the black & white vibe we’ve got going on today? It’s part of the Black & White Sunday blog hop. Stop by Dachshund Nola to link up & join the fun!

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20 ways to miss your Rover

… or, in this case, your Bella.

I was thinking recently about all of the things – both little and not-so-little – that have changed around here since we lost Bella in May. Sometimes it seems like I’m surrounded by a thousand tiny reminders on any given day.

Loosely inspired by this song, here are twenty (out of countless) ways I miss my Bella:

  1. Every morning, I wake up to the sight of an empty dog bed. I can’t quite bring myself to move it.
  2. I haven’t moved her food dish either.
  3. My morning routine has changed. I’d gotten used to spending at least thirty minutes cajoling Bella into eating her breakfast.
  4. There’s no one in the blanket cave that Bella liked to hide in.
  5. In fact, I washed the blanket in question and put it in the linen closet.
  6. The nights are different too. It’s quiet without her nightly cave to bed migration.
  7. I miss her snoring. It was loud, yet so comforting.
  8. It’s weird to walk by the front door and not see her watching the world go by.
  9. Tavish has been spending less time staring through those windows as well.
  10. Every time I vacuum, I feel a little sad. With each pass, I’m removing more Bella hair that will never be replenished.
  11. For that reason, I didn’t even try to vacuum for the first month.
  12. When I finally did vacuum, I couldn’t stop thinking about the time(s) Bella left a toy in front of the vacuum as her own form of protest. We (perhaps inappropriately) called it her Tiananmen Square move.
  13. My stairs are curiously clear of furry obstacles.
  14. I miss helping Bella go up and down the stairs.
  15. My kitchen seems empty too. I keep avoiding Bellas that are no longer camped out waiting for food to fall from the sky.
  16. I’m falling out of practice with regard to all of those hand signals.
  17. Tavish seems to spend a lot more time licking the humans in the house.
  18. Sometimes I wonder if that’s because his usual kissing target isn’t available now.
  19. Working in the yard is weird too. She always loved to supervise (aka nap in the flower beds) while we puttered around.
  20. I really, really, really miss my Bella hugs.
Beautiful Bella via wantmorepuppies.com

How I miss that sweet and silly face…

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In my dreams, it’s still the same…

Have you ever had one of those dreams that made you furiously happy and deeply sad at the same time?

This past weekend, I had one of those dreams. In it, I was cleaning my house.  (Even in my dreams, I channel Monica Geller – at my house, you can eat cookies over the sink!) I opened the patio door to go into the backyard, and stepped out onto our deck. Suddenly, I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. I turned to see my beautiful Bella, the very picture of unbridled joy, her tongue hanging out as she raced towards me. I leaned down, just in time to catch her as she bounded into my arms.

One happy dog via wantmorepuppies.com

Happy tails to you…

I awoke to the feeling of her wagging tail and of holding her tight. Bella was always a wonderfully enthusiastic welcoming committee, and i always felt so loved when I returned home. I woke up feeling that love all around me.

It was the perfect reunion, and I felt a powerful sense of peace and happiness, accompanied by the sadness of knowing that we can only meet in my dreams. However, if it gets me a few more precious minutes with Bella, I’ll welcome all the dreams that come my way.

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I’m getting mutton for Christmas

These past few weeks, I’ve found myself revisiting some of my favorite Bella memories. Remembering all of her wonderful quirks makes me smile, even if that smile is often (okay, always) through some tears. In any event, I thought I’d share a few of these as I try to get back into the blog.

Today’s tale has it all – mystery, comedy… and even MURDER.

It was a cold night. Presents were stacked under the unlit Christmas tree. In the corner of my mother-in-law’s living room, a ceramic assembly gathered around an empty crib, quietly awaiting the arrival of the porcelain Savior. Faux-human and faux-animal alike, they patiently kept watch, anticipating the moment that the giant hand would place the baby in the miniature manger.  Distracted by the imminent miracle, they failed to notice that one of their own was missing.

He wasn’t the fanciest sheep, nor the prettiest one. In fact, they never knew how he became a part of the flock. He was always there, but he was undeniably different. The leader of the flock accepted him without question, and the others followed like… well, like sheep. (Just calling ‘em like I see ‘em.)

That fateful night, the plastic sheep found himself separated from the ceramic flock. As he faced down the giant she-beast, he knew that he would not see the Nativity storage container ever again. Although she did not usually devour miniature figurines, his plastic scent was too much to resist that night.

Later, in the harsh light of Christmas morning, the crime scene revealed itself. Crumbs of plastic sheep littered the manger. It didn’t take a world-class detective to discover the culprit – after all, the small brown and white dog happily pooping out pieces of plastic sheep didn’t seem too ashamed of her heinous act.

Bella's Mugshot - wantmorepuppies.com

The face of a smooth criminal…

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Pupdate: I’m still here

Hello, my friends.

I know it’s been a while since I’ve written. I haven’t really felt all that much like blogging since I said goodbye to Bella. (Some days, I haven’t felt like doing much of anything.) However, please know that I read every single one of your comments on my last blog post. Your kind words touched my heart and meant a great deal to me during the past few weeks.

Bella kiss via wantmorepuppies.com

A smooch for a pooch.

I do plan to talk more about what we’ve been doing and how we’ve been adjusting here at Casa de I Still Want More Puppies. I want to give Bella a proper farewell on the blog as well, but I haven’t figured out what that means yet. How do I say goodbye? How do I celebrate her?

I was profoundly moved by the way that our friends at Kenzo the Hovawart and Will My Dog Hate Me said farewell to Viva and Frankie, respectively. I want to find an appropriate and meaningful way to say goodbye on this blog as well. I’m hoping that it will also help me as I navigate my way forward.

With that in mind, I’ll probably be playing it a bit by ear for a little while. I have some serious things on my mind (obviously), but I’m going to try to mix those in with regular blog posts, photos of Tavish (because his furry face is good for what ails me), and (if I can manage it) some humor. We’ll see how it goes as I ease back into this whole blogging thing. Stay tuned…

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The unbearable absence of Bella

This post is one I can’t believe I have to write. Today, our family said goodbye to Bella. We kissed this sweet face farewell, and life will never be the same.

Goodbye Bella

Goodnight, sweet pup.

We have been managing her kidney disease for over two years now, but – after a very difficult weekend – we had to face the reality that her condition had deteriorated rapidly in the past few days. It was time to let her go.

I don’t quite know what else to say. I find myself suffocated by her absence. Everywhere I look, I see where she is not. I’m not quite me without her.

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How much is that doggie falling out of the car window?

Once upon a time, I was not aware of the many options for restraining your dog in the car. In fact, the idea of getting a seatbelt or other restraint for Bella never even crossed my mind.

(Hey, back in the day people didn’t even use car seats for their kids. A friend’s mom once told me that she brought her infant son home from the hospital in a drawer. Like an actual drawer removed from a dresser. Strapped into a car. With a baby inside. It was a different time. I bet if you told people in the ’70s that the future would include seat belts for dogs, they’d have laughed you out of the room.)

Anyway, when I was a kid, we never restrained our dogs in the car. Our Chihuahua rode in my mom’s lap, while my Toy Fox Terrier rode with my sister and me in the backseat. Maybe on the seat itself, maybe on the floor… wherever she decided to nest. Sometimes our Chihuahua would even take a nap in the back window. I even remember taking a trip in my parents’ Datsun – the back seats were folded down, creating a giant playpen for me and one of our bigger dogs. (Needless to say, we were lucky that the years passed without incident.)

When we adopted Bella in 2002, it didn’t even occur to me to restrain her in the car. We took a few local trips, which went as well as possible considering that she managed to get carsick on all of them. Then, we piled into the car to go visit my parents. That’s when it all went downhill…

We were driving down the interstate in my oh-so-stylish Dodge Neon – a fetching gold color, no less – when the following scene ensued…

Bella in Window via wantmorepuppies.com

Bella decided that she really needed to see what was happening outside. Not only did she need to see it, but she needed to see it from the back window. So, our not-so-graceful pup decided to scale the backseat like a mountain range.

As she scrambled her way up the face of Mount Backseat, the humans in the car began to panic. We were barreling down the highway at sixty-five miles per hour while our new dog decided to perform her own stunts. Surely, this would not end well.

And it didn’t. After grabbing at the edge of the window as if she was Wile E. Coyote hanging on to a cliff, she eventually plummeted towards the back seat. Like so…

Bella proving the theory of gravity via wantmorepuppies.com

By this time, we’d managed to find a place to pull over and assess the damage. Luckily, no Bellas were harmed in the making of this anecdote (although my nerves were).

We purchased a canine seat belt shortly thereafter. (To learn more about securing your dog in the car, click here.)

So, tell me… have your dogs ever pulled any crazy stunts in the car?

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Do you have any weird pet keepsakes?

So, I was organizing my file cabinet this weekend and stumbled upon this…

A canine souvenir: wantmorepuppies.com

The vet calls ‘em like he sees ‘em…

What exactly is this, you might wonder? Well, it just so happens to be a pellet that was removed from Bella not too long after we got her. I remember finding a bump on her stomach and asking the vet about it – he examined it and thought it was a pellet from a BB gun. (If I could find the idiots that did that to my Bella before we adopted her, they’d be in for a world of hurt.)

So, when she went in for a dental, the vet took the pellet out too. He then gave me the pellet in a bag marked “Bella Pellet.” Apparently, I then filed it away in my file cabinet with other papers from the vet. Kind of an odd souvenir, don’t you think?

Now it’s your turn to make me feel better. Surely I’m not the only one who has kept weird things related to her pets. (On Facebook, a few brave commenters admitted to keeping puppy teeth and cat hair clippings.) What sort of keepsakes have you kept?

(I realize that I may be the only one who is so Type A that she filed a pellet into the appropriate manilla folder in her file cabinet. However, if that’s something you would do, we should probably hang out and discuss our favorite organization apps, filing methods, and list-making techniques at a mutually-acceptable watering hole.)

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