Bello was born in Dunnville, Ontario to a young family; not really wanting to get into the puppy business. As a result, I met Bello and his brothers and sisters when they were less than 72 hours old. I knew I wanted a male, the rule was “first deposit / first pick”. I handed over my money, looked at all the babies and said I CAN’T PICK!? I decided I would wait to see which male was left and he would be mine. In hindsight I believe that maybe just maybe Bello picked me!
Bello and I spent most of his years; just the two of us. He was my protector and at the same time he knew (or so it seemed) he was the boss of me! I will never forget the day when he was standing in front of me and barking. It was like he was scolding me for something. I kept saying stop barking but he would not. So I turned my back on him. He immediately stopped barking, came around and stood in front of me and continued to scold me!
In May of 2014 my now husband, (yes we found someone who wanted to be part of OUR family!) Bello and I traveled to Vancouver. We rented a brand new luxury motorhome so Bello could travel in style. The day we arrived in Vancouver; Bello literally fell out of the motor home. I thought perhaps he needed to adjust to the stopped motion but quickly it became evident he was in great medical distress. We rushed him to the closest animal hospital and after a grueling 72 hours of tests, fears and scares of further medical distress the vet reported that she was testing him for a very rare form of pancreatic cancer. We needed to get him home and once the diagnosis was confirmed we would have some decisions to make.
That trip home was the longest but shortest of my life. On one hand I just wanted to get home! I wanted to believe she was wrong. That it was the stress of the trip that caused this and as soon as we got him home he would be okay. But part of me knew he was dying and there was a very real chance he would not make it home. I wanted every minute of that trip to last an hour because it was one more hour I would have with him.
He traveled the entire way home on my lap and in my arms. He ate like a king and as best we could…well let’s be honest as best as my husband could we tried to give him a last great experience.
Why do I say as best as my husband could? I was the panicked mother who wanted to carry my 80 pound baby around with me and not let him out of my sight. And my husband was sneaking Bello into the Fraser River to play and taking him out to shoot photos of old railroad tracks. He was helping Bello live while struggled with trying to accept the fact that Bello was dying.
When we got home I went into problem solving mode. I dug out an old Deepak Chopra book and tried to figure out how long would it take for enough new cells to grow so that Bello would have a new pancreas.
And then I turned my kitchen into a lab. I would find the concoction of proteins and sugars and carbs to fix this problem. But Bello had a different plan. At noon on Sunday June 1st Bello stopped eating. When he looked at me with his eyes I could hear him saying “it’s okay mom – I’ve got this”.
Bello my angel died in my arms at 7:20 am on Monday June 2nd. To this day it still feels like a dream. I am so grateful to be able to share Bello’s memory and celebrate his life with everyone who will be at this event.