Lifestyle

For My Bella!

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When I think back on the past year, one memory that shines as bright as day is the adoption of my lovable, playful, and absolutely hyper Jack Russell cross, Bella. Sadly my beautiful Bella passed away on December 26th.

Each December I always do my ‘year in review’ blog post, in which I share the highlights and the ups and downs of the previous 12 months, but given the tragic turn of events of the past week, I have instead decided to end the year with a blog post tribute to my black beauty who made 2017 amazing and a year I will never forget.

From the moment she arrived at our home she brought us so much unexpected love and happiness all at once. I truly believe pets are like angels that have been sent into our lives to teach us some valuable life lessons for the length of time they are with us, and this was definitely the case with Bella. I know not everyone will get what I mean, but if you have ever owned and loved a pet, you will understand.

I remember the day in January of this year, I turned to Dylan out of the blue and said: “I’d like another doggy”. He looked at me puzzled as we had two already, Coco and Harper, and while they really are no trouble, he thought two was enough. I explained to him that I wanted to rescue a little doggy and give it a chance. I wanted to open our home up to a puppy that hadn’t been as fortunate as Coco and Harper and give it some of our love. We regularly donated to dog charities but I felt we could do more to give back and give a dog a new life. In the end, Dylan agreed and we started looking into the idea of bringing a new puppy into our home. I was so excited.

A few days later, as I was scrolling through Facebook, I noticed a friend had just uploaded pictures of her beautiful new pooch from Dogs Trust; A beautiful little black puppy. I instantly fell in love and messaged her about it. Holly had told me that the litter was pretty big and there were still a few puppies left and I had to move fast. I immediately messaged Dogs Trust and the following morning Dylan and I was at the door waiting to see the remaining doggies in the hope of welcoming one into our home.

They brought us through to this enclosed area to meet the puppies. They explained that it was, in fact, the full litter and some had already been chosen so I asked to see the doggies that hadn’t been chosen and instantly Dylan already had his eye on one in particular. Dylan picked her up and she was the cutest little thing we had ever seen. All of the puppies were Jack Russell cross and most had a white patch somewhere on them, but this little baby was pure black – black as a raven with the most beautiful almond shaped eyes we’ve ever seen. She was the one. It was her we wanted.

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After we had met the litter, we addressed our concerns about already having two females and how spoilt and settled they were. We were worried it might not work and that our two might not accept her. The girl we were dealing with in with Dogs Trust suggested trying things for a few weeks and to see how we got on. She said it could be temporary if things didn’t work out, but I knew in my heart that this wouldn’t be the case.

On January 18th, we collected our black beauty and brought her to what we were hoping was going to be her forever home. We name her Bella (Belle meaning ‘beauty’)

Introducing her to Coco and Harper was actually very funny. Here was this 10 week old scared and fragile tiny little puppy, (or so we thought!), coming into a big house with two very dominating and spoilt Maltese. I thought she would whimper with fright, but nope, instead, she pegged it straight over to THEIR food bowls in the kitchen and demolished their nuts. Talk about showing them who was boss!

We couldn’t believe it! You’d swear the poor little thing hadn’t eaten in days. She was so used to fighting for her food amongst a big litter of puppies that she thought by demolishing their food fast she would get it all for herself. She even barked at Coco and Harper as they came close to their bowls. I smiled at her bravery and instantly fell in love with her cheekiness and feisty ways.

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Fast forward a few weeks of sleepless nights, many in a row, I personally developed a very strong bond with Bella. Every time there was a row amongst the doggies, Dylan would remove Coco and Harper from the situation and I, Bella. When we went walking, I always had Bella on the lead, and when we went to my mams, Bella always sat on my lap. If a row broke out, I would jump to her defence. Within weeks she became my shadow. She knew I was her mammy.

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I remember the picture above I took on my iPhone the very first night we got her. We were in the kitchen on our own, just the two of us – she was too scared to be on her own, so I lay down with her. While lying on the couch together, with me trying to encourage her to fall asleep, she kept snuggling into my neck.

I decided to take a picture and what I captured was a picture I will treasure for the rest of my life. The way she looked at me melted my heart. I could see in her eyes the love she had for me, and I knew she was thanking me for bringing her home and giving her a chance. Looking back, I know now that she knew in that moment she was going to be my special one!

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I quickly realised a while later that I might be developing an allergic reaction. When I was around Bella my eyes instantly would become itchy and red. After some time it became apparent that I was, in fact, allergic to short-haired animals. Coco and Haper are both long haired and non-shed, whereas Bella was the opposite. Over the months, my eyes got very very bad. Even while taking antihistamines, I still had a very bad reaction. They were always swollen, red, and I developed what looked like dermatitis on my eyelids.

As the months drew closer to our wedding, my family and friends were worried that if it got worse, my eyes would look red and swollen on our wedding day. We powered through however and never once did it affect our relationship, nor did I ever love her any less. In fact, it deepened our bond, because, despite my reaction, I loved that dog more than she will ever know.

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Bella was different. She had her little ways and one of them you all know very well – the shoe escapades. While Bella was a baby, I would leave my sock or slipper in her bed with her. I know she loved my scent and so I thought this would comfort her when I went to bed and while she slept. As she grew older, Bella couldn’t sleep without a sock, slipper or shoe of mine in the bed with her. I would find my shoes anywhere she slept or napped – in her bed, on my bed, under the bed, under the coffee table – you name it Bella had my shoes. If I couldn’t find a shoe or slipper Dylan would always say, “Did you try Bella’s bed?” It became a running joke and it used to make me laugh all of the time.

Only recently I bought really heavy boots from Zara which you guys might remember from my VLOGMAS #1. I was getting ready in my room one day and she was on the bed beside me. My boots were on the ground, and of course, she spotted them! I watched her jump off the bed, take each heavy boot one by one in her mouth and jump up onto the bed with it. She slept on my shoes and it’s something I will miss about her every single day.

I can’t even look at my Chanel espadrilles without crying – they were her fave! A dog with style, some might say 🙂

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Bella was a character, bold, feisty, cheeky, brave, nosy, hyper and above all lovable. I could never stay mad at her for more than 5 minutes. I won’t lie, she tested my patience! She’d eat everything from shoes to expensive furniture to makeup (my wedding lipstick!), to dog beds, teddies, toys, you name it – if it was left down Bella would eat it.

She would annoy Coco and Harper constantly and sometimes hurt them as she didn’t know her own strength…but every time I would give out to her she would just give me this ‘look’. Her eyes would stare right into my soul and I would be saying sorry to her 5 mins later and hugging her and feeling guilty for giving out to her

I remember one-time Dylan was waiting on his new bank cards, we were out that morning at a meeting and when we returned home all of the post on the floor had been eaten including Dylan’s bank card. There wasn’t a digit left on the card, every ounce was chewed and all we could do was laugh. One time we came home and Bella had pooed on the post, I kid you not. Frustrating at the time, it just shows you how funny and bold her little character was.

Shortly after that, we ordered a post box for the wall outside our house and the post drama stopped. Another thing Bella loved to do was soak herself in the shower. She would wait for you to get out of the shower and she would run in, stand into the shower and play with the drops from the shower head. Afterwards, she would come out soaked and it always made me laugh.

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Bella knew how to work me, she knew how to annoy me, she knew how to test me, but by God, she also knew how to make me laugh and feel like I could never love an animal the way I did her.  There was just something about her. I loved her spiky ears. I loved her smell – she had this lovely scent that I would give anything to smell again.

She would follow me everywhere, I couldn’t go to the toilet without Bella being there. She would snuggle up to my neck every night before her bedtime, she loved being on my shoulder. She would look into my eyes when I’d rub her nose and kiss her goodnight every single night. She had to be around me, beside me, by me, close to me, and I am absolutely lost without her.

If I’m being truly honest with you and myself, I had a special bond with Bella that I never had with Coco or Harper. I loved them all deeply, but Bella was different. There was something about her and she knew she was my favourite.

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One thing I am thankful for is that Bella was apart of the most special day of our lives – our wedding day. She was there with Dylan and I as we exchanged our vows, and, looking back at the church photos, we are so thankful that she along with Coco and Harper were part of the most important day of our lives.

Dylan misses her equally as much. He is devastated by her death. So too are Coco and Harper. They know she’s not there and you can tell they keep looking for her. It’s heartbreaking to watch.

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The bad news…

As a family, we decided to head off for Christmas this year. My dad retired earlier this year after having worked with Dublin Fire Brigade as a paramedic and fireman for 35 years. His job always required him to work during the festive period so this was his first Christmas off entirely and we were all so excited, especially my mum. By luck, my brother, Robert, who is also in the same profession, happened to have Christmas off this year as well, and so, after a tough year personally for us, we thought it would be a nice idea to all head off as a family and spend Christmas abroad.

Jessica, my best friend, always took care of Coco and Harper when we were away, but knowing the one-on-one attention Bella needs, I wanted someone to give her the same attention I gave her and there was no way Jessica couldn’t do that minding three of them.

I know by the way Bella had always been with me when Dylan might be in his mams with Coco and Harper that she loved being the only dog. She loved being the number 1 and the priority and that is why I always made her feel like that.

 

I had asked Grace, my cousin, a few months ago if she would mind Bella while I was going to Hong Kong on business and oh my god she LOVED it up there. Grace is a dog lover too and used to always mind our family pets when needed. She also has a little girl who loves animals too and judging by the pictures Grace used to send me whenever I was away on business, Bella absolutely LOVED it up there.

She was always being brought out for walks, and always treated as number 1. She had their attention fully, and she was often snug on the couch wrapped in her blanket asleep or snuggled in beside Graces little girl Georgia.

She showed Grace & Georgia the same love she showed me, and both, like me, they were also crazy about her.

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It was the morning of St Stephens Day and my dad knocked on mine and Dylan’s hotel room door. I looked at my phone and it was 9.20am. We were a bit hungover after enjoying a few Christmas drinks the night before so I was annoyed he was knocking on the door so early.

When I opened the door, he looked worried and said he had some bad news. My body completely froze. He said, “Suzanne, there has been an incident at home, Marley (his boxer dog) opened the back door* and she and Bella are missing.” I  paced around the room in shock rubbing my head with my hands, asking him what the hell had happened.

*(At home in my mam and dads, Marley is trained to open the back door to go to the toilet)

I immediately went on to social media and shared the pictures of the dogs with all the details praying they would be found. An hour went by, the longest hour of my life and in the midst of it all Dylan ran out of the hotel room with his wallet and phone and headed to the airport for a flight home to try find the dogs. It was crazy.

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I was in the bathroom sobbing on my phone reading every single snapchat/email/text/tweet that came in… until I read a message that I wish I hadn’t.

A young girl messaged to say that she and her friend had found Bella but she had been knocked down. I dropped my phone and screamed crying!! My dad picked up my phone and asked the girl to ring him. He hung up and his voice shook as he said with tears in his eyes, ‘She’s dead Suzanne, she’s gone’. I cried and cried and cried… after that, it’s all a blur.

We flew home early that day and I made my way to my house. At this point, another, one of my best friends Sara had collected Bella and brought her home. Home to her house, in her bed with her blankets by the Christmas tree and they waited for me. I cried the whole way home from Lanzarote. I was inconsolable. Every thought imaginable ran through my head and I was devastated.

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Myself and Dylan sat down with Bella that night and said our goodbyes. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done… I cried like a baby and just stroked her coat. She looked so peaceful, almost like she was asleep – I take comfort knowing she wasn’t in pain and that she still looked like my Bella. I also take comfort in knowing she spent her last night with us, in our house, in her bed.

We have decided on a cremation and I just can’t wait to have her back where she belongs. Here in her home, by her bed with her family.

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Overall, it has been a devastating time for myself and Dylan, we are absolutely heartbroken. The house is so quiet, her little bed is still in the same spot in our kitchen, her chewed toys are everywhere, I can see her little black hairs on the floor in places and I can’t stop thinking about her. I feel absolutely broken.

I know some of you reading this won’t understand why I am feeling this way over ‘a dog’. However, in many homes, pets are embraced as an actual member of the family, Bella was part of our family, so the death of a pet is an extremely emotional and heart-wrenching experience. I read online that in general, death is a medical event associated with five basic stages, and when a pet dies, some of it can carry over to all those affected. The five stages of grief are Denial, Anger, Bargaining (with God, to return life), Depression, and Acceptance. People go through these when they lose a loved one, whether it be human or animal.

For some people, a pet is almost like a child. For others, it’s like a sibling, a best friend, a long-term companion. A pet becomes a huge part of your family and daily life and therefore their death can be just as painful as that of a family member.

Having a pet is truly a gift that can change your life and Bella 100% changed mine. She brought me monumental happiness when I needed it most, and she taught me so much in her short life.

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Bella was hyper, at times bold and very needy but no matter what she did I loved her more and more – she taught me what unconditional love is and for that, I will be forever grateful to her.

Bella was my blessing, and I take solace in knowing that she was my angel on earth and now in heaven. I know she helped us find Marley, and I am so thankful to her for keeping her safe until we found her.

Bella, my baby, my special one, thank you for all you have done, you made my 2017 the best year to date and I miss you so much.

I love you with all of my heart and I will meet you at the rainbow bridge my darling!

Sleep tight, my love.

Forever in my heart.

Mammy

xx

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77 Comments

  1. February 8, 2018 / 10:28 pm

    Beautiful but heartbreaking. I too know the pain of losing a beloved pet.
    You were both blessed to have found one another in this life and indeed you WILL be reunited on rainbow bridge xxxx
    So sorry for your loss Susanne and Dylan … big love ❤️

  2. Tracey
    January 2, 2018 / 5:32 pm

    I have just read your heartfelt blog dedicated to Bella. I’m sobbing as I cannot imagine what you are going through. I am lucky to be a mum of two beautiful daughters & one furry boy. I love my little dog like he is part of our family, he is my little boy I never had. He holds a special place in all our hearts. Shaye & I have such a special bond. He is my therapy, especially on days when I’m not feeling great mentally. I cannot even begin to imagine what you are going through. The joy they bring to our lives, no-one could prepare me for. Your little angel was given to you at a time when you needed her. She was lucky to have you, and you her. She is now over the rainbow having fun & waiting on you until the day you meet again. Shame on the lady who called you out for feeling devastated! As a mum to two children & one dog, I cannot even think about life without my girls and I know (and dread) the day my furry baby is no longer with us as we will truly have lost a member of our family. My heart goes out to you. Wishing your tears to turn to smiles remembering all the precious memories you have. RIP Bella

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 4:38 pm

      Thank you so much for your lovely message Tracey. Really appreciate it xxx

  3. Joanne H
    January 2, 2018 / 2:15 pm

    So beautiful and heart wrenching. ❤ I loved following little Bella’ s story on Snapchat – she was a little rascal and totally adorable. Pets truly are like family and, even though her life was short, it was full of all the love you gave her and she had the best life a little doggy could ask for. Sorry for your loss xxx

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 4:39 pm

      Thank you so much Joanne ❤ xxx

  4. Louise
    January 2, 2018 / 9:25 am

    Such a lovely dedication to your little Bella. Its so very heartbreaking. Makes me so sad to read. You gave Bella a wonderful little life she was so lucky to have you. Rest in Peace Bella xx

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 5:21 pm

      Thank you Louise ❤ xxx

  5. Sonya
    January 2, 2018 / 6:22 am

    Absolutely heartbroken for you guys reading this. I lost my own furbaby last year in a freak accident. He was only 21 months and was stung by a bee. I seen it all happen I had him in the vets within minutes but there was nothing they could do. He had an allergic reaction and same way it happens to humans he went into anaphylactic shock and passed away later that day. I was devastated…. I’m still devastated. I miss him every day. I’m crying again now writing about him. Reading your post about Bella and her characteristics just reminds me so much of my Caesar. He was a character…. a cheeky chappy, full of mischief, (loved socks, shoes and slippers too) but the most loving boy I’ve ever known. He was my baby and I truly adored him.
    Please don’t listen to anyone that says/questions your grief by comparing it to loosing people in your life. I have lost many loved ones and I understand the pain of losing my furbaby hit me far worse than losing people in my life. He was my baby I dont have children he was like my child. No-one should judge anyone else’s grief. Some people will never get it. Some of us do. Our furbabies were young and taken way before their time… I get some comfort in the fact I know I have my lucky charm looking over me and I know I’ll see him again some day. Hugs to you and thinking of you and your family at this truly heartbreaking time. RIP Bella xxx

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 5:27 pm

      Thank you so much Sonya, and I’m so sorry to hear what happened to Caesar. And he was only just 21 months too? Taken way before his time. I know exactly what you mean when you say still miss him every day. Thinking of you ❤ xxx

  6. Ciara
    January 1, 2018 / 11:15 pm

    Heartbreaking Sue Our beautiful big German Shepard was knocked down on the road outside our gate on New Years Eve. He was just a big fluffy baby and I can totally relate to you and your loss of Bella. The unconditional happiness they bring and how their absence in your life is just deafening.. thinking of you and all your family ❤️
    Rest In Peace to all the beautiful doggies in heaven xx

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 5:33 pm

      Thank you so much for such a lovely message Ciara and I’m so sorry to hear what happened your German Shepard. Hope you’re ok ❤ xx

  7. Sinead
    January 1, 2018 / 5:19 pm

    My heart just goes out to you Suzanne. I am dog lover & owner and I completely understand your dedication, love and affection that you have for your 3 babies. When I heard the awful news about Bella, I got my dog (named Marley also) and just held her and sobbed. Bella was such a beautiful dog & the snaps and pictures you shared of her over the year were gorgeous. Stay strong & know that you saved her, gave her a wonderful life and loved her & that you will of course see her again at Rainbow bridge….make sure you bring a slipper for her ❤️❤️❤️

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 5:34 pm

      Thanks so much Sinead. Really appreciate it ❤ xx

  8. Lia
    January 1, 2018 / 4:36 pm

    Roaring crying reading this . We have two doggies who are like our children we love them so much and they really are part of your family . I’m so sorry for your loss . Little Bella was so beautiful xx

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 5:39 pm

      Thank you Lia. I know exactly what you mean when you say your doggies are like your children ❤ xx

  9. Celina Young
    January 1, 2018 / 8:22 am

    What a beautiful but also heartbreaking read… I really hoped you’d find her alive when I saw the missing post… the poor pet… but you know you gave her a great life that she may never have had….she was loved and loved you…look after and be good to yourself. Btw just to let you know I find your posts/phrases so inspirational. Take care and I wish you all the happiness for 2018. Celina x

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 5:40 pm

      Thanks so much Celina. Appreciate it. So glad to hear you like the inspirational posts ❤ xx

  10. Sheila Jones
    December 31, 2017 / 11:59 pm

    So sorry Suzanne , know only too well how you feel as I lost my beloved Jack 4 years ago and it broke my heart.Sheila

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 5:44 pm

      Thank you Sheila ❤ xx

  11. Amy Carlton
    December 31, 2017 / 11:12 pm

    Such a genuine and heartfelt post – I can’t imagine how upset you both must be. You gave that little dog so much love and a fantastic home – she will always have a place in your heart. Amy

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 5:45 pm

      Thank you so much Amy ❤ xxx

  12. Anna Sevcuka
    December 31, 2017 / 11:02 pm

    Oh Suzanne it’s hearbreaking . I totally understand how you are feeling . My dog looks exactly like your Bella and if anything happens to her I would be heartbroken .
    May she rest in peace little baby Bella .❤️❤️❤️
    Sending you lots of love , hugs and kisses .❤️❤️❤️❤️

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 5:45 pm

      Thank you Anna ❤ xx

  13. Dawn
    December 31, 2017 / 10:47 pm

    Your love for Bella shone through every word of that post. I’m broken hearted for you both xxxx

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 5:46 pm

      Thank you Dawn ❤ xx

  14. Lisa
    December 31, 2017 / 10:41 pm

    Such a sad yet lovely blog post. Heartbroken for you about lovely little Bella. She was too cute for this world. My nanna used to tell me whenever a pet died they went to heaven to St. Francis who is the patron saint of animals, and I remember I would pray to St. Francis to take care of them. So maybe say a prayer to St. Francis tonight, it might bring you some comfort, as I remember as a kid, it did for me. Take care hun and try to enjoy your last day of 2017. Happy New year to you, Dylan, Coco, and Harper XxxX

    • Lisa
      December 31, 2017 / 10:45 pm

      P.s even though you only had her for a short while, you gave that little doggy a chance and a lovely life, no matter how short, and I’m sure she knew how loved and cared for she was xxx

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 5:48 pm

      Thank you Lisa. That’s such a lovely suggestion about saying a prayer to Saint Francis ❤ xxx

  15. Marianne Teehan
    December 31, 2017 / 10:17 pm

    Oh Suzanne, am heartbroken for your loss. Your post was written beautifully. I prayed the day Bella and Marley went missing. Thinking of you all. xx

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 5:50 pm

      Thank you Marianne, and thank you for keeping Marley and Bella in your prayers when they went missing. Appreciate it ❤ xx

  16. Megan Lisa
    December 31, 2017 / 9:37 pm

    Tonight I am going to hug my dogs that little bit tighter after reading this. My heart is broken for you. You gave that little beauty a new life to treasure forever. ❤️

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 5:50 pm

      Thank you Megan ❤ xx

  17. Mary
    December 31, 2017 / 8:38 pm

    So sorry for your loss, what a beautiful tribute to Bella, she sounds like such a charmer and character. It’s heartbreaking to lose a pet, they really are part of our families
    Sending lots of love

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 5:51 pm

      Thank you Mary. Yes she was definitely a charmer and a character! Heartbroken to have lost her ❤ xx

  18. Bernie Redmond
    December 31, 2017 / 8:32 pm

    Oh Suzanne I am sobbing reading this what lovely words, I also have a little Jack Russell Cross and know how crazy they are and what great fun you can have with them. I lost two dogs in the last two years and know the pain you are feeling as only a dog lover can know. I am so sorry for your loss of Bella and of what should have been a wonderful time, your first married Christmas, the only consolation is that Bella knew she was loved very much and had a happy time with you and Dylan

    Bernie xx

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 5:58 pm

      Thank you so much for your message Bernie, and I’m so sorry to hear you lost two dogs ❤ xx

  19. Lou
    December 31, 2017 / 8:17 pm

    Bella knew that you and Dylan loved her take solace in that! You will always miss her, but it will get easier… best wishes for you both xxx

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 5:58 pm

      Thank you Lou ❤ xx

  20. Kirstyn Greer
    December 31, 2017 / 8:07 pm

    Suzanne you wrote that so beautifully and truly from the heart. I was sobbing the whole way through and what an amazing tribute to your baby Bella. She was so lucky to have you both and will be watching over you all. We will all miss your videos and updates with Bella but you have so many wonderful memories to cherish. Love and hugs to you all xxx

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 5:59 pm

      Thank you so much Kirstyn ❤ xx

  21. Martina
    December 31, 2017 / 7:16 pm

    I am in tears reading this. I have a dog who is 7 she is my baby and if anything happened to her I would feel the same way Suzanne. I will miss seen her on your Snapchat. So glad Marley was found, hope he is ok.

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 6:00 pm

      Thank you Martina. Yes Marley is doing well and in great form now again ❤ xx

  22. Edwina Creane
    December 31, 2017 / 7:04 pm

    Wow I bawled reading this…… it’s easy to see that these words are write straight from the heart a broken heart. Sue I am so sorry for your loss… our Jessie is our baby also and has been for the last 7 years so I cannot even imagine what you are going through. Bella will give you the strength to keep going and she will always be with you and Dylan. Look after yourself and Dylan xxx

    • Suzanne Jackson
      January 18, 2018 / 9:37 pm

      Aw thank you so much Edwina ❤ xx

  23. Mary Farrell
    December 31, 2017 / 6:28 pm

    Tears are flowing after that piece Suzanne. I’m a mother to two little boys and our dog of 14 yesrs left us on the 22nd of December by far the hardest day of my life. He was up there with the children he was like a child he was my baby. He was here before my husband and my children and he ruled the roost. We live close tpdrogheda and were out searching when we heard the news of bellas passing. Its so hard Suzanne, I see gizmo everywhere I’m falling over him and he’s not here I’m waiting for him on the stairs, I’m opening the door to let him out I feel like one of the children is gone…one of the children is gone. Some people will laugh or make am if remarks it’s not a dog but try ignore them as they haven’t opened up their hearts to a defensively little animal. Gizmo calmed me down he took away the stress made me slow down. Look after yourself over these next month’s Bella was a blessing and every time I put on my fave lashes I shall remember ur little black beauty.

  24. Niamh
    December 31, 2017 / 6:03 pm

    Sue this is an immensely difficult time for you and my heart goes out to you all. Earlier this year my furbaby Ruby passed away while I was on holiday in America, my parter and I were devastated as she was supposed to be a big part of our wedding day next year. I’m not going to lie it took us months to get over it and even now when reading your post those heartbreaking feelings are rushing back. Thank you for sharing this post, it can be difficult for others to understand the loss that you feel when a pet passes away, just remember you gave her a wonderful life and that your family understand what your going through and that matters the most! ❤️

  25. Clodagh Meehan
    December 31, 2017 / 5:52 pm

    Such a beautiful tribute for a beautiful fur baby losing a dog is so heartbreaking and can’t be put into words so so sorry for the loss of beautiful Bella

  26. Maureen Murphy
    December 31, 2017 / 5:40 pm

    I was heartbroken for Bella when I read what had happened to the beauty, it’s never easy losing a furbaby, so unexpectedly as well. we lost our family dog Bruno while I was out walking him, he was attacked by two golden retrievers, happened right in front of me died there and then. That was 14 years ago and not a day goes by when I remember him, he was our little warrior, out all brown terrier. We didn’t sleep for days, it’s the hardest thing in the world losing them. They bring such love and warmth into your heart and make you smile on your lowest days. It’s going to take so much time to try and put what happened to her to the back of your mind but the memories alone that you had together will undoubtedly help.

  27. Monika Vavrova
    December 31, 2017 / 5:39 pm

    Cant stop crying through the whole post… what a beautiful tribute to lil Bella. Having two fur babies myself I can only imagine what you and Dylan are going through. So heartbreaking. I guess not everyone will understand that lost your loved pet is the same pain like lost your loved person. Maybe somebody will judge me. But when i lost my pet i had the same pain like when i lost my nanny this year. When you love, pain is the same for person or pet. Stay strong and all the best in New Year. God bless x

  28. Shauna
    December 31, 2017 / 5:29 pm

    I am in tears reading this, my heart breaks for you. This is a beautiful tribute to beautiful little Bella. I am happy you had a chance to say goodbye properly. Losing a pet is so difficult because they bring nothing but joy and happiness to your life. Bella will always be with you, best wishes for 2018 ❤️

  29. Ciara
    December 31, 2017 / 5:28 pm

    So beautifully written Suzanne. My heart went out to you all on st Stephens day. Losin our family dog 7 years ago after 18 year’s tore me to pieces. I still miss him every single day. It gets better but you never ever forget them. Like you said unless you’ve had a pet that was part of the family no one will understand. Sending you all lots of love xx

  30. Sandra
    December 31, 2017 / 5:28 pm

    Hi Suzanne, that has to be one of the nicest blog posts about a pet that I’ve ever read and the tears are streaming down my face, my heart aches for you as I understand deeply how you feel, I got a dog for my 21st after many many years of looking for a dog as a child and not getting one. Murphy was a Yorkshire Terrier and went missing on me for the longest day of my life and luckily I found him he was 14 then, blind with double cataracts and not too great on his legs. I live in Drogheda and drove everywhere looking for Marley in the car and drove to places I never even knew existed although Im here 14 years. Murphy passed away aged 16 (9 years ago) and to say I fell apart is an understatement, I have never ever felt pain and heartache like it. Even while I type this it is fresh in my mind. But you are right when you say they are our angels that choose us and teach us what we need in life, without a doubt that is what Murphy was to me, my baby and part of me. I wish you to very best of everything for 2018 and please take comfort knowing Bella was the happiest she could have ever been (although short in time to you) and she knew without doubt the love you had for her. I will leave you with a prayer I have in my Murphys memory box that helped me through it all ……

    One Dog

    When God had made the earth and sky,
    The flowers and the trees,
    He then made all the animals,
    And all the birds and bees,
    And when His work was finished
    Not one was quite the same,
    He said “I’ll walk this earth of mine
    And give each one a name”,
    And so He travelled land and sea
    And everywhere He went,
    A little creature followed Him
    Until its strength was spent,
    When all were named upon the earth
    And in the sky and sea,
    A little creature said “Dear Lord,
    There’s not one left for me”
    The Father smiled and softly said
    “I’ve left you to the end,
    I’ve turned my own name back to front
    And called you Dog, my friend”.

    xxx

    • Joanne H
      January 2, 2018 / 1:46 pm

      That is beautiful x

  31. Rebecca Mills
    December 31, 2017 / 5:24 pm

    Absolutely heartbreaking to read this! The pain of losing a pet is indescribable, they love you unconditionally. Bella was lucky to have been a part of such a loving family. The memories you have with her will last a lifetime ❤ I lost my fur baby Oscar 2 years ago, he was 16 and just like Bella he was jet black and the most lovable and affection dog there was. Even though it’s been 2 years I still miss him everyday and still picture his little face
    RIP Bella, she’s up there now looking down on you from Rainbow heaven
    Xxx

  32. Jeanette Brannigan
    December 31, 2017 / 5:10 pm

    Dear Suzanne and Dylan, coco and Harper, my heart is broken for you. As i read this ,I had my pup Bowie lying on my tummy and I shed some tears as I held her a little tighter after reading your heartfelt message. You have had so many highs this year, you could have spoken about any of them, especially your beautiful wedding but the fact you chose to write this touching tribute to Bella truly touches my heart. I hope you can find peace after all this heartache. Wishing you all love and light for 2018 xxjxx

  33. Lorna Dunne
    December 31, 2017 / 4:53 pm

    What a lovely way to talk about a loved one. We have our little fur baby penny. We all love her. She is so good with our kids. Bella was very lucky to have been so well loved. Sleep tight black beauty. Xxx

  34. Danielle O’Hanlon
    December 31, 2017 / 4:50 pm

    Suzanne I feel so much heartbreak and sadness reading this, our family dog Marley passed away on Christmas morning. He had made his way to our house at 6 years old, so we took him in as our first pet. He was a gentle, comforting and loving little dog that everyone instantly fell in love with. Marley was with us until he was 14 and had a great life filled with happiness and plenty of adventure – towards the end he was suffering from dementia & arthiritis and lost movement in his front right leg, his quality of life had diminished but he was always still so happy & content. He passed peacefully in his sleep but the emptiness and sadness we felt was insurmountable.

    The pain of such a loss can’t be fully described, but you’ve gave me hope that we will get through it. A dog knows how loved they are & it has always been clear Bella was loved beyond words, as was Marley.

    I haven’t had you or your family out of my head this whole time & I hope that eventually the pain eases and that everyday it will get easier.

    “Dogs lives are too short, their only fault, really.”

    All my love & wishes for 2018,
    Danielle x

  35. Jane
    December 31, 2017 / 4:48 pm

    Suzanne, my heart broke for you reading that and I’m sitting here in tears. We adopted a little black pup a month ago after losing our old 14 year old dog in September so I know how hard it is. Your piece was beautifully written and a lovely memory. I wish you and Bella had had more time together but it’s easy to see that no dog was ever loved more. I hope when the time is right that you can continue that love with another rescue. Many heartfelt wishes for a happy and healthy 2018 for hippy and all your family.

  36. Loretta Mcivor
    December 31, 2017 / 4:47 pm

    I am in tears such a beautiful written article for Bella
    May God ease your pain Sue and Dylan xx

  37. Tricia
    December 31, 2017 / 4:47 pm

    Heart is broken for u Suzanne… We had Jasper a golden cocker spaniel for 6 years and in June. Within 48 hours got very sick and passed… it was the most horrid feeling ever! People think they are just dogs but they arent they are friends family… bad days the know and the make u feel better with a cuddle!!! It will get easier eventually they way u have shared about Bella is amazing !!

  38. Karen
    December 31, 2017 / 4:44 pm

    I was crying reading this I cant imagine what you and Dylan are going through. Bella will also be looking down on you guiding you through life. Thinking of you all.

  39. Karen hickey
    December 31, 2017 / 4:44 pm

    How lucky was Bella to have you and Dylan .. how lucky was Bella to have been choosen by you .. some animals go through a much longer life with not even a fraction of the love and care Bella shared.

    You are a good Person Susanne Jackson .. no one can ever take that away from you xx

  40. Laura
    December 31, 2017 / 4:42 pm

    Eyes are bubbling with tears; God Bless you all.
    Dogs are the best friend a girl can have; no one will be as loving and as loyal to you. What a fitting tribute to your Bella.
    My wee woman has got me through heartbreak and triumph. No one can cheer you up on a bad day like your doggy can. The memories are your comfort for getting through this time and in the future.
    Take care. x

  41. Jenny
    December 31, 2017 / 4:38 pm

    Oh god this took me easily 45 mins to read, with all the crying I done !!! So many people don’t have connections with pets, I have a jack Russell myself she’s my shadow, super needy, the closer the better for her but so loving and loyal… how you explain Bella you may aswell be talking about my Bailey it must be in their jack russel nature !! I’m so heartbroken for you because I can’t imagine anything happening my dog and I don’t know how I’d manage .. you gave a little dog the most amazing life in a world where some people treat animals so horrifically… I’ve always been a firm believer that the world would be a better place if we took some lessons from dogs, they are loving forgiving funny and everything in between ….!!!!! I sound crazy but I understand that bond .. I’m so sorry for your loss

  42. Maria
    December 31, 2017 / 4:29 pm

    Such a heart warming tribute to your beautiful four legged baby Bella
    I know a lot of people don’t understand why people get so upset or the loss of a dog however there is nothing more soothing than a cuddle with your puppy on the couch after a stressful day in the office or the welcome they give to you every time you come through the door!!
    I’m in tears reading your article it is such a touching thing to dedicate a blog to her, it’s very clear that she had the best life and loving home and family. I’m so sorry for the loss of your little princess I’m sure she will be watching over you in doggy heaven

  43. Dionne McSweeney
    December 31, 2017 / 4:27 pm

    Bawled through the whole post… Having two fur babies myself I can only imagine what you and Dylan are going through. A bit of solace is that Bella new what it was like to be in a loving home even if it was only for a short while. Thinking of you all xxx

  44. Gillian Cosgrove
    December 31, 2017 / 4:22 pm

    I can’t stop crying reading this. I’m privileged to have three furry best friends and I would be totally lost without them. I’m so so sorry for your loss.

  45. Gina
    December 31, 2017 / 4:05 pm

    Absolutely heartbreaking! Xx but a beautiful tribute Xx

  46. Sorcha
    December 31, 2017 / 4:02 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful girl. You had me balling my eyes out a paragraph in. Not everyone understands that losing an animal is as heartbreaking as losing any other person in your life. But I fully understand. But there comes a time that you can look back on all the silly things Bella done and laugh. But until that point stay strong.
    Xx

  47. Lauren
    December 31, 2017 / 3:48 pm

    Omg that is heartbreaking I can’t imagine how u must be feeling. Thinking of you both. Xxxxxxx

  48. Joanne
    December 31, 2017 / 3:40 pm

    Oh my god this made me cry, It brought back every emotion I felt when I had to say goodbye to my little dog ruby in July, be strong! X

  49. Sharn
    December 31, 2017 / 3:31 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to Bella!
    She was very lucky to have such a wonderful family to look after her, even for a short time and you were lucky to have such a beautiful dog. I hope your happy memories provide you with some comfort and I hope you can learn to live without Bella and be thankful for the time you had together. I also believe that animals are like angels that can teach us valuable lessons along our life journey. Keep loving your dogs throughout your life and learning from them. It is a very special bond to experience and something to always treasure.
    I’m so sorry for your loss and I hope you learn to love another new dog soon that needs a good home, just like you did with Bella.
    God bless and wishing you a Happy 2018! X

  50. Orlaith Kelly
    December 31, 2017 / 3:29 pm

    No one will ever understand the loss of an animal. You have lost a member of your family Suzanne. Its like a part of you died with her. I watched her grow in your snaps and I swear it hit me and your other followers too when the news broke. Your followers are part of you too and I’m sure I can speak for all of us that admire you that we are hear for you and feel for you. All you can do is cope everyday and keep the memory of her going. Stay strong.
    Orlaith Kelly
    Xxx

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