Miss Belle’s Bucket List
I’d thought that I’d write a blog this weekend, and I’d thought it would probably be about Dart’s first agility trial in four months.
It’s Belle Cardigan’s blog instead.
Belle is now just past thirteen years old, and we’re suddenly–very suddenly–getting ready to say good-bye.
She’s seen a lot of changes in the past year; she’s now mostly blind and profoundly deaf, and I thought that explained some of the new behaviors that have crept in over the past couple of months. And maybe to some extent, it did. But suddenly other changes piled on in the course of the last week, and a visit to the vet quickly revealed the worst–the cancer that Belle has been hiding from us. Never mind her gorgeous coat or the fact that she looked so good on her Christmas Eve birthday that I thought I’d have years more with her.
Belle was a gift from writer/breeder friend Jennifer Roberson at Cheysuli Kennels, way back when I first moved to the Southwest. She was too small for conformation shows, but she grew into my first serious agility dog, and she marched through rally excellent and novice obedience with a steady stream of blue ribbons.
She was the first dog in this area to get a PAX (and that was the first PAX title that judge had given).
She was one of only 50 dogs to have a PAX2 at the time she earned hers.
When (in July of ’12) AKC instituted the more demanding PACH title, she earned her first PACH and very nearly her second; she was at that time #2 Lifetime Preferred Cardigan Corgi. When I retired her at the end of last year at the age of twelve, she was 100 speed points away from that PACH2 (and nearly a PACH3 with her double Qs).
This is all in spite of calcifying disk disease that struck when she was five years old and partially paralyzed her, a condition from which she was not expected to recover. Between five to ten years old, she sat out more trials than she ran because of flares, and then the calcification stabilized. (She continued to run agility at the vet’s behest; keeping her strong was the best thing I could have done for her.)
Belle is my princess dog. My tries so hard to be perfect you want to cry dog. My sweet, sweet little blue merle girl with the blue eye. Bellicious, Bellevator, BelleBelle, Miss B, Princess Belle.
I’m not sure how long we have. I know it’s not long enough. And so I am making a bucket list for her, the things I think she most wants from her world in these scant remaining days.
Pleasant afternoons of snoozing in the sun.
- Evenings of snoozing in the forbidden “trip me” spot RIGHT BESIDE MY FEET at the standing station.
- Nomming down extra coconut oil, fish oil, and big heapings of yummy meats. Her appetite is still fine, and she needs this tripled intake to maintain her otherwise rapidly falling weight.
- This includes Second Breakfast.
- Getting the office princess bed whenever she wants it, no matter who the boys think owns it (or what they think it’s called).
- Not worrying about piddling indoors because the office is now one giant incontinence pad.
- Many couch cuddles.
- Playtime with the mommy on the floor gently pinching her toes so she can pretend to FIERCELY BITE.
It’s a start.