|August 1, 2003 – July 24, 2012|
This week we lost our dear sweet Sheltie, Belle, after a two year struggle with kidney disease. She was the perfect companion for our writing life. A Brilliant Girl! She was quiet, curious, wise and kind. Her best furry friend was a cat. They spoke a language that we human friends couldn’t share. I believe they spoke softly with great wisdom about their world. The cat continues to search everywhere for her. Although I explained it all – at least the parts I understand – about life and death, the cat is sad and cries for her, as we do.
Belle brought a finely tuned structure to our household; we timed her walks around her needs, but those walks helped us to get in touch with parts of the outside world and our inner world that we might have missed without her. She always kept an eye on where we were. Her herding instincts were strong and she watched our lives with interest and concern. But I think it was her kindness that let her love us. And I know it was our kindness for her – that allowed us to let her go. It was difficult and necessary. But her herding instincts remained intact even at the end. She raised her head and counted her people before she relaxed that last time.
I am reminded of the second to last stanza of Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem. “Kindness” and I truly hope and pray that she won’t mind if I use it here.
and you see the size of the cloth.”
And this picture is one of my favorites.
Sweet Belle on a lovely spring afternoon when she felt better. This is how I will remember her best. This was our Belle.