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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

We got Bella, our beautiful golden retriever, on  August 15, 2006 and she passed away on Wednesday March 20, 2019.  She lived with us for 4,597 days.  So that means that we went on at least that many walks with her.  We didn’t walk far in the first few months, or in the last year of her life and we obviously didn’t walk her when we were away on vacation.  We are dedicated dog walkers (our family and friends) and we walked her every day that we could.  For  many years she was walked twice a day.  Her walks were always a few km minimum and on weekends at least 5 km.   So even if we said we only walked her 3,000 of the days at an average of 2 km a day (this is a low estimate) we walked 6,000 km with that girl.  Or another way to look at it is if we walked her for an hour each day that would be 3,000 hours of walking which is equal to walking 8 hours a day for 375 days.   It is a lot of walking no matter how you look at it.  We walked into town, on the rail trail, at the sculpture forest, in our meadow, around the block, to and from the school, and had special trips to friends and other locations.  It’s about 8,000 to take the Trans Canada highway across Canada and I actually bet we were close to doing that. This is the gift of a walking dog.  She took us out in the pouring rain, in the minus 30 weather, under the full moons, on the ice, in the wind,  and in the hot sun.   Bella walked us through personally challenging times and she walked us back to health when we injured ourselves.  I was in New York City last April and I passed a café that had a sign out front that said “The best therapist has fur and four legs.”  I love that.  The thing about a dog is that their love is unconditional and uncomplicated and their level of joy is so high that even on the most tired or crabby days, she picked our spirits up.  I never came home from a walk in a grumpy mood.  Bella’s enthusiasm for walking and life never waned. Because we walked so much, a lot of dirt and dust and mud was brought into our home.  It was crazy.  We always did our best to clean her muddy feet, but she was  a golden and often the mud got into her fur.  She was not a neat and tidy dog and I am forever grateful for her groomer,  and for our friends who accepted a lot of dirt in the house.   Walking was just one thing that we did with Bella.  She always laid on the carpet and watched movies with us.  She was with us when cooked.  She slept in our bedroom.  She stood at the window and watched us every time we left to go somewhere.  She greeted us every time we returned.  She dug holes in our gardens and she loved to fetch rocks from the bottom of the lake. I miss her good company  every day.  Special thanks to the staff at Haliburton Veterinary Services  for the excellent care they provided during her life and for being so compassionate and kind at the end.  And thanks to all of our 2 and 4 legged friends for loving her!

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