For Bella.

In the beginning, we bought you home in a pink laundry basket. We drove very carefully. 

You looked so small, a fragile white ball of fur. 

I told you, “Don’t worry, Bella. You’re going home now.”


In the beginning, you were a lot of work. There were vaccinations, the feeding every night at 2am because you couldn’t take solid food. 

I was in charge of potty training you but you all ever did was bit me until you drew blood. It was impossible to catch you to take you to the shower. Trips to the groomer would lead you to destroying the crate cause you wanted to get out.

You scratched furniture and chewed up slippers and manage to pee on every carpet we ever own. I remembered cleaning after your mess and crying because you were so frustrating. 


In the beginning, you gnawed, chewed and peed your way into our hearts.
You melted Mummy’s heart. Mummy, who never liked animals, was referring to you as her daughter.
Daddy whom, initially wanted nothing to do with you would go to the market and get you organic chicken as treats. 
You tripped over our hearts with your little paws. 

In between, we fell in love with your antics and your attachment to your bone bone.

We no longer mind the chewed up furniture and got rid of the carpets. We planned our lives around your feeding times. We had a schedule of who does the feeding, who’s in charge of food and medical bills.

We gave you our very own nicknames and you graced the wallpapers of every electronic device. 

We secretly thought that you were cuter than any other dogs we’ve ever met.



We gave you way too many treats and presents. We broke every dog obedience rules there were.

Mummy gave you your own room and the entire living hall. She was going to include you in her will. 

You were no longer our pet, you were family.


In between, you taught us to smile and laugh. A bad day would be turned around at the sight of your enthusiastic barks at hearing us at the door. You licked away all our tears and sadness with infinite requests for belly rubs and to allow you to sit on our laps. 

You taught us to be appreciative of all that we have, that we should appreciate the moment that is at present. It doesn’t matter that you had a fight before or you had a bad day since morning, now is the time to be happy because we are here, together.

You were never unhappy or bothered with trivial things. Your greatest joy comes from the mere sight of us and the best days were made of simple things like naps or tv. 

You were only slightly bigger than a Styrofoam box but you had a heart so vast, it puts us to shame.


In between, you were the one who sits with Mummy in the morning when she takes her breakfast, you were the one whom Daddy talks to when he watches tv at night.
You were the one who entertained Ah Bi when I am not around, and who barks in greeting no matter what time I get home.
You were there for me when Ah Bi left for Canada. You were there for me when the boyfriend broke my heart.
You listened to all my complaints and kept my secrets. You never complained when my tears wet your fur. 
You were our hope and anchor. You were our greatest joy and blessing. 
In between, I learn that the best hugs came from you. I learn that you hate being dirty and you are super fussy with food. I learn that you don’t fetch more than twice cause you know that we are going to just throw it again.  I learn that you grumble when we don’t turn on the TV at 9pm and that you would bark at every little thing. 
Did you know that I love it best when you sleep on my chest; you’re all warm and I can hear your heartbeat against mine. I would play helicopter with you, fly you around in the air. 
I learn the best bits of you were your paws that always smelt like vanilla after a shower. I remember how you would let me brush you for hours and blow dry your fur until you looked like a cloud.
I learn that your tail curls into the most beautiful fan that wags so hard at the sight of us, I am half afraid it would fall off. 
I learn that you only bark at strangers for five minutes before proceeding to licking them to death. 
I learn that you can sleep through thunder storms but flies bother you. 
I learn that we couldn’t have loved you any less even if we tried.

In the end, you weren’t eating well. You lost a lot of weight and was tired all the time.

I remember bringing you to the vet and hearing all the medical jargon that meant naught to me. I remember the IV drip and relentless blood tests. I remember that cone of shame and that small cage they put you in. I remember coming every morning, promising you that I will bring you home. I remember opening the door of the cage to have you struggle against the wires and tubes because you wanted to get out and sit on my lap. 

I remember that day the vet told me you had gone blind because of your kidneys. I remember telling you that it doesn’t matter, we will still love you the same. I will retrain you and help you get around the house. I will feed you by hand if you can’t find your food bowl. I will clean after your mess if you can’t find the bathroom.

I remember that morning. I remember seeing you covered in some ratty t shirt. I remember how cold and stiff your body was, how no matter how much I rubbed and fluffed you, you never got warm. I remember standing vigil over your body on that cold stainless steel table, singing to you as if I was tucking you into bed. I remember cleaning you and powdering your fur. I remember them putting you into a black plastic bag, how I told them to be gentle, be gentle.

I remember how your paws still smelt like vanilla and how I never got to say goodbye.


In the end, I bought you home in a pink basket. I drove very carefully.

You looked so small, in that white fragile urn.

I told you, “Don’t worry, Bella. You’re going home now.”



I know you’re in doggie heaven now and God is taking care of you. I know you’re happy and free of hurts and pains now. I hope that doggie heaven has a big screen TV and infinite treats. You can nap all day and play with your bone bone. I hope that you are running around, in and amongst the clouds; indistinguishable save for your nose and tongue. 

We thank you for four years of your unconditional and inexhaustible love for us. Thank you for your licks and hugs. Thank you for happy and frustrating moments. Thank you for spending so many days with us, for loving us and letting us love you. 

It’s been less than a week but we miss you like mad. The house is so quiet, all of our routines have gone haywire. Mummy eats breakfast alone now and Daddy doesn’t watch TV anymore We donated all your things so that other doggies can be happy too. 

You know, we would each trade a hundred days to have just one more with you. 

But I guess doggie heaven needs you more than we do.

Bella – sugar -vanilla paw, you will live forever in our hearts. 

Daddy, Mummy, Kor Kor and Cece love you so so much. 

Be good and be safe. We will be playing fetch in heaven soon. 


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  1. Anonymous 25th November 2014 on 5:09 pm Reply

    I have a toy poodle i named her Bella too.
    I almost wept reading your post, i could understand if my Bella leaves me one day,
    these are what i would have to expect to be coming upon me.

    I am sure your Bella must have been the happiest dog to have your family around .
    "You were no longer our pet, you were family."
    Bella will forever be with you and family in the memory lane.

    take care and stay strong. this post is really touching , i felt it.

  2. Anonymous 26th November 2014 on 2:05 am Reply

    i totally broke down when i read this.
    i lost my dog when she was 7 to a hit and run.
    god bless u and heal u.

  3. F 13th August 2015 on 3:12 pm Reply

    Hi babe, I’ve read your post before, just after I lost my dog to an illness. This piece completely resonates with me. And even as its 10 months after I’ve lost my pet, I still feel the hot prickly tears welling up as I read your post.

    I know the pain of losing them, but we all know for a fact that they’re not suffering in pain anymore. It took me a long while to accept it, but even till now, I still feel the guilt of signing the form to allow the euthanasia. But I know it was for the better of her.

    I hope you’re coping well. Always believe that something amazing is just around the corner. Bless you.

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