Dear Belle and Irene

Dear Belle and Irene,

Happy Birthday to both of you?  I am SO sorry you and Belle are not able to spend it together.  We can only assume there is a reason even though we may not understand it.  However, that doesn’t take away your pain.  How ironic that you both celebrate birthdays on the same day???

I am not sure when you started sharing Belle’s adventures.  I have really only followed the last few months. As her time grew closer, I was surprised at my attachment to your situation.  I began to feel anxiety with each posting, wondering when the news would come that her time had ended.  As she had passed her expected time-frame I began to forget her days were limited.  When the email finally came, I felt so sad and just cried, and cried, and cried. Every time an animal/pet dies I cry for the loss of ALL those who’ve left, particularly my own.  I cry at the prospect of losing either of my own 2 Chihuahuas.   I was surprised at my reaction to this beautiful pet that I had never met, only known through social media.  What a story she had.  And most of it so cruel.  At the hands of merciless people who cared nothing about her.  And then she is rescued. Finally, someone took her away from the hell she had been living.  Then her battle with eye disease, and Glaucoma, and losing her sight.  Really?  When is enough, enough?  Then the final punishment.   Cancer.  Hadn’t she been tested enough????  The one thing that became very clear to me was how much she was LOVED, particularly by you Irene.  The picture of the 2 of you, with you holding her, your head down, and you kissing her head.  Just told it all.  I can’t help but wonder if that picture was taken in her final moments, or even after she had passed.  Either way – – – she was loved.  For the next week I was in a place I couldn’t figure out and then it finally occurred to me, I was still feeling the effects of Belle leaving all of us.  Again I asked, how this little girl could have such an impact on me? Those that know me, know it takes a lot for me to let anyone in.  Some how, Belle got in.  I am saddened and angry that she had to endure all that she did.  I’m angry at every human who treats an animal the way she was. I am angry that God continued to put her through hell.  And yet, she persevered and went on.  I can only guess her adoption by you was reward for all she had endured. The long road she fought in getting to you.  Despite my anger, I am so thankful that Belle was able to know Love. A warm comfortable bed.  Food in her belly.  And support from literally thousands of followers. I choose to believe that she is somewhere, running either on the beach or a flower-filled field with the sun shining on her face.  Her eyesight restored with beautiful big brown eyes that see forever.  Her body rid of any disease.  A spring in her step, and the zest for life that has always been there.  I hope for you Irene, that your happy memories take over and your pain diminishes and you find peace remembering the life you gave her.  Remembering that You were responsible for her happiness and literally her life, these past few years.  Most of all, when the time is right, I hope you will afford another unfortunate fur-being the opportunity to know the same things that Belle did.  I have NO DOUBT that Belle would like the same thing.  You are a beautiful person, with so much love to share – as is evidenced by your large family.

I would also encourage you to share your last days, minutes, seconds of Belle’s time.  I firmly believe that “funerals” are for the living.  They are to help us accept the absence and loss of loved ones.  I would ask that you afford all of us the opportunity to go through this process.  It has been difficult to read these daily adventures of Belle and then suddenly have her gone.  I think this would help all of us tremendously in obtaining the closure that is so important to move on.

Irene, I wish you all the best.  Know your broken heart is shared by so, so many.  You and Belle have brought together a huge group of people who share a common bond – – – the Love of Animals!     Thank you.
Marcia Ingalls
Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA


  • Susan Colley

    Dear Irene ,
    Thankyou for sharing your last days with Little Belle as I know how hard it must have been for you,I lost my beautiful Savannah last August, she was 14 years old I had her from a puppy, like you and Belle we did everything together,
    She had never been ill but two weeks prior to her passing she wasn’t eating very well, and seemed tired I took Her to my vet who said it was her heart and that she had about two weeks left,…..she gave her some injections and told me to enjoy the next two weeks with her and I like you would know when the time was right to take her back
    We had not two but four wonderful weeks together ,but in the time each day I notice her getting more tired,on the Saturday August the 6 th….she stopped eating ….her legs were not working I had to carry her outside, to do her wee.s…..ect…but she was so happy …she always had slept on my bed from bring a puppy, that night I watched her sleeping soundly , we rose early next day I put her out to wee,and carried her back into the room placed her on the settee, with a blanket..and she was happy but she had a look about her, with a very heavy heart, I told her that she didn’t have to stay because of me,I had rang the vet the day before because like you I knew that the time was slipping away and I arranged to go on the Monday the vet said to have Sunday with her…..We sat together I was holding her talking through tears,and praying with all my heart that God would take my baby and she didn’t have to endure the next day’s journey …..I told her to let go and I would be with her on day….Irene my prayers were answered, she passed away peacefully in my arms at 13.20pm….Sunday…..I cried and cried for many days,and this is the first time I have wrote it down and am still crying…
    I live for the day that I will be reunited with my precious baby…..then we can spend eternity together…
    God Bless you and your Family….

  • Margaret Brungardt Gifford

    Marcia Ingalls. Never have I read more beautiful words than your post on May 5th. Everything that was/is in my heart and head but you wrote so eloquently on here. I cried reading your words and picturing Irene crying as she read them too. Little Belle & Irene have literally touched thousands & thousands of people by words and pictures and even though we are all suffering through Belle’s passing, I am so thankful to have had these written memories and photos of one amazing furbaby and her incredible Mommy over the past year plus! Blessings to you forever Irene and the day will come when you will be reunited with your little sweetheart!

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