A star in the sky

Little Belle passed away on Tuesday, April 25th. I still can’t write about it much since it’s too painful. I will copy the words I wrote on FB/IG about the moment I had to let my precious little girl go…

How could I say goodbye to my very special little girl who I loved more than anything…
I couldn’t.
I had to.
While she leaned on my chest, her head resting on that one familiar spot.
While I held her close to me, felt the warmth of her body, her heartbeat against my heart.
We both had to let go…

Irene, Little Belle’s mom

Today, I will write about something else, something that helped me a little while mourning. As you can imagine, I feel completely lost without Belle and I experience a deep intense pain. It is often unbearable, it is as if I can barely breathe and it feels like pieces of my heart are torn off, leaving a wound that can never heal.
In the first days after Little Belle her passing I knew I had to do something in order to get through this, to be able to hold on to life. Which maybe sounds dramatic but perhaps someday I will explain more about this.

Suddenly I knew what to do. On Thursday morning, Robert brought the little coffin home and it was just a rectangular box with a boring brown wood color. I wanted to make it better for my little girl, how strange it may sounds, she needed to have her last resting place in a beautiful coffin.
I started to paint an image that gradually formed more and more in my mind and I followed my heart that guided me. I am only used to oil paint, so it was strange to use acrylic paint, but that was the only option because of the drying time.

Here I started with painting. Robert made these pictures of me while I wasn’t aware of this, I was completely ‘in’ the painting with Belle…


Almost ready:


During painting, I felt connected with Little Belle, she was still close to me, and it kept my mind quiet. The moment I stopped, I started crying again. So, when it was ready…, well you can imagine I still keep myself ‘busy’. Of course, I also give space to all my emotions, they need to be felt.



I think the ‘painting’ doesn’t need much explanation. Many friends of Little Belle know her so well that it will be very obvious why there is a heart around her name, why you can see tulips, the heath, the beach, the sea, the sunset… And who is the little star in the upper left corner? My beautiful warrior girl, forever shining ♥


Benji smelling the coffin:


And Tualek:


Surrounded by flowers, all gifts from Little Belle her friends…


I also painted the sides, so Belle will stay surrounded by flowers:




In the coffin, I placed her guardian angel charm, Little Belle her lei from Hawaii (a wreath of flowers symbolizing her aloha spirit of unconditional love), a piece of my hair (a part of me that stays with her) and a letter I wrote to her.


The next picture I have hidden, it’s a picture of Little Belle in her coffin, so only open it if you are able to see Belle this way.

My beautiful little angel…


On Tuesday, May 2, we gave Little Belle her last resting place in our garden…

Irene, Little Belle’s mom


  • Shelley

    My heart is with You. I wish I could have helped Her and You
    Thank You for sharing.☄

  • Lynette


  • Colette Tunney

    I am very sorry for your loss I hope your pain is slightly better. I adopted a dog at seven who lived to be 16 they were going to put her down and all that was wrong was Dermatology. I feel she was supposed to come to me and we had a terrific life together which she would not have had. I feel the same about Bell. What a wonderful wife you gave her Irene and you should be extremely proud of yourself. All your other dogs got to enjoy her as well and so everyone’s life received a bonus. It takes time to get past the lost and it did for me even though I had another dog. The positive was it makes me feel I could help other dogs older ones and Inspire others to do the same. It doesn’t matter if it’s one year or 5 it’s the quality. I was wondering how Bell was able to work with you after having blindness in both eyes if you were using about or just your voice and the sounds of her environment. Either way it was a terrific thing. You gave her even more time. Be very proud of yourself. And of her.! I work with developmental disabilities in the United States and sometimes I feel like children developmentally disabled people in adults who are elderly or throw away and our animals are too. This is throughout the world. While this may be true for some people I think the majority of us on Earth are really wonderful people and you and Belle and your family human and animal are an excellent example of this. I thank you for sharing her life with all of us.

  • Rose Ann Sabaka

    This really breaks my heart, I guess because all the fond memories of my fur babies come rushing back. Each one takes a little bit of our heart but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We never have enough time with them but someday we will see them again and whole.

    Two years ago I adopted a 14 yo terrier mix who was basically thrown away by her previous family. I love her to death and she fits in well with my colony of cats. She will always have a home here with us.

    Thank you for all you do to help make better lives for these members of your family.

  • June

    My heart grieves with you. Rest in peace sweet Little Belle, you will live on in so many hearts. Dear Irene, know that Little Belle is looking down on you with so much love and you will see her again one day. She is running free and her sight has been restored! She has no pain and happily awaits the day you shall be reunited! Until then she is playing with all her friends, both old and new!

  • Peggy O'Brien

    Absolutely beautiful. What a courageous little life. Thank you for being such a great mom to her and all your precious fur babies.

  • Diane Johnson

    My heart breaks for you dear Irene,rest assured you made a big difference in Belle’s life.She was lucky she found you and lived such a wonderful life with you and her fur family.Thank you for making her life so great!



  • David McKenzie

    To learn of LIttle Belle passing away was a shock and for such a long time to have passed hurt even more, I know the pain when you lose a part of your heart, but know that she loved you as much as you love her , She was and always will be a inspiration to so many people .You gave her a wonderful life when you took her into your family . Be proud that you changed her life . she helped me look more deeply at the abandoned homeless and those dogs rescued from the puppy mills , I am so sorry that she has lefrt this earth but I know she will be looking down on all who loved her , so may I say .,Rest In Peace beautiful little Belle sleep safe in the arms of angels , God Bless you little girl .

  • David McKenzie

    Little Belle , now with the angels and a beautiful star shining down on you Irene and her little fur friends , Remember her for all the love she gave , sorry I keep writing but she made such an impact on me . God Bless you and God Bless little Belle , She will be remembered …

  • Dominique Mall

    What a wonderful
    Life you gave Little Belle
    And how much ❤️
    She will never be forgotten and will live forever in your heart in in the hearts of people you touched by your kindness

  • patricia streeter

    just loved her, so brave, i have lost a dog very suddenly only 6yrs and was devasted i couldnt work for week ,so i understand what you went through couple months after he died i had a sunflower day because he was such a beautiful dog now we have a sunflower day every year ..and he is still here in his box (cremated) still part of our family 7 yrs on…
    so lots of hugs for you her loving mummy xx

  • Dawn Brasch

    I recently came across you and Little Belle and your entire family. You know me from my FB account. I have my darling little ESA baby, Coco. I am completely and utterly moved by your love and dedication to your love and ultimate cause to care for those that which otherwise cannot speak for themselves. Coco was not cared for the way any living, breathing life particle should be cared for. He came at a time in my life after I healed from breast cancer and now suffer from anxiety. He is with me everyday, all day – at home, at work, no matter the day of sun or clouds. I have traveled with him, before him and will always have him a part of me, no matter the plain on which we all exist. Words, which I love to use as eloquently as possible, I find hard to do when I read the stories and history of your baby Little Belle. So that you understand where this comes from, which is a place of knowing just how precious life is, not only through illness but also through, personal loses, separation of marriage, loss of family dogs and cats before Coco came to me – encompasses my entire being. Entrapment of our lives whether that be through a job, a home, a state of mind – is all released when we step back and look at the beauty and love that this life can and does present to us when we least expect it to. As your Little Belle dances through the Lilly gardens over the Rainbow Bridge, I feel an infinite connection of unbridled love and admiration for all that you give back to complete strangers through this voyeuristic venue called, The Internet. Thank you for sharing all that you have and continue to do. Coco and I have full hearts!

  • Nilsa Guslawski

    I didn’t know beautiful Belle passed away and I’m so very sorry.? You gave her the love she didn’t have at the beginning of her short life but I’m sure she passed happy knowing what a beautiful life you gave her although she continued to suffer with so many illnesses. Belle was a very brave little girl and she loved you very much. God bless you and God bless little Belle. Another fur angel in heaven.??♥️

  • Sandra Gorenc

    So moving……it touched my heart. She was a very special little girl. Xx

  • Beth Small

    Oh Irene Little Belles resting space is beautiful ?

  • Rita Kleinman

    Her coffin is beautiful….and so is she.

  • Päivi Nyman

    I know how much you miss your sweet Belle, I cried with you. And I have tears in my eyes now too ?. I said goodbye to my sweet Peppi on 11.3.2015 (I had her 30.7.2011-11.3.2015) and still miss her so much ??. Belle’s coffin is beautiful like she was ❤️

  • Susan Mcivor

    My Sweet Angel Always Surrounded by love and never gone , always with us , her Spirit is Special .??????

  • Yvonne Phillips

    I JUST LEARNED OF HER PASSING TONIGHT. I can’t stop crying. The story of Little Belle, her rescue, your adopting her into a LOVING, SAFE FOREVER HOME
    & FAMILY and all her medical problems…
    I felt so moved , she touched my HEART. I feel that she left her PAWPRINTS FOREVER ON MY HEART. I Admire and respect Irene and her husband for providing such LOVE FOR ALL THEIR FUR BABIES. THEY HAVE A TRULY LOVING FOREVER HOME. MAY GOD BLESS THEM ALL. I can’t stop crying. This is such a emotional story. Love one another. Do not
    throw someone (2 legged or 4 legged) away Because they are old, disabled, or different. Whenever I see a Star in the SKY I WILL THINK OF LITTLE BELLE.
    FOREVER in my thoughts and prayers. AND her final resting place was ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. She looked so peaceful surrounded by PINK. The painting was just FANTASTIC. . A STORY OF OF
    X O X O X O X O X O X O X O X O X O X O X

  • Jody Ernsberger

    You are a beautiful person, you gave Little Belle the best life and a wonderful celebration to her resting place. I know how hard it is, I’ve had many dogs. I am so sorry for your loss. But so happy that you were there for each other.

  • marybeth

    i just want to thank you for sharing little Belle with everyone she was speical.your stories and videos of little and all the others have touched my heart so deeply ,i will never forget you little belle for as long as i live .sweet sweet dreams little one.

  • Tempie Roberts

    Bless you for all you have done and continue to do for wonderful animals that need your special live and assistance.

  • Carol Brandt

    God bless you. I just met Little Belle an hour ago, now must already say goodbye to her! ??

    • Diana Dupree

      I feel the same. I just read a article on her then couldn’t wait to see her on this page. I am so upset to find out this little angel has passed away. Little Belle was such a fighter. She fought to live and Im so happy she was rescued by Irene. Im writing this thru tears rolling down my face as this adorable little one has left a hole in my heart. I may not have known her but to read her story of what she suffered but then Irene showed her what life was. She was a amazing little girl. R.IP. Belle ?

  • Sherry Boyles

    “Little Belle” has touched my heart with a passion for love. I sit with tears in my eyes and “Little Kaya” on my lap and ask for God’s help in rescuing these dear creatures, make them safe and show them the feel of true love. Holding Kaya close to my heart, I know how I would feel if anything should happen to her. I’ve only had her, from a rescue shelter, for 2 years but I feel I’ve had her love our whole lives.

  • Colleen

    Dear Irene: No words can convey the depth of sorrow I feel for the loss of beautiful LittleBelle. Someone sent me this when I lost my my Frankie and then Lulu, whom I’d had since they were little rescue puppies. It’s kind of long but I hope you can eventually find solace in the words: I remember our last moment, right before you said goodbye, I looked at you and you looked at me while tears filled up your eyes.
    I know it’s hard to understand and I would have loved to stay, but at some point our name is called, and mine was called today.
    I’m grateful for your loving care until the very end, your choice, however difficult, proves that you were heaven sent.
    For nothing speaks of tender love and sacrifice to me, than one who’s heart is crumbling and still set me free.
    The human term of “putting down” is wrong, it is a release. You gave me the most precious gift when you granted me peace.
    So I will wait.at the Rainbow Bridge until we meet again, and then it’s kicks and tail wags for you, the best of friends.

  • Kathleen Miller

    Just read Little Belle’s story of love and her miraculous life journey today. How wonderful her legacy and inspiration can continue to touch hearts and souls long after her physical being has ascended to be with the angels. Both Little Belle and Irene are miracle workers. True love and life are amazing gifts.I, like Little Belle, am suffering from cancer.Damage from cancer tumors & radiation has led me to a wheelchair.
    People soon forget about you. Thank God for my companion Chazz (standard poodle), who plays frisbee and fetch from the patio with me and likes to take me on wheelchair walks and races. The love of a dog is priceless. Thanks for sharing. Much love to your

  • Kathleen Miller

    How wonderful Little Belle’s legacy and inspiration can continue to touch hearts and souls long after her physical being has ascended to be with the angels. Both Little Belle and Irene are miracle workers. True love and life are amazing gifts.I, like Little Belle, am suffering from cancer.Damage from cancer tumors & radiation has led me to a wheelchair.
    People soon forget about you. Thank God for my companion Chazz (standard poodle), who plays frisbee and fetch from the patio with me and likes to take me on wheelchair walks and races. The love of a dog is priceless. Thanks for sharing. Much love to your

  • Debra Mills

    So very beautiful…my heart just breaks into for your loss of your precious baby…as I was writing this my Litl Red, a feral kitten that came from the woods, several years ago, came into my sewing room and climbed on my lap and nuzzled me knowing my heart was hurting…animals are so very amazing…and some say they have no soul..I beg to differ..take care and know one day we will be together again…

  • Cristhy

    Thank you for share with us your baby littlebelle this is too special for you and you share with us. Her beauty never will die God bless you the day when you adopt her. This touches my heart. God bless you and congratulations for been a good mom.

  • Kim mock

    Omg Irene , I thank you for your reply letting me know about you beloved Belle. I cried and cried I felt your pain when I loss my own sweet baby. Your such an amazing person you really gave her an amazing life. I’m sure Belle knew it to. I’m such an animal lover myself and it kills me to see how bad animals are abused and treated. I want to more for them I just don’t know where to start. One of the things that bothers me the most is the dog nearing trade and the puppy mills it’s so wrong . I would love to hear back from you on your thoughts or suggestions on how I can help with these poor animals in need. I can see you have other sweet babies they all look so happy and loved , your place looks amazing . You Irene are one special lady. ?

  • Amy lewis

    So very sorry that we lost the sweet little angel that taught us all something in all the storiesx and up keeps of her sweet little life God bless ur heart u are just the most awsome person for taken that angel in and u two keeping each other in tune and sharing the awsome life ventures yaw had this is the sweetest and most heart warming story I’ve ever heard just love love love she was just the sweetest. Just keep up the wonderful things ur doing in ur life to help the animals so that everyone can hear there stories and help to make other animals lives awsome to. Thank u so much for the inspiration of this story. And again God bless u

  • Deborah

    Lovely beautiful Little Belle, still thinking of you, When I read this again I have again tears. You are a precious little angel take good care of dear beautiful Tualek.

  • Marianne Ray

    Truly beautiful tribute to Sweet Angel Little Belle. This made me cry and made my heart hurt, but she knew love with you, and she will forever continue to feel your love surrounding her. Good bless you for accepting Little Belle into your home, but more importantly into your heart and soul. Sweet Angel Little Belle is forever with you.

  • Sharon k Siebert

    I just read this sweet but sad story of your beloved Belle. So sorry for your loss. We lost our little Jake this past March 4th. You have a lovely little sanctuary of family.

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