At the moment that I met Little Belle…
I had a hard time. I was heartbroken, and only traveling around the world could bring me some comfort. I cannot say it was a flight from life, as I enjoyed traveling too much for that, but there were a lot of setbacks, and unfortunate things, that needed to be compensated by traveling (which means I wasn’t often at home :)).
And then, there she was… Little Belle. This tiny creature. I don’t even know how she crossed my Facebook, as I always try to set my settings as strict as possible, but she had found her way, squirming herself through the small opening of my facebook, straight into my heart. I’m not the ‘fate’ kind of person, but she was a ‘meant to be’.
I saw her movie, crying. For the pain, for the love, for the beauty, for the simplicity.
When I started following Belles page, it stroke me how easy it seemed to be (it still is, as for me, she’s not gone) to love her, to love Irene, to get love from them. No strings attached, no profit reasons. Friendship and caring were enough. Also, Belles friends (Françoise) were so sweet. Effortless, all of them gave me strength, love, stories, emotions… only nice things to look forward to, every day.
And in the meantime, I met my husband Xavier, got baby Seppe and all the clouds disappeared. A lot has changed in my life, but little Belle, and her stories, and her warmth stayed the same. I kept on following and enjoying her stories, and bought her necklace, for a specific reason: I am grateful, and I wanted her to be a part of my, Xaviers, and Seppes life.
As we (small family) kept traveling, in our yellow Fiat 500, named ‘Emmeke’, we hung the necklace on the front mirror, and Belle is dangling there, and traveling with us. I never thought I would ever have to write a tribute to her, as any tribute is inadequate for her. But the day has come, and this is my tribute to her.
Belle, as long as Emmeke is driving, you will travel with us. To work, to Belgium, Holland, France, Spain and even further away… as far as I can bring you. In the meantime, you have adopted a seal together with Seppe, who has also been released in a healthy state! I promise you that Seppe will know who you are, as he sees you every day swinging your way around in my tiny car. I promise you that you will never be forgotten, and even though we never met in real, you will always have a special place in my heart, and you will always live.
Dear Belle, thank you. I love you.
Thank you, Kim Connely-Goral and Terry Connely-Flores for your beautiful gifts. I am deeply touched by how you made these special bag, blanket, and sweater. Tears were in my eyes while I unpacked it, it’s really amazing. And when I realized that you also included Little Belle her (our) magical place, the beach, tears were flowing…
Little Belle would have loved this and will still love it when she joins us in spirit when we go to the beach. And her sweater I will wear with proud.
The teal and white caring bag:
And when you open the bag it opens up to a big blanket with another beautiful embroidery:
So very nice the whole family included and with the lovely words:
Then the wonderful sweater:
My little girl on my heart side…
♥ ♥ ♥
There once was a dog named Little Belle
A soul with a heart of gold
Such a wonder, such a spirit
And her story must be told
Poor little one was treated cruelly
No freedom, no care, no affection
Suffering at the hands of an inhumane human
Who offered no warmth or protection
She brought forth life but gave up her own
And endured many years of pain
All so that someone could profit from her
And sell her babies for gain
But the heart of a warrior beat within
And Sweet Belle’s hope never died
God had another plan for her
And was about to turn the tide
Miles away lived another sweet soul
Irene had much love to give
She opened her heart and opened her arms
And on that day Belle started to live
The two would become inseparable
With a bond that grew ever stronger
And empty places within their hearts
Filled with love, and were empty no longer
Stormy weather was still to come
When Little Belle’s world grew dark
Irene would become her guiding light
So Belle could shine like a star
Together they had adventures
Belle loved the smell of the sea
And the suns warmth upon her face
It was wonderful to be so free!
To know Little Belle was to love her
And she made friends near and far
Many shared in her day to day life
It was easy for her to steal hearts
Then it was time to say goodbye
Her time on earth was done
Now she walks on a different shore
But her memory will live on
With brand new eyes she sees the heavens
And on strong legs she runs
She splashes in the clear blue waters
And basks in the warmth of the sun
Her spirit looks down upon us
To gently guide as we mourn
She offers hope and comfort
Because Little Belle has been reborn!
by Annie Mason 2017
Today it’s already 4 weeks ago that we had to let you go… They say time flies, but for me, it still feels like yesterday.
I would like to share something with you. Of course you already know…, but still, I like to write to you. For the very first time in years, we went to the beach without you. Your special magical place. Our place.
First, I wanted to go alone, to be able to feel you by the sea. But somehow I was so nervous that I almost didn’t dare to go. At one moment, I felt it would be good to bring Emi with me, one of your best friends and dear sister. Then we could help each other. When I was leaving our house Jessie looked at me with an expression that told me she also wanted to join us. So, there we went, the three of us…. Or were we with four?
And there we were, standing on the beach, looking out over the sea. Jessie standing by my side, Emi standing on the other side. Tears were running down my face. My heart aching so deeply.
There was something different about the view, on the horizon a long thick white stripe was visible, in the entire length of the same thickness. Above it the sky was dark. And higher in the sky, a light appeared through the clouds.
I held your little sculpture in the air, seeing all the forms and shapes around and behind you. I realized that the white stripe was like the fog I was feeling in my head and the darkness of the sky resembled the deep pain in my heart. And then there is the light. The light of the heart and soul that shines. Yours and mine. There is always the light, right Belle? Always connected.
You taught me so much, you still do, and you always will.
We found a nice spot to sit down together. As I ran my fingers through the sand, felt the warm grains sliding over and under my hands I thought about how much you liked the feeling of the sand under your paws. You were always so happy the minute you felt it. Oh and the smell, you knew instantly where we were the moment I opened the door of our car.
With my hands I formed a heart shape in the sand and wrote your name in it. I was wondering if you could see us. Normally, Jessie and Emi would walk a lot and explore, but this time they stayed very close to me. It was so special. Jessie lay in front of the heart, on the lookout. Emi at the side, very close to you, her eyes closed. I put your sculpture in the heart. Although I can feel you more and more, it felt good to look at you.
Emi looked at you as well, very intensely, trying to comprehend what she saw and felt.
Then Jessie approached from the other side and both reached out to you and smelled your presence, without touching your name. Such a magical moment. Your sign.
You were there. You are here.
What a gift ♥
Your Irene, always ♥
Every member of our family had their own way of saying goodbye to Little Belle, some of them didn’t come close to her, they observed from a distance or even stayed in another room. That was all okay, they can always make their own decisions and they knew what was best for them at that moment. And I knew that some had already said their goodbye earlier. The past few weeks (months actually) they were very well aware of what was going on with Belle and we communicated with each other about and with Belle to express our feelings and thoughts.
I am not able to write the whole story with each picture because of very deep emotions, so I will just give some short descriptions, but I think all the photos speak for themselves…
After Belle passed away, I sat all evening with her on the chair by the window. At one point, I felt it was the right time to give the others also the possibility to say their goodbyes to her. So, I knelt down on the floor, still holding my little girl (I couldn’t ‘let her go’ yet) and then this happened;
First, Lulu (who is blind) lay down next to us…
Then she came closer
Benji came closer from the other side:
Jessie watched from a distance:
And also Stefan preferred to watch from his spot:
Then, Emi, one of Belle’s closest friends, came very close, touching Belle:
All her expressions say enough…
Stefan is still watching us, thinking and feeling, processing…
I couldn’t believe that she was gone. I still can’t…
How are Little Belle’s sisters and brothers feeling now?
They are okay and I will try to write more about them soon.
Irene, Little Belle’s mom ♥
With Lulu, Jessie, Emi, Stefan, Benji, Simba, Tualek, Twix and Robert