# Bella turns 10

The pup that stole my heart, the one who can make me feel like the most loved person in the world with a simple nuzzle, turned 10 yesterday.

Double digits for any dog make me weary–we’re getting up there–and Bella doesn’t seem too excited about the prospect either. Like last year, we took her out for a few photos (right at the magical photography golden hour….on accident), but this year was different.

Yes, there was snow. Yes, she was happy. But there was no running around. There is a seriousness that’s been hovering over her since she got sick in November and you can see it in her eyes.


Those sweet eyes that melt my heart in a minute….they seem tired, which makes my melted heart break.

Don’t get me wrong. She still has her energetic bursts, but I can’t deny her growing older (especially on her birthday) or the fact that she’s slower to rebound from the sickness that ruled her life for over a month.

I’ve stared at her face a lot since then and kissed this nose even more, with silent pleas in my heart for a livelier Bells.


Never has there been a more loving dog or a sweeter companion. For those of you who aren’t dog-people, you probably don’t understand and that’s okay. This is my baby.


And when your baby has a birthday, I think most people look back at old photos and wonder where the time has gone. I’m no different.

Bella and I were queens of the selfies before it was cool. I have C O U N T L E S S  photos of our faces mushed together. This is one of my favorites when she was just a tiny puppy, all black fur and big paws:


She’s been sleeping a lot on our bed recently, which reminded me of the days when she’d burrow behind the pillows on my bed in Cincinnati and then pop up and crawl toward me with tail wagging when I’d come in to find her.

This is another early favorite:

Those paws!

Bella and Joe came into my life within months of each other. My two greatest loves in one short amount of time. Nothing makes me happier than our little family of three and the last decade seems to have absolutely flown by.

Here is my Stonewall Bella today:



Every bit as precious and curious as those early days, though much calmer and now sporting quite the gray beard.

Bella, you are the most absolute joy in my life and our hearts burst with love for you.

I’m so glad I’ve kissed your face and called your name for the last ten years. Happy Birthday, my sweet baby.

Now someone hand me some tissues.


3 thoughts on “# Bella turns 10

  1. Happy Birthday Sweet Baby Bella! We love you so much and are so glad that you joined our family. Hugs and Kisses to you and your parents. Eat a Cheeze-it for your Mama Dos!

  2. Hand me some tissues, too!! Oh, that 2nd photo. Her eyes DO look tired and serious now. I can still picture and hear her crunching through the Fall leaves in Cincinnati. Happy birthday, sweet Bella!

  3. Pingback: # Bella turns 11 | hashtag marci

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