When Pete and I started dating seven years ago, I coincidentally became a dog mama at the same time.
As black labs are, Jonah Bell was needy, had plenty of energy and loved people (at the dog park she would ignore all the other dogs and come right back to us). She loved being out on the trails and darting in and out of the woods across the path.
For several years, she would go running with me in the morning for maybe 20-30 minutes. But over time, she started slowing down and no longer wanted to run. So it turned into a morning walk, almost daily, for years.
This past Thanksgiving, Jonah had a scary episode while Pete was visiting his family where I was sure we were going to lose her. The vet did a blood test and said her red blood cell counts were low and white were high and we knew she had a tumor on her back. We didn't do any further testing, but assume it was likely cancer.
I regret that in the last two years as we focused on our growing family, she didn't get as much time or attention as she had before. She got fewer pets, shorter walks and some impatience from us.
When she passed away on Tuesday night, I was surprised how hard it hit me. There have been plenty of tears in our house, loss of sleep and general sadness for losing Jonah Bell. I already miss the things we were so accustomed to... the clicking of her paws running to the front door when we get home, seeing her head poking out the window curtains as we left the house, her grunts or scratching at night as she's getting comfortable, the way she would check on Henry after his naps, and her request for morning (or anytime) walks.
The house feels eerily quiet when we come home and I'm sad for the bond she and Henry were starting to have. So, this is a friendly reminder to appreciate what and who you have while you have it. We never know when it's going to be gone.
So yeah, I miss her. And while I don't think we'll get another dog for at least a year, I already know I want one. Jonah Bell, you will be so missed.