Bellucci, September 23, 2003 - December 30, 2011
On Sepember 29, 2003, you and 5 of your siblings were born in the corner of my apartment. You were, to your breeder, and to me, the cutest of the bunch. You looked like a teddy bear – with perfectly puffy golden brown hair, and a big black nose. So I guess it was apt that we called you Bellucci, after one of the most beautiful actresses.
As soon as I decided you were the one we were going to keep, I would pick you up from your litter everyday to hold you while I watched TV. You, however, didn’t enjoy the cuddling as much as I did – Doctor Leo even called you a Squeeze-Me Elmo, since you would automatically make this low grunt every time I would hold you close to me. I wish I had recorded that.
Your pretty and always prim hair though seemed like a disguise for someone who was really rougher around the edges. You always had a knack for the “damak” as Mariel would call you. You loved to scratch your smelly ear, and take a whiff off your paw after doing so. You loved to sniff and ingest all things yucky. And you loved to sleep behind the toilet bowl, a habit that Doctor Leo later on blamed for your perennial body odor.
Typically just like anyone who came second, you were always the sillier, more rebellious and charming of the two. Toilet training, keeping you nearby, and following our orders were never as easy as it was with Flower. What you lacked there though, you made up for your irresistible charm. Everyone who knew you well – Troy, Candy, Ats, Mariel – loved you to pieces. How could anyone resist your excitement and tears of joy every time one of them walked in the door?
I was worried about taking you up to Baguio, as I knew how much you hated car rides. You were so calm and happy going up though – makes me think that perhaps you weren’t feeling well then already. You seemed so happy when we got there. So when you showed signs of weakness, none of us thought that something terminal was looming, although I still contacted Doctor Leo immediately when your hind leg started shaking on Wednesday. Doc and I were in constant contact since then.
It was on our last night in Baguio on Friday when you got alarmingly weaker. It was the first time I ever (in my life) told Doc Leo that I was worried, and that worried him too. On our way down, you seemed like you were in good spirits so all anxiety went away. But when I saw you last night, trembling and breathing difficultly, I knew that things had turned for the absolute worst.
I stayed by your side for 20 minutes, waiting for Doc to come. I still remember the last time you looked at me with your big pretty brown eyes – your eyes were so full of pain, almost apologetic for it. I told you to hang in there, as I didn’t have to strength to tell you that it was okay to let go. I hope that my strokes and kisses eased the pain a little. I’m happy I was able to hug, kiss and say goodbye to you one last time before I handed you over to Doctor Leo.
Noey, Mae, Flower and I are overcome with so much sadness and grief. Since Stella was born, I know things have been different, but I hope that you know that you’ll always have a place in our hearts that can never be replaced by anyone else.
All of us – Noey, Mae, Flower, Candy, Ats, Troy, Mariel – miss you terribly, and look forward to your tears of joy when we see each other again.
I love you, Belly.
Last photos of Bellucci in Baguio:
Last video of Belly, taken by Troy in November.