I don’t want to write this, because it will make it real.

My old black-and-white-with-a-spot-of-brindle beagle-hound mix Bella, who I always called Bellies, because she liked to have her belly rubbed, died at 5 o’clock this morning. It wasn’t entirely unexpected, because her health had been declining for some time, but she’d been doing a little better the past week and I thought maybe she’d last through the summer.

I adopted her from a nearby county rescue, the runt of three sisters who bullied her. She was the only one of the three who sat politely. She’s the first dog I raised from a near-puppy. I taught her to lie down and it was weirdly one of the proudest moments of my life. But most of the time she had the typical stubborn beagle disposition.

I never felt like I deserved to have such a loyal companion, who was always there every time I turned around for some 13 years, always letting me know if something was amiss inside or outside the house. I did the best I could to give her a decent life.

I buried her in the back yard by the woods where the deer are always roaming back and forth, so she can finally be close to them.

I turned off comments because I don’t really want to talk about it. I’m fine, the cat is fine, but I, at least, am pretty exhausted.

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