Last night, Thanksgiving night, Bella was missing. We let her out to eat her dinner, and she never came back to the door. When my mom and I realized this, I went outside calling her name and whistling, hoping to see her bounding towards me like she normally does. Mom walked down street and back, doing the exact same thing as I, and we both had the same result - no Bella. I went back inside the house while mom drove the car down the road, hoping to find her there and not have to drive into the next neighborhood.
Over the noise of the video I was watching inside I heard a loud thud and the bloodcurdling screams of an animal that I knew had to be Bella. Horrified, I ran outside in my pajamas and stocking feet, screaming her name. I saw her across Delany road and when she saw me, she hobbled over, whimpering with pain. There was a car slowly coming in my direction and it reached me at the same time that Bella did. The people in the car had been right behind the vehicle that hit Bella, and turned around when they saw that the guilty vehicle didn't stop. The couple was so kind, and helped keep things calm. I could barely talk because of the shock; I was terrified and began to cry. My mom returned from her search, and the couple immediately helped us put Bella in the back of the suburban. We were able to contact an emergency animal hospital in Grayslake and drove carefully there.
Once we arrived, they put a muzzle on Bella and got her out of the car. She didn't want to go inside with them and would only come when I called her. She was being stubborn and didn't want to leave my side so I had to trick her a little to make her think I was walking with them to the back room.
That was the last time I saw her in a normal state.
The X-rays showed that her pelvis was broken in two places and her femur was broken as well. There were no internal injuries that were visible, but with the impact of getting hit at 55-65 mph, there was a definite possibility that damage could develop. My mom and I went on an emotional roller coaster that lasted 3 and 1/2 hours. The cost of surgery kept fluctuating as they gave us different estimates (varying by hospitals, the doctors who gave the estimates etc.) and we were faced by only two options. Option one: pay thousands of dollars to have surgery on her femur. However, this option wouldn't make things perfect. She would always walk with a limp, there would be strict exercise restrictions and there was always the possibility of complications after surgery. Option number two: euthanasia.
We went back and forth between decisions several times, but for financial reasons the surgery was just not possible. Also, the quality of the new life she would have been given would not have been fair to her. Making the decision to put her down was heart-wrenching. When asked we would like to be present for the euthanization my mom declined but I felt that I couldn't let her be alone.
It was one of the hardest things I have ever done and I am crying as I continue to type. I can't even find words to explain everything that goes through my head when I think about it. She was 10 months old and I was the one that made that choice to end her life. Before the euthanasia, deep into her eyes that were glazed over from the pain killers, she looked frightened just to be in that strange place with people she didn't know. Her breathing was short and fast, just like she had been running for a while. Once the injection was halfway in, I saw her chest become still and her eyes become lifeless. The vet told me I could talk with her throughout the short process, but I think I barely choked out the words to tell her she was a good girl and that I loved her very much.
My mom apologizes to me. She says Bella was my baby, I loved her the most and apologizes for leaving Bella outside too long. She claims it is her fault. The truth is that at 5:30PM on Thanksgiving night, most people are eating dinner with their families and Delany road is quiet and still. When there are no cars rushing by, Bella couldn't have know any better. I know my Dad couldn't imagine Bella living a lifestyle that he compared to his own. When the body is harmed in one way, that in turn, can make other things "go bad". When we told Jacob that Bella had died, he simply responded with, "Oh! She's in heaven with Tasha!" (Tasha was our Rottweiler that had to be put down after being our childhood pet of 12 years.) The way he thinks is so pure and innocent. If only the rest of us could think in the same way.