Let me introduce to all my first love, my sweet Bridget baby. Our story began many years ago when my family decided we were ready to add another beagle into our family. Mind you, we already had an awesome beagle named Barney at the time. He was my dad’s ever so loyal hunting dog, but he was starting to get up there in age. My dad desperately wanted Barney to train his new hunting dog before he got too old. We went to the breeder just a few days after the litter was born to pick out our soon-to-be new hunting dog. We all instantly fell in love with this precious little, only chocolate-brown beagle of the bunch, Bridget.
She was just the most precious puppy, yet sassy in every way. She was a natural-born diva, true alpha dog. Now hunting dogs generally are best when kennel kept so it doesn’t mess with their natural scent skills etc. Well, I just couldn’t bear to let this little precious baby sleep outside with Barney, I just had to have her in with me. So every day I would sneak her into my bedroom – I always thought I was so sly about it too! Years later my parents informed me how they always knew and would get the biggest smiles at night when they’d hear the commotion. There was even a few times my dad told me “I better learn how to get my nose to the ground to sniff out those bunnies” since I was spoiling Bridget so much. There were many times my dad would come to get her from my room to go hunting with his buddies and she would be sporting some new doggy nail polish, coach collar and of course a super stylish outfit! I don’t know if my dad ever lived down the fact that he had such a diva for a hunting dog. She was in fact a pretty good hunting dog and always loved her times with my dad. She would instantly get excited every time that orange hunting vest come out!
Over the years she truly became my best friend, my baby. We shared everything together, she was always on my side, or better yet my lap. I don’t think she ever realized she was a beagle. She was with me from going through the crazy, awkward teen years to getting married and becoming a woman. She would be up for anything, as long as she was with me! From tubing off the back of the boat, jet skiing, to dirt bike riding and all our other crazy adventures over the years – she was always there!
When Caleb and I first started dating she would get so jealous of him because he would take time I would normally share with her away. Over the years they grew founder of each other, but they always had a love hate relationship. It wasn’t until we were married that their jealousy of me really to came to a head though. We were so used to cuddling together every night in bed, now we had to share our cuddles with someone else? She didn’t like that and of course my dear husband didn’t necessarily want to share his cuddles either. They would get so jealous over me, it was actually kind of flattering! I was only so lucky to be so loved. Of course as soon as I would ever go anywhere though they would be the first to snuggle up with each other. One of my favorite things was getting home from work to those two snuggled up on the couch together just anxiously awaiting my arrival home.
She was the biggest cuddle bug you would ever meet.
Her cuddles made even the deepest hurts and pains of life seem to instantly get better.
My Bridget used to have a mind of her own. Bridget was always her own boss. We have countless memories of Caleb leaving her outside and forgetting about her, only to remember a bit of time later. He would get in the car to go find her and on numerous occasions she was found prancing the sidewalks of town, even finding her way for a treat from Rita’s water ice. I think after a while she became the town mascot, everyone knew Miss Bridget. In March of 2013 we decided it would be best to add another puppy into our family. We knew Bridget was getting older and would help bring some spunk back to her and also help ease the transition of her passing. Can I just say I couldn’t be more thankful we did this? No dog will ever replace my sweet baby, but sure eases the pure heart ache that loosing her has created. It was so incredible to watch how awesome of a big sister she was to Bella. She was so genuinely loving and patient with her, even when Bella would gnaw on her big long ears for hours. I’m so thankful Bridget was able to instill her gentle and loving ways into Bella.
Over the years Bridget had numerous illnesses and sickness, from tumors, seizures to lyme disease. I would get so upset and think oh no this is it, I’m going to have to say goodbye, but after a visit to the vet and a day or two later she would bounce right back to her old self in no time. She was extremely resilient! We even would joke that she would never die just to spite Caleb!
September of 2013 we went on vacation with Caleb’s family. As much as I desperately wanted Bridget to join us, I knew the trip would just be too much for her. We packed up her things, clothing and all to spend a week at my parents house. She absolutely adored them, and they adored her too! We knew it would be a great week for her! Well, on our way home from vacation my mom called to let me know Bridget had gone down hill and was no longer walking. They were almost to the point they would have to put her down. I told her to wait until I got home to see her. Well in true Bridget fashion I picked her up late that night and by the morning she sprung out of our bed and went running around with Bella like a little puppy again. We just decided she missed me so much she took drastic measures to get us home. This is the dog that would not eat until I would get back, as if she was proving to everyone her dissatisfaction that I had left her. Over the next month and a half she would have good days and bad days.
On November 2nd I got I home from work to find her on the ground and not able to walk again. I scooped her up, gave her meds and snuggled in with her for the night. Praying she would be okay by the morning, just like she always was! Well, this time it was different. She still couldn’t walk, and now was refusing to eat and drink too. We spent that whole Sunday snuggling as Caleb and I shared many tears – my little baby was dying. That night we laid in bed and Caleb prayed to give us peace and Bridget comfort. He got done praying and we looked over and there she was sitting up in bed looking at us. Caleb looked at me and said, “I think she’s trying to tell us not tonight guys!” We shared another good laugh and of course more tears. The next morning my mom came over to check on me and Bridget before I left for work and as soon as Bridget saw my mom she tried to get up to greet her, but quickly remembered she could no longer walk. It was so sad, yet so precious. I bundled her up on our big bean bag chair with many blankets and off to work I went. I was having such a hard time with what to do about my sweet baby. I couldn’t bear the thought of having her put down, but I couldn’t handle seeing her suffer. I just prayed she would be able to go on her own. Caleb called me after he got home from work to say he couldn’t find her for a good 20 minutes, he had no idea where she went, or better yet how! He searched on his hands an knees for her just to find she wiggled her way behind a chair. I guess she was trying to find a place to move on. I got home from work around 10pm and pulled her out from behind the chair. We snuggled for a little bit downstairs before Caleb recommended we all go to bed. Around 11:30 we headed up to bed and I said my final goodnight to her. I woke back up a little before 1am and could feel she was not longer breathing in my arms. I immediately woke Caleb and desperately hung onto him as my sadness had over taken me. Caleb then gently wrapped her in a blanket and took her away. My sweet baby was gone. She will always be my first love, my baby. I desperately miss her to the point my heart hurts, but I’m so thankful for the beautiful life we shared together. She taught me the true definition of unconditional love. I will never forget my baby girl Bridget.