Our beloved Bella, golden retriever, passed away about a week ago. She’s been with us for over 16 years. She’s been such a big part of our family and we feel the void now that she’s not here.

The monkey had been doing really well at school. The teacher’s notes were always positive, letting us know how great he’s been doing, paying attention, doing his work, and following the schedules. Even when unexpected things happen, and his schedule would change, he would face the changes and keep going. I was so happy reading the positive notes. From the many years of: “The monkey is struggling. He hasn’t reached any of his goals. He needs more help in redirecting his emotions.” From the rough notes to now reading these positive notes, well it felt like a dream.

But after Bella passed away, the monkey became angry. He gets angry quickly and most of the time we don’t understand why. As soon as he gets up in the morning, he’s angry. He’s upset at the shoes he has to put on, the toothbrush when he needs his teeth brushed, upset at the juice he can’t open, anything makes him snap. He will come over and pinch us for no reason. He’s just mad. Before her passing, every morning he would ask us to take the dogs outside. This was his routine every morning. He’d hang out there with them on his swing until we would let him know it is time to come in, the bus would be here soon. He’d run inside, smiling from ear to ear, grab his backpack, and off to board the bus.

Now, we let Harley (our other dog) out and the monkey looks for Bella. When I tell him that she’s gone he gets upset. He used to look for her, all over the house. One time he was so upset he couldn’t find her that he went over and he kicked Harley. Of course we told him he is not allowed to do this. We put him in time out. And this made him even more upset.

The teacher’s note for this past week was not the same as before: “The monkey’s doing okay but he gets upset very easily.” She was the one that put two and two together. She told us that he started changing after Bella passed. She mentioned that our kiddos understand more than we give them credit for.

I don’t know how to handle this situation. We still make it known that he is not allowed to hurt people. But we tell him that we miss Bella too, and we understand why he’s unhappy. But I’m not sure how to bring Bella into this conversation so that he understands. Last night, he was sleeping in his bed, I went over to him to cover him. He started grunting at me. Even as he slept he was angry. He threw the blanket the floor, upset that I had covered him. This is something I have done every night for years. But this time, he was not liking it.

For now we will continue to keep showing him that the way he’s expressing his behavior is wrong but that we love him. We will be here for him as we grieve our beloved companion. And I hope that soon he can heal, and become the happy kid we are used to seeing.

Rest in peace my beautiful Bella.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Grace In Autism says:

    I’m so sorry about your dog. They are family.


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