Sweet Bella Vita

a dash of motherhood… a sprinkle of homeschooling… and a pinch of photography ( with a side of compassion )

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been away in more ways then one …

Hey everyone

This blog has been quiet for some time.

I keep meaning to post so many things and have so many posts started; yet I never seem to get around to finishing them.

Some of it is time constraints and some of it is not feeling up to it; since loosing Bianca this summer  I was not feeling up to posting any blog posts.

But I am back now … and I hope to get on top of it  🙂

This blog may be taking a different turn though as life happens and changes.

We have been away in Italy again and I have lots to share about our travels.

We are still homeschooling 🙂

We also have a dog with us temporarily… she is a sweet black labrador retriever … and she is with us to be socialized with the hope that when she grows up she will be a guide dog for someone. Her name is Jazz and although the first few months with us here were quite difficult; as she was very nippy; she has now started to mellow out and is really sweet to have around.


So off we go with a new blog adventure… I hope you will join me 🙂


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If you don’t have a dog…

this is an excellent quote !

“If you don’t have a dog–at least one–there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life.”    ~Vincent Van Gogh


For  all of us who have lost a special pup … they will always hold a special part of our heart .
Day 4 today … I will eventually stop counting the days that go by without Bianca in it.
I was and still am so sad that I didn’t notice that my son is really struggling with this loss as well.
If anyone has any advice please message me , thanks!

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if you live your life waiting for the storm; you will never appreciate the sunshine

One of my kids wants another golden and wants to name her Bianca and I told him right away that won’t be happening. There was only one Bianca and she is gone and we must accept that she is not replaceable. I think  this is his way of dealing with the loss that he wants to fill… as I know he misses her very much.

I am no where close to wanting another dog at the moment. I have lost 3 in the last 9 years. My heart feels completly broken and with each one they have taken a piece of my heart with them. 

And Bianca in particular has taken a very large piece;  perhaps becuase she was the last of the trio;  perhaps becuase she lived the longest or becuase she was so attached to me and I to her. I found comfort in her so many times and even after the death of her sister … we found comfort in each other.

I can’t take the pain; yet I keep thinking how privileged I am to feel this pain. How many can say they loved so deeply ? how many can say they were loved so deeply ?

She loved me. I know she did becuase it was in her eyes… and I felt it deep in my heart.

I sit here crying.

I sit here thinking how can I go on without her… I don’t want to live a life without her in it… yet I remember feeling this way when my parents died as well… how does one pick up and go on? 

I have done it before; yet I can’t tell you how. Somehow it happens … the tears dry up and life goes on. 

I hate the house feeling so empty. Yes we have Jazz at the moment. She is with us for about another 7 months.  I think 1 of my kids will take it very hard when she goes as he is completly attached to her. 

Although  I had to send her away for a few days as I could’t take her. She was making me mad… and it was’t her fault … so I felt it was better she goes away for a bit. The fact that she is so young and healthy I think was making me feel mad… and that she is here and Bianca is not.

One of my favourite quotes … “if you live your life waiting for the storm you will never appreciate the sunshine”

and yes; If I live worrying about loss what kind of life am I living?

I loved her … for 13 + years she gave me so much happiness and love … would I give that up just avoid this pain?? … just to  avoid feeling such sadness… right now that I am crying my eyes out I want to say yes but I know I wouldn’t. I would not change a thing about having her in my life!

I feel like I could go on writing about her forever…  like maybe if I keep writing about her she will somehow come back. 

Puppies are cute and cuddly … but there is a certain kind of something that comes with an old dog that has  been by your side her whole life … a certain kind of familiarity … a certain kind of companionship.

I am trying to work on a video of Bianca as I did one for her sister … but I am having a much harder time … as Bianca lay  by my feet while I worked on her sisters’ video and I spoke to Bianca and cried with her as I did this  …. and now I find myself alone looking at pictures of Bianca. 

but I will get there soon. 

a friend gave me this quote and it struck a cord with me 

“It came to me that every time I lose a dog it takes a piece of my heart… And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of theirs. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.”–Unknown

and this brings me to 72 hours with her gone. 

thank you to all the wonderful friends who have messaged me such sweet messages… I am overwhelmed with the amount of love. 


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goodbye sweet Bianca

I am devastated.


I can’t sleep.


I can’t eat.

all I want is to have you here with me. I want to touch your soft ears. see your smile.

my heart is broken.

you are gone.


you were here and now you are not… and I can not grasp how this is possible after 13 and 1/2 years.


you have been my everything, for as long as I can remember. my rock when your sister died on us. my shadow around the house. my best friend. my companion on walks. the last one I saw before I fell asleep and the first one I saw when I opened my eyes.


you were always by my side, even when in so much pain you chose to come up the stairs just to be close to me rather then stay where it was cooler and more comfortable for you.


your love for me and us was greater then the pain you were going through.

always by my side.


you always had a smile on your face. I am so happy you chose us. I am so grateful for all the years you gave us. so grateful for how you looked after the kids; with your gentle stare and the love in your eyes.


I want to say be free … run … find your sister ( give her a hug for me) . Take those breaths that were so hard to take the last few days. stretch those legs that no longer supported you. but i greedily still wish you were here with me.

but I hope you are no longer in pain.

I think you were scared to leave me at least that is what I felt from you the last few days … and I was scared for you to leave as well… but know that you are in my heart; you will always be in it.


Thank you for choosing us as your family. Thank you for giving us 13 years of love. Thank you !!!

Rest in Peace


February 9th 2003 – July 6th 2016
my sweet, always smiling, gentle love

i am devastated … i know this will pass… I have loved and lost so many that i sadly know this pain too well… i am so sad she is gone… so sad and yet i hope she is no longer in pain … i was lucky to have her for 4,896 days and i feel privileged as only a few get to experience this kind of love.

~So I wish you all this kind of pain one day for it shall mean you loved!





Sandy’s ashes were ready for me to go pick up .


They had been ready for a while; I just could not get myself to go get them. I knew that going to get them would make it all so final.

This week my daughter spoke about Sandy and told me she misses her and asked me “when will Sandy come back home”, and said;  “daddy can bring her home now” (as she remembers seeing him take her away).

I had the most vivid dream the other night that I came down the stairs and there she was curled up in her favourite spot at the bottom of the stairs … and I was so happy for just a moment as I savoured that delightful thought and then the reality that it was a dream hit me and I woke up.


I am doing better … her sister is finding comfort in us; and us in her. Strange how life is like this; here one day gone the next. No matter how many losses I have been through  it never gets easier.

I took my first walk finally this week; with just her sister Bianca. I used Sandy’s leash and collar on Bianca and let her smell it before I placed it on her; in a sense it was my way of bringing Sandy with us.  It was really hard for me … in 12 years I have never walked just one of them alone; and even Bianca found it rather odd as her sister used to take the lead.


Last night my husband brought home her ashes… I am not sure what I will do with them, but for the moment I will just hold on to them.


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more of Sandy

more pictures of my sweet pup Sandy … just cause… well it is the only thing bringing me some comfort at the moment … looking at pictures of her and thinking of her

these were some of the last I took of her



if you haven’t seen it here is my goodbye dear Sandy post 



goodbye dear Sandy

Yesterday was a terrible day 

My dog died


My dear dog of 12 years

My partner

One of my best friends

My pup

She was my crazy dog
The kind that jumps on the counter to pull a box of pizza off and eat the whole thing in seconds
The kind that drags a baking cookie sheet on the floor so she can eat all the hot boiling apple crumble off of it
The kind that loves you unconditionally no matter what

That unconditional love just amazes me

I’m not sure how we pick up the pieces and go on …how life doesn’t stop and just goes on

I was there when she took her last breath and as I called  her name and said  please don’t go she tried so hard to look at me, she tried so hard to not let go, but she could no longer stay

Yes this is life as many say and it’s the cycle of life

I don’t want to hear that right now; so please don’t bother saying anything at all to me

I know the cycle of life all too well, no one needs to remind me

I want time to just stop!!!!

Death sucks and I mean it seriously fucking sucks!!!
Not for the one that dies but  for the ones they leave behind, they somehow need to pick up the pieces and go on 

I have been through this too many times

That pain in your chest that hurts so much it feel like it is compressing your lungs
The tears that pour down like a broken faucet
Searching for your breath  

Sandy was there for me for everything; during almost all my twenties and most of my thirties.
She was by my side for all the losses I went through.
The loss of my other beloved dog who was like a mom to her.
My dad, my mom, my grandmother, and just a few weeks ago my uncles’ death.
All my miscarriages; where I buried my face in her fur and cried.
She was family.

She greeted me at the door every time I came home; no mater if I was gone minutes or days.
She said goodbye to me every time I left, staring at me through the window as I drove away as if to say ‘please don’t go’.

And now she is gone and her sister is still here;
And Somehow life is supposed to just go on.

The tears will dry up
The breath will return to normal
The sun sets
The sunrises
Life continues

The pain doesn’t go away we just learn to live with the heartache
Our hearts don’t truly heal but rather learn to beat with the pain
And with memories that bring us happiness and sadness all at the same time; we somehow manage to pick ourselves up and somehow we go on

And  with each death I not only miss the newly departed but think of all the others that have left me
And how much they are all missed and loved and never forgotten

We are all just visiting here, spending some time together making connections
Loving each other… learning to live in the moment 

My dad and mom always said this to me:
‘vogliamoci bene ora che siamo vivi’
‘Let’s love each other while we are alive’
And dogs more then anyone I know; know how to do this best
They love with every inch of their beings,
You can feel the love seeping out of their souls.
And they know how to live in the moment … in fact; I am not even sure they know anything but the moment they are in

Sandy pup

Dear Sandy,
You were an amazing dog
So sweet and gentle and so mischievous all at the same time
We all miss you so much
The kids are sad
I am a mess
Your sister keeps looking for you
I keep seeing you in your favourite spots around the house as if you are still here
Know that you are loved beyond what you could have ever imagined
And will always live on in our hearts forever
I hope you are running wild and free over the rainbow

Rest in peace
February 9th 2003 – February 11th 2015

sandy back

I was there only days after you were born and was there the moment you left this world
You chose us with your witty sense of excitement and for that I am forever grateful for the amazing 12 years you gave us! 

we miss you … as my daughter said at bed time last night “why is not Sandy here?” 😦


To all my wonderful friends both in real life and online thank you for your kind words
Your support
Your offers to help
You have no idea how much each one means  to me
And I thank you from the bottom of my heart


please stay with me while I set this blog up

i am tired

i am tired

wow… not sure what I have thrown myself into … I was on blogspot and it was so simple… but wanted a more personalized feeling… and so I have entered the wordpress world… and just getting this blog to look the way I want seems to be taking me forever.