Dogs are family – and this former St. Louis firefighter just lost his last week after a resolute battle with cancer.
Gregg Favre’s beloved best friend, Bella, died peacefully in his arms on Friday night last week. The pair met when Gregg rescued the pup 11 years ago while he was on duty at a St. Louis firehouse.
Still grieving the loss of his dog, the man shared an emotional tribute to his friend in a Twitter thread that has since gone viral.
He began by sharing the story of how they met, and how their bond has strengthened over the next years.
“11 yrs ago I rescued puppy while on duty at an #StL firehouse. Over the next decade+, we would be inseparable. On adventures, on walks around the neighborhood, or sitting by the fire at home. She passed away in my arms last night, peacefully, after a resolute fight w/ cancer.”
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Gregg said that he and Bella shared a special bond that they didn’t have with anyone else.
“We’ve had dogs in & around our family my whole life. They are all loved and special in their own ways. But the bond that Bella and I had together was incredible. We could communicate with glances and head nods. My wife would joke that it felt like we were ganging up on her.”
The firefighter recalled all the places they’ve been, and how Bella managed to help him stay grounded throughout the changes that he went through in his life.
“Over the yr we’ve taken 1000s of walks together – from state parks to national monuments, cathedrals to universities. As life came crashing against our door –grad school, promotions, loss, injury & sickness– our routine stayed the same. She was always grounding. Always loyal.”
Gregg wanted to remind everyone to cultivate their “own brand of joy”, just like what he did with the time he spent with Bella.
“I could spend weeks posting pictures & telling you stories of how funny, brave & tender she was. My point to all of this is that love & loss go hand in hand. Bella & I made the most of our time & I hope that in your life, you are cultivating your own brand of joy.”
The firefighter asked people to donate to Stray Rescue, who helps other dogs like Bella.
“Today we donated her unused cancer meds to other families who might not be able to afford the prescription. If able, consider a donation to @StrayRescue, who provided initial med care to Bella when she was rescued. They do incredible work for dogs like Bella Every. Single. Day.”
Gregg ended the heartfelt tribute by saying goodbye to his friend.
“Finally, if youve come this far in this thread, please watch this short clip. Since her diagnosis 4 months ago, I’ve said this poem to Bella on every walk we’ve taken. As I held her last night, before she slipped away, I told her once more, “heart to chest.” Goodbye my friend.”
It’s true what they say: a dog’s only fault is that he doesn’t live long enough.
The loss of a pet is truly a painful experience, but when we look back on the precious moments that we’ve shared with them, we’ll realize how lucky we are to have been given the privilege to be their companions in their lifetime – no matter how short it is.