"We could communicate with glances and head nods," former St. Louis Fire Capt. Gregg Favre wrote about his late dog Bella

By Claudia Harmata
May 14, 2019 10:54 AM
Gregg Favre/Twitter

Any dog owner knows that dogs are more than just pets — they become best friends and family. For former St. Louis Fire Capt. Gregg Favre and his rescue dog Bella, this was especially true.

Last Thursday, Bella died in Favre’s arms after a 4-month-long battle with cancer, and the heartbroken firefighter shared a touching tribute for his best friend on Twitter, Friday, that left fellow dog lovers grabbing for a box of tissues.

“11 yrs ago I rescued puppy while on duty at an #StL firehouse,” his Twitter thread began. “Over the next decade+, we would be inseparable. On adventures, on walks around the neighborhood, or sitting by the fire at home.”

And while Favre had dogs before Bella, his relationship with her was something special — something deeper.

Gregg Favre/Twitter

“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,” he wrote. “We could communicate with glances and head nods.”

“My wife would joke that it felt like we were ganging up on her,” he added.

They took “1000’s of walks together—from state parks to national monuments, cathedrals to universities.” And throughout their years together, she was always there.

“As life came crashing against our door—grad school, promotions, loss, injury & sickness—our routine stayed the same,” Favre added. “She was always grounding. Always loyal.”

The thread continued, and Favre encouraged people to consider donating to Stray Rescue — an organization committed to rescuing stray animals in St. Louis, and who provided Bella with initial care when she was rescued.

After ending his thread with a somber poem about friendship that he would recite to Bella on every walk following her diagnosis and right before she died, Favre went on to share some lighter memories of the pooch.

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The funny snapshots featured Bella in her “Bella Bee” costume, listening to Snoop Dog with a pair of headphones on, and one of her visibly annoyed with Favre after he tried putting his wife’s headband on her.

After his thread went viral, dozens of people shared pictures of their own pets — some who have also died — speaking about their relationships and experience.

“I am so sorry for your loss. I wear a necklace with my fur baby’s picture every day and he knows I miss him daily,” one Twitter user wrote. “There’s no words to make it better but I’m happy for the time you two had together!”