After His Dog Dies of Cancer, Firefighter Posts Heartwarming Tribute That Goes Viral

For dog parents, losing our four-legged best friend is one of the saddest days of our life. It is heartbreaking to experience as the bond we share with our dog is unlike any other. It is deep, it is unique and it authentic – no strings attached.

So when former St. Louis Fire Capt. Gregg Favre lost his dog this month after battling cancer and posted a tribute on Twitter that has gone viral, it is hard not to get emotional reading it.

Named Bella, Favre rescued her while working as a firefighter over 10 years ago. While he has had other dogs before, Bella was his soul mate.

@GreggFavre/Twitter

“[T]he bond that Bella and I had together was incredible. We could communicate with glances and head nods,” Favre writes. “My wife would joke that it felt like we were ganging up on her.”

Throughout their time together, the pair enjoyed thousands of walks to national monuments, universities and cathedrals. And even when life got crazy with major life-changing events, they continued their routine. “She was always grounding. Always loyal,” he writes.

Related: TV Anchor Says Goodbye to Dog With Bucket List and Heartbreaking Tribute

@GreggFavre/Twitter

He adds that after Bella was diagnosed with cancer, he would recite a poem every time they walked together. When she passed in his arms, it was the last time he uttered it to her.

Part of the poem reads:

And if your heart’s full of sorrow, keep walking
Don’t rest
And promise me from heart to chest to never let your memories die
Never
I will always be alive and by your side
In your mind
I’m free

“As I held her last night, before she slipped away, I told her once more, ‘heart to chest.’ Goodbye my friend,” he writes.

Favre hopes that by sharing his tribute to his best friend, we all remember to create our own wonderful experiences in our life.

“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,” he says.

@GreggFavre/Twitter

Take some time today to give your dog a little extra love

Below is the full tribute, along with the poem he referenced (written by John ‘Bang’ Riley).

Related: Brandon Stanton of ‘Humans Of New York’ Posts Moving Tribute to His Late Dog Susie

“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.

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.

@GreggFavre/Twitter

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.

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.

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.

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.”

The full poem in the video is below:

Walking the roads of our youth
Through the land of our childhood, our home, and our truth
Be near me, guide me, always stay beside me
So I can be free
Free
Let’s roam this place, familiar and vast
Our playground of green frames our past
We were wanderers
Never lost
Always home
When every place was fenceless
And time was endless
Our ways were always the same
Calm my demons and walk with me, my brother
Until our roads lead us away from each other
And if your heart’s full of sorrow, keep walking
Don’t rest
And promise me from heart to chest to never let your memories die
Never
I will always be alive and by your side
In your mind
I’m free

RIP Bella.

Related: The Most Creative Ways to Keep Your Dog’s Memory Alive After She Passes

One comment on “After His Dog Dies of Cancer, Firefighter Posts Heartwarming Tribute That Goes Viral

  • I know your pain for many years I have gone through it. I lost two this year and you can never say it gets easier, in fact I can honestly say it gets harder as you get older. I’ve come to one conclusion that when my time comes I ask our Lord to let it coincide when one of my beloved Pets time comes because during those moments I have never felt so sure that continuing on with them would be the greatest gift he can give me. To pass on to the great divide with such a love would be a blessing.

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