On the afternoon of Sunday, August 25, 2013, Meg-Meg Bell began her journey over Rainbow Bridge. She peacefully passed away with her father at her side and in the loving arms of her mother at Wisdom Animal Clinic in Texarkana after putting up a valiant and brave battle against canine lymphoma. She was an inspiration to many.
Meg-Meg joined the Baiter-Bell family in April 2010 after being rescued by workers at the City of Texarkana, Texas who had found her on the steps of the downtown post office. She spent that afternoon in Jessica Plant’s office. On her way to deliver the then called “Nutmeg” to Jeff Tarpley Rescue, Jessica had one more stop at a Ribbon Cutting. While there, Jessica asked if anyone was interested in adopting a lovable Cockapoo dog, and when Tina met “Nutmeg” in the backseat of Jessica’s Hummer, it was love at first sight.
After a quick vet check, “Nutmeg” went home with Tina. Three days later she was adopted as an official member of the family, and her name was changed to “Meg-Meg”. Living in a small one bedroom apartment, Meg learned quickly that eating carpet, shoes, and bookshelves wasn’t a good idea to pass her boredom while her mom was away at work — and her mom learned that rawhides and doogie toys were an important part of Meg’s young development — thus beginning Meg’s extensive doggie toy collection! During this time Meg also enjoyed her afternoon walks at the local track and playing ball and tug-o-war with her mom and their good friend, Brandon Bell. It was during her days of apartment life that Meg became fascinated with bird watching and chasing squirrels. Two hobbies she would carry a passion for until her last breath.
That summer, Meg took her first trip to Brandon’s family’s boat house on Lake Ouachita, where she discovered a passion for swimming and enjoying the wind in her hair as the boat made it’s way quickly across the water. She especially enjoyed floating on a noodle with her mom and swimming back and forth to her dad. She also enjoyed playing with her water “duck butt” toy and taking swims to the shore where she could explore. On the dock she would utilize her charm and adorable disposition to convince others to sneak her “snacks” as they came off the grill. She would continue having a passion for spending time at the lake throughout the rest of her life.
Meg held numerous jobs throughout her life as a family dog. She protected the house and bird feeders from squirrels. She decorated the house (and car) windows with nose art. She seldom missed an opportunity to use her tongue to help her mom dry off when she got out of the shower — and once she even decided to join her mom in a bubble bath! She served as the house guard dog, often chasing away the numerous strays who tried to “join the family”. But the role she took most seriously was that of giving love to everyone she met. She was known for the amazing kisses she gave to those she loved, and all one had to do was bend down and ask for a “sugar” to get one bestowed.
Meg’s favorite past time was taking car rides, where she couldn’t wait to stick her head out the window and feel the wind in her hair. She was always on the lookout for a rabbit or a squirrel. One of her favorite places to go on a car ride was to the local PetSmart, where she could spend as much time as allowed watching the birds and fish. She just never could convince her parents to bring home one of these fascinating animals. Meg also enjoyed sitting in her mom’s lap while the family played cards and board games, so she could help her mom come up with great strategies (and get a few extra moments of lap love).
In the winter of 2011 Meg-Meg left the city and officially became a country dog. On her new 5-acres she learned to help in the garden, visit the neighbors, and even guard the yard from moles. One night Meg discovered a new hopping creature and a fascination with frogs was born. She truly enjoyed every minute of living in the country.
In June 2012 Meg-Meg was excited when her mom married Brandon, and she could officially call him her dad (though he’d filled that role since she first met Tina). Less than a month later Meg learned she had lymphoma cancer. While her lifestyle changed, a new set of blessings came. Because she could no longer be at home alone, Meg-Meg spent almost every weekday with her paternal grandparents and their dog and cats. While there she enjoyed the morning coffee breaks with her “Nammy”, playing tug-o-war with her “Uncle Poopie”, and enjoying the delicious snacks she would get from Kickey and Nammy. It was here that she officially earned the nickname “Beg-Beg” from her Kickey because of his inability to tell her no each time he went to get his own snack!
It was also during this time that Meg met Dr. Joanna Pridgeon and the staff at Wisdom Animal Clinic, who took care of Meg-Meg weekly, then bi-weekly, then monthly until her battle with canine lymphoma came to an end. Meg’s family cannot express in words how much the love and compassion Dr. Pridgeon showed Meg at each visit meant to all of them. Meg never made an appointment to be seen, and Dr. Pridgeon always worked her in to receive top treatment and love. Meg left almost every visit with a beautiful new bandanna tied around her neck and a sweet perfume. She loved Dr. Pridgeon and the staff at Wisdom and eagerly bounced out of the car at each visit to see them.
Meg spent her last week on earth babysitting her cousin, Ethan, and spending time with her maternal grandmother and her Uncle Donald in Riverside, Texas. On the morning on Sunday, August 25, Meg-Meg told her family she was ready to make the journey over Rainbow Bridge. The family called Dr. Pridgeon on her personal cell phone, and Dr. Pridgeon agreed without hesitation to meet Meg at the vet clinic as soon as they could get back to Texarkana. Her end of life was made as special and peaceful as possible. Meg-Meg was buried beneath the baby oak tree she helped her father plant when they moved to their country home.
Meg leaves behind her parents, Brandon and Tina Bell of Fouke, Arkansas; her paternal grandparents, Rickey and Cammy Bell of Fouke, Arkansas; her maternal grandmother, Stephanie Baiter of Sealy, Texas; her Uncle Donald Baiter of Riverside, Texas; her cousin Ethan Baiter of Riverside, Texas; and her best doggie relatives Uncle Poppie of Fouke, Arkansas and Aunt Maggie of Sealy, Texas. She also leaves behind a large following of friends and extended family who showered her with love. If love could have saved her, Meg-Meg would still be here today. Instead, she is running and playing cancer free in her new role as a guardian angel. She leaves behind a legacy of love and tenacity that will live on in the hearts of each person who ever met Meg.