A Life Worth Binge Watching

S3 The Empty Nest 2.0, E1 My Best Friend


This weekend, we took our daughter back to college. Last year, she was in a dorm so she came home for the summer.  This year, she and two of her friends moved into an apartment together.  The days leading up to her move were tough, as I helped her pack up her things.  It was especially hard knowing that this time she probably wouldn’t come home very often, since she would have her own place.  The first time she left for college was definitely rough, but for some reason, this time felt worse.  I had really gotten used to having her around the house again.  We took some great vacations, but I really loved just hanging out with her, watching our favorite shows, days out on the boat, or shopping for her new apartment decor.  She is my best friend and I just love her company. So does our dog, Bella.  

The empty nest is legit and believe me, the struggle is real.  It’s not something you can prepare for.  As hard as it is for me, Bella is taking it just as hard, if not harder.  Last year when Abbie left, Bella was so confused.  She kept looking for her throughout the house and waiting outside her bedroom door.  For a few weeks, I had to show her on a daily basis that her “Tister” was not in her room.  Bella would push on the bedroom door with her nose and excitedly bust into the room, expecting to jump up on the bed and wake Abbie up.  Each day, she would get the same sad look on her face, grunt and then walk back out of the room.  It was really heartbreaking.  Bella didn’t know what college was, but she was sure she didn’t like it.

When Abbie came home for the summer, Bella was ecstatic.  She was glued to her side. Belle would lay at her feet to watch TV, sit under the table while we did puzzles and sat uncomfortably close to the paint on the floor while Abbie created her canvas artwork. Many mornings, Abbie took her to Starbucks to get a pup cup, gave her treats and then took naps with her.  Life was great! 

Any time Abbie left the house, Bella gave her a snarl-like, side face and ran to her room to pout until she returned.  Towards the end of the summer, Bella noticed that we were starting to pack.  She always gets anxiety when she sees suitcases, but this time she knew it was more than just a vacation.  She sniffed the bins and whined, pacing back and forth.  She sat in front of the door of Abbie’s bedroom and tried to block her from exiting.  No way was she going to let her sister, her best friend, go back to that college place without her.  At one point, she stood in the middle of the room barking furiously at the bags and boxes on the floor. She was not happy.  

When moving day came, Bella ran outside while we were loading the car and refused to come back inside.  When she finally came inside, Abbie attempted to have a discussion with her, but Bella was not having it.  Abbie had to literally hold her face so she could say goodbye to her furbaby. It was so sad to watch.  

If anyone says that dogs don’t have feelings, I would have to strongly disagree.  I can tell exactly how Bella is feeling by her facial expressions and body language.  One day, I am going to make a collage of the different faces of Bella!  I also know that she loves with her entire dog heart.  Her family is her entire world.  I may be suffering from an empty nest, but so is she.  We both are going to miss our best friend.  Stay tuned for an episode in a few weeks where Bella and I will road trip down for parent’s weekend at college!

Melodye Lewis is a Friday columnist for Flagler News Weekly, inspiring women everywhere to follow their dreams of adventure.

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