Sleeping Beauty, uh, BellaBaby Bella at 15

On Sept. 26, 2003, I made the crazy decision to actually adopt not 1 but 2 dogs who happened to be 11 years old at the time – Bella and Bunky. I got both of them because I was told that Bella, who had bad arthritis, would probably only live for another 6-9 months. Knowing that if I didn’t take her she would be put down, I decided to give her what good life I could during the short time she had left on this earth.

Bella and Bunky lived with a loving woman in a bad relationship. As I understand it, after she got these 2 Lhasa Apses, she decided to breed and show Pekinese. She said that at any one time, she had as many as 12 dogs and 6 cats living with her.

Bella was the ringleader for the entire bunch. And she had the kind of personality that reminded me of Lucy from the Peanuts comics (I would always say to her and Bunky: “Now, would Benji do that?”). While I have no doubt that this woman loved all of her animals very much, she got into a bad relationship that changed her life completely.

I won’t go into all of the details as I am sure that I don’t remember, or even know, them all completely, but in a nutshell, she hooked up with a very abusive guy. He apparently took his frustrations out on the animals and especially Bella because she desired (make that: “demanded”) so much attention. Because a baby on the way, her boyfriend made her get rid of all of the animals. Bella, Bunky and Bubba were the last I know of to go. (Bubba was adopted by my friend, Wendy. And luckily, the woman moved with her baby girl to the East Coast — getting as far away from Mr. Abuser as she could!!! Good for her!! I wish her and her baby all the happiness that they deserve.)

I was in a relationship that was going nowhere, but I had been slow to realize it. Bringing Bella and Bunky in to my life actually made it easier to see that as time went on. My boyfriend at the time didn’t like dogs and really resisted me getting them. I knew the relationship hadn’t been right since January, 2003, but I didn’t have the guts to break it off. Somehow the closer I got to the dogs, the fact that I was in a bad relations came to light more and more. I finally figured out that the path we were on wasn’t going anywhere where I actually wanted to be. So I broke it off with him on our 4th anniversary in June, 2004. (I told you I was slow to realize!)

I met my husband, Mark, November 12, 2005. And while Bella never really warmed up to him (probably because of the abuse from that other man), Mark worked hard at relating to Bella. Unfortunately, as she learned to accept him, she got very sick.

In August, 2007, Bella weighed 17 lbs. On December 22, I took her to the vet because she hadn’t eaten for 2 1/2 day (which was HIGHLY unusual since she would try to bully Bunky off his food unless I refereed), she weighed 13.6. Even though she kept dwindling away, her little spirit was still as strong as it had always been. I told the vet that if she could live on sheer will alone, she would be jumping off the couch right now. But on January 7, Mark and I took her in (she now weighed 10.2 lbs.) and we said our goodbyes. I told her to go find Bubba so she could boss him around again. It wasn’t a peaceful end, but she is at peace now.

Goodbye, Bella-baby, my Honey-B. Thank you for rescuing me!! I will see you in Heaven some day.

As Mark says, “It has been a great 6 months.”