Last month, on February 14th, we celebrated Bella’s 13th birthday!!! I spread out the fun over a week and Bella had dog friendly birthday cake, presents, and a flying dutchman from In-N-Out. It was certainly a week to remember. I thought in honor of the birthday girl and the namesake of my business I would share about her and all the blessings she has brought my life.
Hard to believe that Bella is 13 years old now, especially when she still acts young and puppy like. Bella in all her years with me has been a great dog. Lucky for her we have had Tyra and Dorothy, and when you have dogs like those two precious yet mischievous pups you appreciate the most well behaved one even more.
I got Bella at the end of March of 2008. She was just a tiny pup with an injured eye when she was found in the gutter by my niece, Ashley. Ashley called me after trying to hide her in her room from her mom, my sister, and said she couldn’t keep her but she needed help because she had something very wrong with her eye. I picked her up and took her to our vet, Bella was estimated at 7 weeks old and there was definitely something wrong with her eye. I won’t repeat what the Dr said but let’s just say he didn’t think she did this to herself and that some one had harmed her. I had no plans of getting a puppy at the point but after talking to my vet she let me know that black dogs are often adopted less and now that she will only have sight in one eye she would also probably not be at the top of anyones list. So I thought about it and got in contact with the shelter and took the appropriate steps necessary to keep her. I am so glad I did!
Bella opened up a whole new world for me. Bella not only inspired the BARK-ery but she also got me into dog training. We started training little late, when Bella was 2, but I am glad we did because that’s when I found J9's K9's. I was excited to have a well behaved dog but the magic that really happened is through all of our classes I met so many wonderful people and made some really great friends. Bella started with obedience and then we went on to agility and for only having one eye she does amazing at it. We've taken tons of advanced classes and Bella knows lots of tricks like shake, wave, high 5, squash the bug, spin, twirl (spin the other way), kiss, speak, she balances cookies on her nose and paws, bow, and many more. Having a super mutt I never thought Bella would be a titled dog because I always thought that was for show dogs only. I was thrilled when she became a Canine Good Citizen through the AKC and last year at the age of 12 she got her Intermediate Trick title. Pretty cool if you ask me!! You can definitely teach old dogs new tricks.
Bella also inspired me to start a shelter helper group, with the same name as this blog, Blessings of Bella. At first my intention was to only give to no kill rescues but it dawned on me the animals at the city shelters deserve comfort too. So we helped rescues, our local city shelters, as well as helping animals across the country like when we sent pet supplies to Joplin, Mo after a devastating tornado. With the help of our friends, friends of friends, strangers who became friends, internet friends and others we collected 1000’s of comfort items including food, treats, beds, collars and leashes, toys, and more. It was truly amazing to see the kindness of so many in full force. It was also a ton of work and took up a lot of my house at some point so I needed to find new ways to give and be of service. Bella and I still help in our community as well as donate to rescues and community partners across the county through donating a portion of my monthly sales. You can see more about that on the giving back page.
Bella and I have had many adventures over the years like vacationing in Big Bear with our friends, road tripping to Morro Bay a million times and also down to San Diego, we’ve kayaked and she loves it - we are trying stand up paddle boarding soon and hopefully she will love that too! We have had so much fun. Bella was also been a really good sister to the old dogs I have adopted, Tyra and Dorothy. I am so grateful for Bella’s kindness and love for other pups. I sure hope with Bella being in such great shape we will continue to have more and more adventures. I couldn’t have asked for a sweeter, happier, or loving girl. Some one once thought of her as trash and she’s been the treasure of my heart for the last 13 years.
It’s true what they say…. some times a dog comes into your life and changes everything, and that is certainly true of Bella. Happy 13th Birthday my sweet Bella. I love you the most!
Here’s one last photo of Bella, one of my favorites, at her favorite place. She loves the beach and chasing birds.