One year ago today my life turned upside down, and today, it is a better life because of it.
I decided it was time for me to have a dog in my life again. I did my research and planned everything out. I knew where I wanted to adopt from and starting watching the adoption pages as the date I had chosen drew near. I was looking for a dog with a certain personality. I wanted them to be calm, yet curious about me when I knelt by their cage. I did not want a dog that was barking its head off at all the passersby. I hoped for a low to medium energy dog. I knew I might not even be able to find a dog on the day I went. I did have a few hopefuls based on the descriptions provided and wanted to look for them while I was there. I kind of also wanted a dog that would fetch.
Grannie came with me that day for moral support. We walked into the first set of kennels. I saw several of the dogs in person I had been looking at online. Then there was Bella. She was so thin every bone showed. But she was right there at the kennel gate, watching everyone, hoping. I bent down to her level and she came over to sniff me. I knew I wanted to meet her. As I walked away she jumped up to lean against her kennel wall. Knowing her now, I think that was a last act of desperation in her. She does not like her feet to come off the ground.
Bella was the second dog I met that day. When she came into our meeting area, she sniffed all around. She was a transfer from animal control, not an owner surrender, so we didn’t know her real name or anything. She was very curious about the other dogs walking around, and curious about the kid in the meeting area next to us. She was nervous, but not afraid. Then she just came over and leaned on me. It was not pity I felt that day looking at her, but love.
When she got back to my place, she sniffed around once then collapsed into a deep sleep in the corner of the living room. It would be the last peace for a while.
Bella turned out to be fearful. She spent most of her time hiding in her crate. Outside, walks were done with her tail tucked. I signed up for a basic training class. Her teacher was really nice, but Bella just wanted to stare at the wall. I cried a lot that first week or two. I wondered if I had made the right decision. I knew I was in way over my head.
It would take Bella 3.5 weeks to learn to sit. The fact she didn’t (and doesn’t) like to really work for food made it hard. It would take 6 months for her to stop skipping meals all the time. It took 8 months for her to want to go out on the balcony without being encouraged to do so. She can take walks without her tail tucked now. She spends more time out of her crate than in it these days. She wags her tail regularly and seeks out attention from me. Her turn around has been amazing.
Bella celebrated her birthday by getting some alone time with me at the park. She was able to sniff to her heart’s content without impatient Daisy there to bother her. She also got a nice piece of elk jerky. It has been quite the year sweet girl. You’ve come so far. You surprise me all the time and I can’t wait to see what next year brings.
Happy Birthday my Sweet Girl!