Our beautiful Bella - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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Our beautiful Bella

It’s taken me a while to write this. Our beautiful Bella passed nearly a month ago, now. Although, I’d like to forget the day we had to put her to sleep, I can remember the day we adopted Bella like it was yesterday. I thought I would write something happy and not dwell on her last days, as it is still too hard to think about. Sorry it’s so long!

On a Saturday afternoon on a beautiful spring day almost 15 years ago, my 2 sons and I took a little trip down to the Human Society in St. Paul, Minnesota. During this time in our lives, my husband played in a band. The band usually practice on a weekend they were not booked. On this particular day, he was at band practice. I did not tell him we were going to go to the Human Society to look at dogs, as my intent was to JUST LOOK and not adopt anyone. I thought it would be a fun day for the kids. Besides, the Human Society was very, very close to a great inner-city zoo and we could go walk around the zoo when we were done at the Human Society.

My 2 sons were young. My oldest was 10 and my youngest was 7. All the way down there I told them we were NOT getting a dog today. We are just going to look. If we see someone we like, we’ll go back with dad tomorrow. They understood.

When we got there, I had trouble fining a parking spot. The Human Society was busy! I was happy to see that, although I was a little upset that there was no place to park. I almost dropped the whole thing and headed to the zoo instead. Then I saw a car pull out of its spot so I jumped on it. Inside, there were people everywhere! In fact, I could not believe the number of people looking for pets. This made me very happy. We headed toward the kennels. There were a number of different areas – or rooms - with kennels. Rows and rows of kennels. They were all full of dogs too. As we were walking up and down the halls I was sort of people watching too. I must have seen at least a half-dozen families find their new pet. It was heartwarming.

After about 45 minutes of looking, we decided to leave and go to the zoo. Then one of my sons piped up and asked me, “Do we go in this room yet?” “I don’t think so.” I replied. So we went in. It was another large room full of kennels. Some of the kennels were stacked on top of another – so there were dogs on top of dogs. The smaller, or younger dogs were in the kennels on top. The boys took off in one direction and I in another. We were not too far apart, though. I was looking at a lab mix when I hear my youngest son yell, “Mom, come over here. Quick!” As I walked in their direction I knew they had found someone they liked. I could tell by the tone of my son’s voice he meant business. I thought to myself “Oh no. How do I get them out of here without getting this dog?” Then I saw her. A big ball of fur! She was so darn cute! She was in one of the upper kennels. As I approached the crate, I was hoping it was a female. The first thing I did was look at her “ticket”. It said she was a female Chow Chow / German Shepherd cross. Whew! As I talked to her and played with her between the grates of the crate I wondered why she was still available for adoption. I could tell she was just a puppy (she was, in fact, 3 months old). I told the boys to stay with her and I was going to find someone to help us. I wanted to get her out of the crate and take her outside.

I found a person to help us. When we got back to the crate there were 2 other sets of families looking at her. My son had told them that I had gone for help because we wanted a better look at her. The staff worker took the dog out of her crate and we took her outside for a walk. After about…er…1 minute, I knew she was coming home with us that day. I did not want anyone else to adopt her. The boys loved her and I loved her. As I was filling out the paperwork, I asked the Human Society staff member why the dog was still available for adoption. I just couldn’t understand why she hadn’t been adopted already. Particularly with all the “shoppers” here today. The lady told me that the dog had just been cleared for adoption. She was literally put in the kennel moments before we entered the room. The dog was found roaming the streets and they had to wait X-number of days/hours before they could put her up for adoption. The waiting period ended almost exactly at the time we arrived. Something told me that the dog was meant for us.

On the way home the three of us were thinking up names for our new dog. My oldest son suggested Bella. My mothers family is Italian so the boys know a little of the language. He knew Bella means beautiful. We all decided the name fit and she would be a beautiful dog. She certainly was!

When we got home, I thought it would be wise to call my husband and tell him about Bella. He was upset. He didn’t think we needed a dog. He asked if we could return her. I could tell he was angry. When he came home that night I was already in bed. Bella was in our bedroom on her bed (I had to stock up on pet supplies at the Human Society, which included a doggie bed). I had her leash attached to one of the bedposts so she couldn’t go too far. At some point I woke up. Bella was gone. Her leash was still there but Bella was not. I looked at the clock. I knew my dear husband had to be home by now. I went out into the living room and there he was with the dog he didn’t want. He was lying on the couch and Bella was snuggled up next to him. He looked up at me and said, “OK, you win.” He loved her too!

Had Bella lived another few months she would have been 15 years old. She was an incredibly smart dog. I could go on and on about the remarkable things Bella did. I could go on and on, but I’ll give you just a few examples….

One day, when my oldest son was in high school, he said to my husband and I that he always knew when we were on our way home. At the time, DH and I car-pooled to work together. We got home each night around 5:15. At 5:00 Bella would go to the front window and wait. Now, you might be thinking, “Well that’s not so great.” Well, maybe not. But the remarkable thing was that if we came home early she’d go to the window 15-minutes before we got there. Even if we only had to work a half-day…15-minutes before we got home, Bella went to the window. It did not matter what time we came home. Fifteen minutes beforehand, Bella was at the window. For that matter, if we went out to dinner, or grocery shopping, or wherever, she’d be at the window 15 minutes before we pulled in the driveway. I still don’t know how she knew. But she did help tip-off my son’s as to our arrival.

Bella could detect seizers. My brother had epilepsy. One summer, when Bella was about 4 years old, my brother and his girlfriend came up to Minnesota for a visit. They lived in New Mexico at the time. My brother was in my living room watching TV. Bella was out in the backyard. All of the sudden Bella starts making this strange sound. It was half bark and half moaning. We had a walkout basement. I yelled down the steps to my son to let Bella in. He did. She bolted up the stairs, and I do mean bolted, and made a mad dash to the living room. She sat right in front of my brother. None of us was sure what her problem was. She was still making a sort of moaning sound and watching my brother like a hawk. Within about 3 minutes he had a seizer. My parents wanted my brother to take Bella with him to New Mexico as they too witness this event. My brother did a lot of bike riding …I mean 300-mile trips on bike (peddle bike NOT motorcycle bike)…and didn’t know what he would do with Bella when he was out on one of his “bike rides”. So he did not take her. However, the same sort of thing happened a few years later. This time, though, my brother had moved back to Minnesota. They purchased a house about a mile from our place. So, he was close to Bella and he was over at our house nearly every day. Bella was able to catch a few seizers so my brother knew to go lay down on the couch when she started acting “strange”. Sadly my brother passed away about 6 years ago. He had a seizer in his sleep and suffocated in his pillow. He was at his house when it happened. Bella was not there.

Yes, Bella was a beautiful, smart dog. She was a wonderful protector, and a true friend to all of us. We all miss her dearly. We have her ashes in a lovely urn that sits on a shelf in the family room. I visit that shelf everyday just to say “hi”.

Thanks for listening.


Momma to:
Miikka, 2-year old F Black & Red WGSL
Scout, 5 year F calico cat

Waiting at the Rainbow Bridge:
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Bella, 15 yr old GSD/Chow chow mix
Annie, 16 yr old Black Cocker Spaniel
Socks, 15 yr old Tuxedo cat
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 02:36 AM
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Thank you for sharing your wonderful Bella's story - she did seem destined to be your family's dog. I am very sorry for her loss.

RIP, Bella. You were a much loved girl.


GSD - Quynne, born 29 sept 2004
MalteseXPoodle - Buddy, adopted Jan 2004 - RIP 14 May, 2009 9-11yo
Galah - Birdie-girl - adopted in 1999 when she was approx 12yo

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 06:52 AM
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I'm sorry for your loss.


Kryska's Ironwill Steel Train SD (Siberian Husky)
Mila (GSD) Adopted from BDBH.

Waiting at the bridge:
Lady Jane Cobb (GSD - age 15)
Sasha (Siberian Husky - age 13)
Niko (Siberian Husky - age 14)
Wooly Bear (Siberian Husky - age 13)
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 07:58 AM
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What a wonderful tribute to a wonderful dog. My heart is with you and your family

Suki (Bella vom Wofenhaus, born May 31, 2008)
Diva (Aphrodite de Domus Didacus, born December 4, 2009)
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 10:21 AM
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Thank you for introducing me to such a fantastic dog. It still floors me what a good dog can do in the right environment with the right people. Bella lived up to her name.


Mary Jane
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 02:05 PM
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I am so very sorry for the loss of Bella, she sounds like such a wonderful dog that was meant to be with you and your family from day one. RIP dear girl.


Mom to;
Shiloh, 8.5 year old LCGSD
Shoshona, 7.5 year old LCGSD
Eli, 5 year old LCGSD

Every dog deserves to have a human that thinks they are the greatest dog that ever lived!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 02:57 PM
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A beautiful story about a beautiful dog!! Thanks for sharing, sorry for your loss. You have gave her a wonderful long life.

Heidi, human mom to
Daisy, 6 yr JRT
Bella, 3 yr GSD
Bo, 2 yr GSD
Rest in Peace,
Kasey, GSD Shelter 8/96-12/07 at the Bridge
Patches, CS Shelter 4/93-4/05 at the Bridge
Keisha, GSD 12/87-10/96 at the Bridge
Tarsha, GSD my sweet 16 BD at the Bridge
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 06:18 PM
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I am so sorry

I am in Albuquerque if you ever want to talk

Packleader to:
The Germans:
Kati-CGC, CD, RN, 1/3 RA, retired - Queen of her domain and my heart
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Leo - CGC, RN, RA, 2/3 RE, 1/3 URO1, 1/2HCT AHBA - Duke - in Training
The Border Collies:
Spyder - CGC, CD, CDX, RN, 2/3 ACSA CD, 2/3 UCD, Occational Lure Courser, Dance Partner, trying out as a Sheepherder
El Bandito - 1/3 URO1, 1/2 HCT AHBA
The Aussie/Kelpie:
UCD Cynder - CGC, ASCA CD, 1/3 UCDX, expert sheepherder

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 06:26 PM
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Ah, Beautiful Bella. You and your family were so fortunate to have each other. What a wonderful tribute.


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With approval from:
Skye, CGC & certified therapy dog (GSD)
Buddy, CGC & certified therapy dog (golden, tripod)

Sophie - the life was too short dog
Solo - CGC, AAT 'stars in the sky dog'
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-23-2010, 09:33 AM
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What a wonderful tribute to Bella's life. I don't doubt for a second that she was an amazing dog.

Maximus, Long Coat German Shepherd Dog
Tora, Mixed Breed
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