Before my husband passed away I had found someone with a German shepherd lab mix puppy for sale. My son and I drove across town to see the puppy and then bring her home. She was the last of the litter and also the runt. We brought her home on Mother’s Day. My husband wasn’t home when we found her, he was out driving that big truck somewhere cross country. When he got back he couldn’t understand why I would desire such a dog but I told him that I wanted her to go with me on my hikes and photographic quests. He shrugged and asked me what we had named her. Because I knew the reaction I would get I told him, Doctor Bella Pepper, because I always wanted a doctor in the family. Bella for short.
It didn’t take long before my husband fell in love with her as well. He tried his best to get her to like him more but that wasn’t happening. She loved him, but not quite as much.
Bella has proven her intelligence, love and dedication to family many times over. When she was six months old I took her for a hike at a nearby trail. Up until that point she had never growled at anyone. A man came up behind us and she immediately took a dislike for him and growled very low and very menacing. The guy hurried on and disappeared down the track. Where we were walking the track made a very large circle that at one point divided and went into the woods. There was a very high growth of briars at the dividing point. The same man suddenly appeared from the woods and again, Bella let him know in no uncertain terms he was not welcome. He left quickly.
She showed us that she loved us and car rides. Any excuse or opportunity, she was in the car and waiting. Even if the ride was only down to where my husband had that big truck parked. Even though I had thought that she wouldn’t get on the bed, my husband had her on the bed often, usually calling her up onto the bed just as I was drifting off to sleep and he knew I wouldn’t say anything.
Then, my husband died.
Bella watched for him to return but also seemed accepting that he wasn’t. She also became very attached to me. She was always very close to my side, following me around when she hadn’t done that before. If I sat down somewhere, she was by my side, if I was walking in the yard, she was on my heels. When I went to bed a night, she was on the bed. She would lie on my husband’s side of the bed for a while, then when I grew still, she would move down and curl up at the foot of the bed to sleep. She loves hiking and if she suspects that I am considering a hike up the local mountain she is standing beside where her leash hangs looking from me to it to the door. She’s very patient on the drive up right until we get almost to the parking area of just as I park. Then she becomes vocal wanting me to hurry. Did I mention her intelligence? On the hike up, she knows when to move out of the way, when to wait on other park goers or on me.
She is my guardian, letting anyone she isn’t comfortable with know to stay away. She’s also kept me safe simply by her presence. A big, black dog that some has thought to be a wolf. (I’m sure alcohol was involved there) She doesn’t like when I go up on the roof of the house, watching my every move from below.
She has as many facial expressions and emotional actions as a person. You can tell when she’s happy or feeling left out.
She’s a dog, but she’s more than that. I’m so very happy and thankful we found her way back then. I will never understand how people can abandon a dog. Once they have been in your family, they are family. Granted, not all dogs are super intelligent..Molly..our other dog is not as intelligent as Bella, she’s this big, goofy, insecure mess who a super big love bug. Each dog has their individual purpose and personality. They love and depend on their family. They do not understand when they have been dumped. They love us, how could we do such a thing? They aren’t just dogs, they are family.