Bella's Success Story
Friday, 17th of May 2013
Back in June 2012 I received a phone call. The voice on the other end of the phone was very quiet. Frightened too I thought. "Can you come and get my dog?" Bit strange, I thought. Quietly speaking with this lady it seemed she wanted to give her little Chihuahua, Bella, up for adoption because she was expecting a child. Fair enough, she sounded genuine. Packing a thermos and a sandwich, Mayer and I headed off for central Victoria, a little country town about five hours drive away.
We knocked on the door and a rather tall, angry looking guy, gruffly said "come in". Two young girls were playing in a playpen and a scared little dog was cringing behind a chair! Then a tiny, very pregnant lady appeared. This guy kept telling his wife every answer to each question we asked: we were not impressed at all with his attitude!
Bella was a very sad little girl. She had broken ribs and was very sore.
After the paperwork was completed I asked why she wanted to re-home Bella. She was tearing up but he snapped over her that she just "had" to go! He picked up Bella and put her into the doggy crate quite roughly, and as I stepped forward to help I heard him mutter "good riddance bitch". Mayer sensed my feeling of urgency to get out of that house, because it was not a "home" — no sense of that at all, just four cold walls.
Much later I had a call from her explaining he was at work so she rang to find out how Bella was going. He had told her she was not to ring! She told how the twin three year old children would tease Bella, pulling her tail, poking at her etc, as three year old children are wont to do, and Bella would nip in retaliation. The kids would scream and the great brave guardian of the house would kick and belt Bella fair across the room! The lady was scared for Bella's life. She knew Bella was terribly hurt many times but he would not let her get a vet. The final straw was the imminent birth of "his" son! "I am not having YOUR dog bite MY boy", so she rang us in the hope we could find Bella a safe happy home.
For weeks Bella hid behind the big lounge chair, only allowing me to approach her with food and water and to change the pee pad daily. Occasionally she would peek out to see who was around, then scurry back into hiding! The day she allowed me to pick her up and cuddle her was a day for celebration! You can see the fear in those gorgeous eyes!!
Months of working with Bella bought results finally. We watched her develop into a happy little dog, no longer hiding and cringing behind furniture. She would even get game enough to come and greet strangers visiting to view other little dogs, but if a male was in sight — off she would go! Mayer tried absolutely everything to encourage her to come to him. She would come to about two feet and then back off! The day she came close enough to (ever so gently) take a piece of toast from his fingers — became another day for celebration.
Seven months she had been here when she allowed our friend's husband to just touch her face before she backed off. "Good girl, Bella" was an oft heard cheerful comment in this house! So nine months after Bella came to our home, we finally listed her for adoption. And that was with great trepidation! We had all fallen in love with her and we knew she trusted us and would do anything we asked of her.
We turned away many potential adoption parents — yes we were being VERY picky! One call; one sound of a voice: and instinctively I knew this might be the ONE! Three one hour long phone conversations took place before we allowed this lady to visit Bella. She had been abused by her former husband and had suffered much abuse, so she felt she understood Bella's feelings really well.
Very rarely do you see an instant rapport between a dog and a human! We watched this miracle happen! Bella instantly went to this lady, onto her lap, snuggled down, and was not going to get off for anyone!
Bella has not left this lady's side since. She sleeps on her bed; follows her everywhere, including the shower and toilet. Yes that's right: no privacy!
Bella is a much happier, gentle little girl.
Here is a letter from Bella, after she went to her new home:
My Darling grandma,
Just touchin' base.
I thought I'd tell you 'bout my new place.
Just LOVE this house, feeln' safe, loved and warm.
I found my haven after the storm.
I love my Mumma and she loves me -
it's a mutual admiration society!
Mumma can cook, I LOVE her stew.
(She makes it nearly as good as you.)
We all sleep together in mumma's bed.
(Though sometimes she snores after a glass of red.)
As for these "cats", I'm still not sure — i'll have to wait and see…
They've been quite nice, Mumma's clipped their claws - no way she'd let a CAT bully ME!
Went walkies today - I was such a good girl.
When my car seat arrives, we'll give cruisin' a whirl.
My Wonderful Grandma, I won't forget you, or what you've done for me.
I promise to come and visit you soon 'cos Grandma cuddles are special, you see.
love and Licks,
your Bella xoxox
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