We adopted Bella ("Murphy's Irish Red") over 13 years ago and last week, painfully, we had to let her go. Bella was a force and an integral part of our family. She arrived at our home a mess: raging conjunctivitis, a skinny 50 lbs and a tail that was permanently tucked between her hind legs. It took two+ weeks before she let that tail dislodge and gave me her first small wag on a long morning walk. We learned quickly she was a hunter to her core --her woodsy walks were her happy place and pretty much the sole time her tail was up and wagging like a forceful, deliberate pendulum. It took a lot for her to warm up to anyone but when she did, she was a cuddle bug- albeit only on her terms. She liked her own space at bedtime but in the early morning hours she'd climb up on our bed and snuggle between us.

She survived cancer, a stroke with paralysis in both legs, Lyme disease and a several other maladies, but bounced back every time. She learned to love her laser and water therapy and her therapists. She demanded treats by sitting right in our path, stomping backwards a few steps and staring intently with a head tilt, until she got her treats. She had many family names: Belly, Bells & Whistles, Belly Fondue, Bella-boo, Smelly Belly, Silver Bells and Angry Bells. She was the boss of her brother Watson, a 100 lb+ Bloodhound that misses her dearly.

We love you Bells. Bye bye, Belly.

Mary and Al

10 April 2024