Brave Bella Holly

I saw her picture on and fell in love with her.  I have had a lot of dogs, and goodness knows I love them all, but there was something special about my Bella. 

She was abandoned in Quebec and when rescued she had such severe frostbite on her ears that most of them had to be amputated. When I contacted Petfinder they thought I wanted a different Shepherd, and initially said, “That dog is gone. We do have one, but she is blind.” So I told them, “That’s the one I want!” We drove out to Wainfleet to meet her and were told we could have her that day!  So, we put her in the car and never looked back! 

She was also blind from birth, but you wouldn’t know it if you weren’t told. She could play fetch by listening to where the ball went and going to that spot, and if there was an obstacle in her area, she only ran into it once, and never again. She even knew her commands in French, as I discovered one day! 

She was just the sweetest thing, very protective of me and quite fascinated by my cat when I brought him home as a kitten. Bella always had to know where he (the cat) was and was forever trying to put him in her mouth.

She did not like other dogs at all. She would growl and carry on when we passed them on walks, but she and our Old English Sheepdog (who died three months before Belly) were best buddies. 

She could howl like a wolf and would do it if she heard other dogs or wolves howling or if a specific ringtone on my phone went off.  Or if I sang to her in a particular way. 

We were never sure how old she was when we got her - probably around three. Unfortunately, she developed some autoimmune issues which she dealt with like a champ until 2014 when she started showing signs of a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Because of it she was rapidly losing the ability to walk. 

I found a rock with one side looked like a paw print and the other a profile of a dog.
We made the hard decision to put her down in July of 2015, after having had her for only five years. I cried for days. She never lost her sweet spirit, even when her back legs were falling out from under her. 

I was on a beach in Nova Scotia a few days after she died and asked for a sign that things would be okay. That she was where she needed to be. When I looked down I found a rock in front of me. One side looked like a paw print and the other a profile of a dog. I smiled, grateful for this confirmation. I will miss her forever.

Contributed by Mom, Kay Holly
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