A Life Worth Binge Watching

S1 E6:  It’s All About Bella

It had been a year and yet I still felt heartache. Even so, I knew that I needed to find room in my heart to love again.  I walked slowly down the noisy corridor, still feeling unsure if I was ready.  That’s when I saw her.  She had big brown eyes that were glossed over with sadness, and as I walked up to her she did not even look up.  I instantly knew that she might be as sad as I was, so I bent down to speak to her.  

“Hi there, you sure are a pretty girl,” I said, but she still wouldn’t look at me. The paper on her cage said that she had been dropped off by a family that moved away.  Why in the world could someone just leave behind a sweet dog like this.  It was obvious that she was so hurt by the abandonment.  I asked the attendant if I could take her for a stroll, so I took her out of the kennel  to the grassy area outside. She reluctantly followed me to the bench nearby and sat down beside my feet.  She still hadn’t looked up at me, but I felt like we were kindred souls.  I told her that I understood her pain and I had also lost my best friend, Gus a year before.  Ironically, Bella looked exactly like him, but taller, which was probably why I was immediately drawn to her.  I gave her a pat on the head and walked her around for a bit before taking her back inside.  As they put her back in her cage, she looked up at me for a moment, then lowered her head back down to the ground.  I read her kennel card again and noticed that she was heartworm positive, so she would need treatment and that came with no guarantee of success.  

I left without her, but as I drove out of the Humane Society parking lot. my heartstrings were tightly pulled.  That night, I couldn’t get her off my mind.  She didn’t seem a bit interested in me, and then there was also the heartworm situation. How would I be able to keep a 70 pound dog from running around for 6 weeks after the treatment?  They explained that we have to keep her heart rate down in order to keep the worms from breaking off and causing a lethal reaction.  It seemed like too much for me as a single mom to take on.  But I did because she deserved to have a family that wouldn’t desert her.  The heartworms were successfully eradicated, and she has been heartworm negative ever since. She is just as much a part of our family as any one the humans and my best furry friend. 

Bella was two when we brought her home and this week we celebrated her 9th birthday in a rather extravagant way.  She has definitely been spoiled since she joined our household. I mean, why wouldn’t we want to give her the best life after all the turmoil she experienced?  She loves going on walks, riding in the car or boat,  and most of all bones and belly rubs.  This year when my daughter went away to college, Bell became even more spoiled as she was now “my baby”.  I honestly don’t know what I would have done without her companionship as our house became an empty nest.  She rescued me, so of course this year she had a very special birthday party.  

The day started out with a trip to Starbucks, her favorite place.  They know her well there, as she whines the entire time we are in the drive-thru line.  When we approach the window she “asks” for a pup cup (a cup of whipped cream).  This time they gave her a bigger cup than usual, since it was her birthday.  It takes about 30 seconds for her to lick the cup clean!  

Later in the day, I went to Woofgang Bakery in the Trails Shopping Center in Ormond where I picked out a doggie birthday cupcake and treat made of peanut butter and other dog friendly ingredients.  I also picked out a few more bones to wrap up as gifts.  Bella learned how to open wrapped gifts a few years ago and tears open her packages like an excited child on Christmas!. The evening concluded with a family dinner at Lulu’s since they welcome furry guests on their patio, provide dog bowls and offer a special puppy menu.  Bella ordered the salmon and rice, perfectly prepared for only $6.  Needless to say, she ate every bite and also made some new friends at nearby tables.  We Facetimed my daughter Abbie and her friends so they could watch her devour her birthday pupcake while wearing a festive hat and collar.  She was very excited to receive a new toy from her Gam and Poppie and an antler bone from Aunt Ashley.  It was a doggone great day all around!

Some of you may think that this celebration was a little over the top, but I’ll bet even more of you understand how much our fur babies mean to us.  I can only hope to give her as much love and happiness as she gives us.  It’s Bella’s world…we just live in it!

Bella has her own Tiktok.  You can follow her @BellaDogLife.  

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Melodye Lewis is a Friday columnist for Flagler News Weekly giving you something to talk about over lunch. Follow @ALifeWorthBingeWatching on Facebook.