Bella is coming up on 12 years of life next month, and I can’t believe how much the time flies. Originally, she was a “Valentine’s Day present” from my “ex-fiance'”. I put V-day present in quotes, because I had to pay for her myself and pick her up myself, but the present was that I was allowed to have her. (Similarly, I put ex-fiance in quotes because he never actually proposed to me and I had to pick out my own ring…) I picked her up by meeting the breeder halfway, and she ended up having some hair loss from sleeping on a too-hot heating pad. She was always a little spitfire, more cat than dog and bigger than the object appears in real life. Though it took her 5 years to be fully potty-trained, she hates having her nails trimmed with a passion, she’ll run away and escape at the first opportunity, and she doesn’t like being held…she certainly has some redeeming qualities that make her a joy to spend my life with.
- She’s warm. This dog is a miniature heater, and though she doesn’t love to snuggle under the blankets as much anymore now that we share the bed with two giant Boxers, she’s available and makes a perfect heating pad during that ‘time of the month’. TMI whatever, but is there anything nicer than a soft warm pup against your abdomen when you’re dying of cramps? Nope.
- She snores. At night, her adorable soft little snores are sometimes unbearably loud, but they’re always a comforting sound. Who needs a white noise machine?
- She “pigs out”. She’s got a little porky belly on her, and when she sleeps she lays flat on her side and stretches her whole body out like a sow. I love it.
- She always comes back. Though she has gotten out of the house dozens of times in her life (the entire neighborhood in St. Paul knew who she was), she always comes back. You can’t go out and try to catch her, because she’ll run away. But if you calmly go back into the house, within 10 minutes you’ll hear her slamming her entire body against the front door in an effort to come in.
- She loves blankets. Every time I joke around and want to make myself cry, I just imagine a world where Bella doesn’t have a blanket to snuggle under. She is expert at burrowing and making herself a little cavern, and sometimes I have no idea how she breathes under there. Any time there is a towel, pile of clothes, or blanket on the floor, we have to double check that she’s not inside before stepping on it.
- She sticks her nose in your fist. If we ball up our fist and hold it out to her, she tries to shove her wet snout in between our fingers. Every time.
- She’s self-sufficient. As sad as it sounds, sometimes I’ll go the entire day without hearing her. She sleeps 90% of the day, drinks very little, only has to go potty a couple times per day and doesn’t need attention all the time or want to be played with. Considering we have two other dogs who can’t survive an hour without my attention, it’s sometimes so nice to have a dog who does “her own thing” most of the time.
- She can stand on her front legs to pee. I wish I had a photo of this, as it’s super comical. Whenever she pees on walks, she stands up and walks on her front legs for awhile so she can spray her pee as high as possible. It’s hilarious.
- She’s mischievous. This used to be a bad thing, but she’s gotten a lot less destructive now and her antics are more ‘funny’ than anything else. The second we’re gone, I can hear her trying to get into the trash can unsuccessfully. She has stolen a loaf of bread and gotten the bag wrapped around her head. She’s been stuck on top of a kitchen table or counter more than once. She never stops entertaining.
- She’s been there with me for 12 years. From living in a shitty situation with my ex, to moving back home with my parents in Minnesota, to moving across the country to San Diego, up to the SF Bay Area, and back down..she’s probably lived in 15 different homes with me. She always takes everything like a champ, and she’s always just “been there”. Now that she’s getting older, I’m trying to imagine what life would be like without her, and I don’t even remember what it felt like to not have Bella. My entire adult life, she’s witnessed it all.
I love you little Bell Bell, Bellamella, Baby Bella. <3
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