Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Jingle Bella Finds a Home

I have recently had an itch that needed scratched. The yearning for another dog. I kept putting it off, because I really want a Rhodesian Ridgeback. I am not in a place where I can have such a big dog. I have a fenced in yard, but my dog door will only fit up to a medium dog and the x-large size I looked into would come with a hefty $400 price tag. I have the kind that fits into a sliding glass door. Also, I do have a pretty small house, and a dog that is easily the weight of my son, well, I need LAND!!! Since my dog is only five months from being 16 years old, I admit, I am going to need some comfort when she goes. Canine comfort. And I love dogs. All breeds, all types. Small, big, large, extra large, full-bred, mutt, it doesn't really matter to me.

But how to find the right dog? I knew I couldn't go to the shelter. I just can't. I would cry and then leave with two or three and really turn my life into problem city.... So..the other day I went onto Craig's list just to look. I did not expect to see the little face peering out at me that I HAD to follow up on. I talk myself out of things. What if? is my mantra when it comes to things like this. And most of the time, I talk myself out of things by worrying. My biggest concern was my dog Dakota. Not that she would be mean to the dog, but that she would feel displaced or replaced. I have had her since she was 5 weeks old and she'll be 16 in April. I should have remembered that Dakota has no problems with other pets...

So, I found her on Craig's list on Saturday (and the lady removed the pictures that TOTALLY sucked me in, I must call and try to get them), and by Sunday morning I was on the phone. Her face wouldn't leave my mind. I told everyone at work I was waiting for a sign from God. Maybe the sign was that I found her so quickly and that I NEVER go to the pet section of Craig's List. Strangely enough, my friend Rose, another nurse, was the clincher. She said, "She needs a home. Adopt her." Now, no bolt of lightning came down, no sunlight blinding my eyes, but I look up to Rose, so her words were heard. Simple, true words. MY sign. Or perhaps she was just the impetus that made me make up my mind. At any rate, I found myself making a long extra hour trek after work ended at 7pm to go and get her. The owners had been evicted and I'm not sure what the woman who thrust her into my arms relationship was. She had scant information. She's had shots sometime in the past. Not sure how old she is, maybe a year or two. She may be indoor/outdoor. So really, not much help. Food. Oh, just give her canned whatever, no specific brand. (I am inwardly thinking, canned, cheap crap, no way. Science Diet or Iams mini chunks, YES!). But this little girl who weighs exactly 11 lbs. immediately curled up into my arms and nestled in like she belonged there.

The car ride home was uneventful, she settled onto the floor of the car in all my barn jackets and slept. I wondered at what ordeal she had been through in the past few days. I had told my son I would be late because I needed to go see about a Christmas present. I was only 1/2 hour past my normal time, so I actually did well. He was in disbelief when I opened up the car door. "Mom, WHO is that?" "Miles, It's our new dog."
His face lit up and his arms reached out. That's my boy. Loves pets and animals. And she stunk! I didn't want to put her through a bath after all she had been through, but there was no other option. I wanted her to be able to come up onto my bed, and NO WAY that was happening without a bath! She did fine and we dried her pretty fast with her wiry terrier hair. I LOVE terriers after having one as a little kid. One that looked exactly like Toto (with the same name) from the Wizard of Oz. The woman said she is a Norfolk terrier, but I looked them up on the internet. I don't think so. She has big pointy ears with little tufts of fur at the tips. Also, she has a mohawk right in the center of her head! She looks nothing like the Norfolk Terriers I saw pictured who have small ears that flop forward. But she is definitely a terrier of some type.

She is so calm and shy around loud noises and the other pets. She LOVES to sleep on the bed with me and also loves the dog bed I bought a few weeks ago, the one my older dog SHUNNED. We are teaching her to use the dog door, but she is afraid of the flap. Only one accident so far on the first night.

So I have learned: she may have fleas (already treated), she is itchy but haven't seen fleas--skin problem?, needs shots (check, I went and purchased her first one to give her until I get her to the vet for her Rabies and to get fixed), she isn't fixed; she's in heat, so I got a tiny little 11 lb. dog mess which is no big deal, she has no idea how to walk on a leash, she has worms (as evidenced by the butt dragging I've witnessed)but no tapeworms in her poop, and she is the sweetest, most loveable little thing I could've wished for. Thanks Santa Claus!

We haved named her Bella. Bells=Christmas. I'll probably end up shortening it to Bells anyway, because all the pets have nicknames. They told me her name is Sara, but she shows no response to that name so I know it was never Sara. Maybe for one day. Our other pets definitely have their noses bent out of shape. Especially two out of my three cats. This is evidenced by the fact that they have spent the past three days on top of the kitchen cupboards. Dakota, my dog, is feeling a tiny bit neglected, but she sniffs at Bella and has no beef with her...I am just trying to give everyone extra attention. I am sure they are thinking, "Christmas, this is Christmas? Bah, Humbug!" But all three cats were adopted, and Dakota is the only one I paid for in Florida. I will pay adoption/rescue fees now, but I won't buy a pet when so many need homes. I paid nothing for little Bella, but I would have, at least a re-homing fee. But, the woman didn't ask, and in light of the money I need to spend on her medical care due to neglect.... Of course I did buy Jackson three years ago, so I guess I'm not totally altruistic!

Today is my last day off out of three, I wonder how little Bella will fair with me gone and Miles not getting home from school until 4pm? I expect accidents since she is having problems with the dog door... But maybe we'll get lucky! Regardless, I feel blessed!


  1. Congrats to you and Bella, and the rest of the gang! In my opinion, best Christmas gift you could have gotten!

  2. Congratulations on your new family member! I did the dog over lap thing when my first dog reached 15. I felt a little guilty because the new dog had so much energy and my old dog was sooo tired. With in a few months my baby passed away and I was so blessed to have dog #2 around during that transition. I will probably do the same thing as scout gets older. I'm thinking when he turns 10 I might take a look around. Just make sure you give Dakota some special attention so she won't feel replaced!

  3. Hehe, Mindy, you big softie! That's awesome. As you know, I have my own little rat dog — Martha — so I know how irresistible they are. Good for you!

  4. Awwww! Bella is precious! Sounds similar to the way I ended up with my Dobbie. Except I did finally end up at our local animal shelter (oly 6 kennels, so not as many dogs to tempt and give me guilt, thank goodness.) But truly Dobbie adopted me...and she chose her own name. I would have liked to give her something more feminine, but she liked Dobbie and it was done. lol!

    Hey! The two of us adopted dogs in 2009! I've only had my girl for 5 months now and can't imagine life without her.

    I spent several months searching CL for dogs to adopt but people were literally trying to sell them with very high 'adoption fees'. Like $150-300 for small dogs!
    And many weren't even spayed or had any medical care either. Some of the small dog rescues also try to charge way too much for adoption of the small dogs because they believe people will pay more for small dogs.....but one rescue has more than 50 chihuahua and chihuahua mixes in their foster program just sitting there waiting for their forever home. How sad is that?

    People say they want to 'get back what they put into a dog', but dogs aren't investments, they are living breathing creatures that deserve a special family to love them.

    Oh well, don't get me going. I've worked and volunteered in rescue for many years. lol!


  5. Congrats!! What a Wonderful thing you did! We just brought home another dog (Basset Hound from a rescue) to our brood. Now Three of our four are rescues. I do have land now.. but I love this story.. I have a Terrier (Jack Russell) Named Bella.. It is a Wonderful name! I am glad I found your blog, and your Bella is so lucky that you found her! Happy Christmas and enjoy! Terriers are Fabulous!

  6. Welcome home, Bells (I love that name)!

    We adopted our little Roxie from SA's Great Dane rescue, and paid a big fee - but it helps them place the big dogs. Plus she was fixed.

    She had ear mites, fleas, and worms. A trifecta! Now she's fine, and I have to tell you, she has stolen our hearts!

  7. She has a mohawk? Well you got a little bit o'Ridgeback! She is so sweet looking. What a nice Christmas present to all of you.

  8. (BTW, I'm definitely interested in that clinic you mentioned! can you post some info?)


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~Slainte' Mhath!