Mia Bella

We have fostered our second pup for a month.  She is solid black with a small white spot on her chest and the fluffiest, softest fur.  When we picked her up we were told she was 8 to 9 weeks old and a german sheperd / lab mix. I had the honor of naming her, and after much thought, chose Bella which is the Italian word for beautiful. She is a true beauty.  Someone later thought I had named her after Bella of the Twilight phenom.  I hadn’t thought about that Bella but the name still fits…beautiful, mysterious, smart.  Her forever family will probably change her name but for now she is Mia Bella, my beauty.

She still isn’t house trained but that’s probably my fault.  Being gone from 7:30 to 5:30 makes it difficult.  I can say she has done very well this weekend. She didn’t mess in her crate last night and only two accidents today. Being a puppy she is very rambunctious. She and Kirbs can wear each other out! I am amused by Kirby’s jealousy when it comes to his toys.  He has certain favorites which he keeps putting on the couch since he knows she can’t jump up there. Too bad I keep putting them back in his toy box.  It’s a vicious cycle. 

Bella was smaller than Kirby when she came to stay with us but has quickly outsized him.  It’s rather amusing that she weighs less than him yet towers over him!  She has become quite attached to him and has always been gentle.  She can push him around though when she wants.  If he is drinking water and she wants some, Bella simply pushes him out of her way.  Kirby, being the little gentleman, waits. 

Kirby eats a dehydrated food while Bella eats puppy chow so I was concerned about how to handle that.  However, meal times haven’t been a problem because (don’t laugh) I feed Kirby at my dining table.  She eats very quickly where Kirbs eats much slower.  This just eliminates any possible food fights and ensures that Kirby gets his food. 

There are things her forever family needs to know about her.  They need to know she is very loving and gentle.  She loves to get up in the recliner with Kirby and I.  She is content to snuggle next to me and, when Kirby allows, likes to lay her head on him.  Other times, she lies down under the footrest.  She’s sleeping there now as I write this.

They need to know she is crate trained.  She and Kirby each stay in crates set side by side in my home office while I am at work.  She doesn’t like when I leave for work and starts crying the second I return home.  At night I move her crate next to my bed.  Our night time ritual involves turning off lights and final playtime in my bedroom.  When I say bedtime Bella will go into her crate and lay down.  I then shut the crate door, get in bed, and turn off the light. She goes to sleep and remains quiet until I get up in the morning.  She does, however, want her breakfast immediately.  She can be very vocal which is a little hard to take before that first cup of coffee!

They need to know how smart she is.  She has learned the rules very quickly and is very good about only playing with the dog toys.  She doesn’t get into the garbage cans or touch anything on the coffee table. She knows sit!  Kirby has a few interactive treat toys which Bella figured out very quickly.  She is observant and has learned so much simply by watching Kirby.

They need to know she loves treats and anxiously watches me whenever I am in the kitchen baking.  I wish I had thought to take that picture of her and Kirby actually sitting side by side facing the oven while their peanut butter paws baked.   She also loves pork skin chews.  She and Kirby have a game where they take each others chews, back and forth, back and forth. 

They need to know that when I take a bath Kirby always waits on my bed.  Bella prefers to stay in the bathroom with me sprawled out on the rug.  Is she assuming her position as watch dog?  Could be.  Alas, she doesn’t really like her baths and worries when Kirby has his, watching and barking in a concerned sort of way.

They need to know she travels well in the car. I usually place her crate in the backseat but one trip I didn’t have it.  Bella stayed in the backseat.  Whenever I looked back to check she would lift up her head to look at me.  She also enjoys going to the dog park.  At first she was timid around the larger dogs and tended to follow Kirby wherever he went.  She has become a little braver each time we visit.

They need to know we have two cats which Bella is very curious about.  Chelsea has made her cry a time or two with a swat when she got too close.  Our other cat, Kaitlyn, just looks at her and walks right past her.  Bella has never shown any aggression toward either one.   

I find myself falling in love with this sweet girl.  A part of me wants to keep her so I’ll know she is safe.  She and Kirby have bonded so I worry that they will miss each other. I worry that I will miss her.  I worry that she will feel afraid and alone when I send her north because she thinks she has a home with us.  

A part of me knows she needs a home with a big fenced yard to give her room to run.  My prayer is that she has a forever family who will love her and provide her a safe, happy home filled with toys, treats, and lots of fun. 

December11, 2010.  That’s the day Bella will travel north to the family who has adopted her.  I’m sending them my name, email address, and home address.  I know she will become their dog but I do hope they update me every now and then with pictures and stories.  The tears will flow that day. I will miss her.  Kirby will miss her.  Bella will always be one of our babies.

Originally posted December 7, 2010