• Desha


Today marks 12 years that Bella and I came together. She was skinny, scared, and had no life in her, or her eyes. I had initially seen her on a site- she was in a shelter in North Carolina, and she was cowered in the back of the "cell", wet and straggly-looking, with the caption under her photo, "This dog wags her tail but is terrified." She was going to be euthanized via a gas chamber that following Tuesday. With the help of another person, we had her pulled and sponsored, and she was transported. We went to Virginia to pick her up, about 4 hours away. We had to leave about 4 am that Sunday, to pick her up. I was hung over, and didn't feel like going, complained about it, and almost bailed. We got to a mall parking lot in Arlington, VA, where we met the people who transported her that far. We put her in the car and had to put down the windows- she smelled so badly. We cranked the heat in the front but had to get some air flowing in the car. She just laid there, so sad-looking, lifeless, malnourished. We got her back to the house, and decided to bathe her right away, so once she was settled, we didn't have to upset her. It was sad how once her fur got wet, how much her thinness showed- hip bones, ribs, etc. We got choked up. We found out she was 25 pounds, estimated at 1-2 years old (she now averages 50-55 lbs). We found out about a month or so later, that she needed surgery on her left hip, which she received. She put on weight, and in 6 months, you'd never know she looked as she did, when she first came. Bella has seen me at my worst- she's been there through my alcoholism and addiction and all that came with it, and has helped me through my sobriety. I am (hopefully) now giving her a life, as I now live a life, instead of just existing. She is also an international traveler- she's been to Canada! Leaving her daily for a corporate job, and hating it, getting anxiety from it, has helped give me some of the 'umph' I needed, to step out into a different path; the path in which I believe I'm supposed to take. I am probably a little overprotective, and annoy her at times, but I do feel she loves me. I don't go one day without letting her know how much I love her, and who she is, and who she is still becoming. I tell her all the time how she is my angel, and how beautiful she is, how smart she is, and how amazing she is. She is goofy at times, scared, unsure, and confident, all in different times, and different settings. She had some steak for breakfast, and will make her favorite dinner today- fresh baked chicken. She just loves her chickie over anything else, including steak. I cherish the time we have together. I know we won't be here together forever on earth, so I cherish every moment, and try to be present with her at any given time. On our walks, I put the phone away most times so I can fully enjoy her. I pray with and for her each morning, and just try to show her my love in different ways. She is quite independent in so many ways, and shows her dependence in other ways. It's been such a joy, pleasure, and a privilege being her caretaker- the one chosen as her guardian; her mommy. I'm so grateful that I am still here and alive to be with her, and care for her. It's been such a joy to have watched her grow from where she was, to where and who she is now. I have learned and continue to learn so much from her. I am so grateful that we went for her that morning. I think about all I'd have missed out on, if we had not gone for her, and maybe all she'd have missed, too. And she didn't have to die scared and alone, in a gas chamber. She came home the Sunday before Thanksgiving, as a "foster". And here she is, twelve full years, later. Home for the holidays. I am so blessed beyond words to have her in my life. She truly is my earth angel. Thank You, God. Thank you for reading her story. Feel free to share.

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