City: Los Angeles
Favorite things: belly rubs, cheese, giving kisses, the sound of my husband’s car when he comes home, her kitty sister Stinky and her stuffed toy soccer balls
Bella’s story, as told by her person Tanaya:
We adopted Bella about 3 years ago quite unexpectedly. My husband and I were at our local pet store buying cat food when of course they were having an adopt a pet drive. Our building recently converted to dog friendly and we had been talking about getting a dog for some time. Well, we instantly fell in love with a small pit-mix and started the adoption process. After a few phone calls with her foster family we were ready and excited to bring her home. Frustratingly, at the last moment her foster dad called to say he wasn’t comfortable adopting her out to a family that lived in an apartment. He was dead set she needed a back yard. I was upset and devastated.
Well, the next day, slightly mad that we had purchased supplies for a new dog we would not be bringing home, my husband went to our local SPCA just to look and see. We knew we wanted an older pit bull because LA shelters are overrun with them. That is when he met our Bella. Her name was Foxy back then but she didn’t seem to respond to or care for it. Out of all the dog he saw that day, she was the only one that was calm and lovingly kissed him through her cage. After testing her with the cats at the shelter we started the process to adopt her.
The shelter knew very little about her. Even though she was 5 she was basically untrained. They surmised from the pads on her elbows that she was kept outside on hard ground or cement. A bit of her tail was missing and she was pretty shaggy with little bald spots. They knew she had a least two litters and was probably used as a breeding dog.
Well we brought her home and gave her a good scrubbing, within hours she learned to love her crate, in days she understood “no,” “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” Within months she was walking like a champ on her leash. In a year her fur grew over the broken tip of her tail and in a few years her pads have all but gone away. She put on weight and muscle and our 60 pound pitty turned into an 85 pound PIT!
What makes Bella a good pit bull ambassador is how calm she is, especially around children. We have lots of little dogs in our building that aren’t always the best doggie neighbors. One of my neighbors who has a little girl, who just adores Bella, commented to me once that his daughter is afraid of all the other dogs in our building but not Bella, who at the time was easily taller than her and of course MUCH MUCH bigger.
I don’t have a favorite memory per se. I treasure every memory made with Bella. She has introduced me to my neighborhood, neighbors and surrounding areas. She has given me confidence and better self-esteem. She has taught me what unconditional love is and made me a better human.
Recently, after surgery for a polyp, we were told they found cancer in the polyp and there was no way to know if she still had the cancer except with a major invasive surgery. When I was crying about the news she was smiling just as big and bright as ever, wiggling her happy little butt as if to remind me that what was important wasn’t tomorrow, but today. We have decided to let her be the happiest dog she can be for as long as she has left!
Just the thought of her smile, her joy when she rolls around in the grass, or her warm tongue on my face can brighten my day.
This post is part of Positively Pit Bull, a collection of stories about how wonderful our pit bull type dogs and pit bull mixes are! Have you submitted your dog yet? Please do! We can’t wait to meet your pup!