Bella’s Journey

April 26, 2012  

A pit bull tells the story of how she went from injured and abandoned to a much-loved family clown

By Steve DeTata of 4ThePits Pit Bull Advocacy and Rescue

I don’t remember much about the first eight months of my life – random snapshots and images mostly. I recall being born and having a mother and some brothers and sisters that I played with for a while. Then when I was about 3 months old, some people took me home and called me Bella. Things were good for a couple of days, but then someone came over and cut my ears off with a pair of scissors. It hurt very bad, but I tried not to show my new family how much pain I was in since they seemed happy, always talking about how much money my pups would make them and how I looked like such a tough dog, whatever that means.

But as the weeks and months moved on, my family spent less and less time with me. I wasn’t allowed inside anymore, and despite what they say about Southern California, it is cold outside in December and January, especially at night. I never got to leave my yard, play with other dogs or meet new people. Sometimes my family forgot to feed me –sometimes for days. So that day when someone left the gate open, boy was I excited to go check things out in the neighborhood. I had heard so much going on out there while I was locked up in the yard: kids playing, people talking, dogs having a good time on walks. I wish I had been out on walks before and learned about cars though.

When I left the yard, I wanted to see everything. My journey was short lived. I ran right out into the street and was run over by a car. My foot hurt almost as bad as when my ears were cut off. People gathered all around me, and there was lots of yelling. I didn’t recognize any of the people, but then my family showed up. They were very upset. I kept hearing them say something about how much money this was going to cost them. Another lady was yelling at them that they had to take me to the vet, but they did not want to. Again, more about how much money I was going to cost them. They finally put me in the car and drove me away. I think they decided to rename me because they kept calling me Stupid Dog. I also remember them saying they should just throw me out of the car.

When we got to the vet, they gave me a shot that made my foot feel better. The vet told my family that my foot had been de-gloved, which means all the skin and hair was peeled off down to the bone. Luckily I didn’t break any bones or injure anything inside. My family was told that it would take months for my foot to heal and would cost several thousand dollars. The last thing I remember them saying to the vet was to “just put her down.” I never saw my family again.

Road to Recovery

Instead of “putting me down,” the people at the vet hospital called someone from a place called The Pet Rescue Center and explained my situation. They agreed to take me in, pay for my treatment, make me all better and find me a new home – all without even meeting me. Wow!

When I woke up next I was at a new vet hospital. This one was nicer than the first one, and I had a big pink bandage on my foot.

Whenever my foot started hurting, they gave me a big tasty meatball with something crunchy inside, and then it didn’t hurt anymore. I was kind of sad that my family was not around, and there were a bunch of strangers, so I tried my best to just ignore everyone. On the second day, a couple came to see me and sat with me in my kennel. They were kind of like my family but were much nicer to me. I ignored them too. They kept coming back every day to see me and sit with me. Sometimes, we would go out to the lobby and I would get to sit on the couch.

When my foot started feeling a little better, we went on short walks. Every time I saw another dog, I got really excited and tried to play. This seemed to surprise everyone, like they had never seen a dog play before. Sometimes other dogs didn’t want to play with me and growled or barked at me. I just ignored them. This surprised people too.

I like sugar. Every day the pink bandage on my foot was changed and replaced with a new one. Sometimes it was still pink, other times blue, yellow, orange or green. Whenever my bandage was changed, they would pour sugar on my foot and then put a new bandage on. Sometimes I got to lick some of the sugar on my foot before the new bandage was put on. I like sugar.

After a couple of months, I was spayed, which means I wouldn’t make anyone a lot of money from my pups. People said my personality might change some after being spayed, but I didn’t feel any different. I still liked to play with other dogs. People I mostly ignored.

One day, the couple who had been coming to see me every day brought a dog along with them. Her name was Juliet and she was like me but a little older and she still had her ears.

I could tell she didn’t really like me and wasn’t interested in playing, so I ignored her. We went on a walk and she told me that she had lived at the vet hospital for nine months. She did not get hit by a car though, but like me her family gave her up. Then the couple who visit me showed up one day and took her home. Now they are her family. I think she did not feel like sharing them with me, as she had it pretty good. They brought her back a few more times, and we went on walks together. I mostly ignored her.

On weekends, the couple would take me for car rides. We would go to a place called PetSmart, which was filled with lots of toys and food. I didn’t care too much for the food, but the toys were sure fun. I especially liked the ones that looked like little animals that made squeaky noises. It was really fun to pull all the stuffing out and get them to stop making the squeaky noise. It was pretty easy to do and only took me a couple of minutes.

Then I was bored. They made me wear a jacket and introduced me to a lot of people who came to the store. Some people were afraid of me, so I ignored them. Some people seemed to really like me and came right up to me. I ignored most of them too.

A Foster Home

One weekend, the couple and me went for a longer ride and did not go to PetSmart. We were at a house and I stayed in the car. The couple came out and had Juliet with them. We went for a walk around the neighborhood. I could smell Juliet everywhere and knew this was her territory. She still did not want to play with me, so I ignored her.

When we got back from the walk, the couple did not put me back in the car. Instead we went inside the house. Juliet was kind of freaked out that I was coming inside her home but she let me in. I saw that there was a backyard and figured that I would be going there, but instead there was a big comfortable bed for me to lie on. There was also a big couch, but I was told not to lie on that. Even Juliet was not allowed on the couch. She had her own bed next to mine.

We stayed in the house all day and watched TV. At night, Juliet went upstairs and I stayed downstairs on my bed. Every now and then I would hear some strange noises in the house and could smell that someone else was there, but it wasn’t another dog or person.

The next day Juliet came downstairs and we went on another walk. She still did not seem to like me. I asked her about the smells and noises in the house, but she just said that it was the cats and then wouldn’t talk to me anymore.

The couple then took me back to the vet hospital. I was kind of sad because it was nice at their house and not so noisy. But then I got to lick some sugar off my foot when my bandage was changed. Instead of going back to my kennel, the couple put me back in the car and we went to their house. Juliet was not too happy to see me, and we lay on our beds and watched TV. This daily routine went on for a couple of weeks, me going back to the hospital for sugar foot treatments then back to the house to ignore Juliet, go on walks together, and some days I would still go back to PetSmart to meet people and play with toys.

After a couple of months, my sugar foot treatments came to an end. Everyone was worried that I would have trouble walking, but as soon as my last bandage came off, all I wanted to do was go for a run. I never had a problem with my foot again.

One day while on a walk, Juliet finally got tired of me ignoring her and tried to play with me. She gave the universal dog play sign, otherwise known as a play bow. The couple was very surprised, like they had never seen Juliet play before. From then on Juliet seemed to like me more, and we played all the time.

Soon at night, I got to go upstairs too and sleep on a giant dog bed with Juliet and the couple. The bed was so big that I couldn’t decide which spot was most comfortable. So I tried them all, even the spots where the couple slept. I tried to push them out of the way, but sometimes they wouldn’t move, so I just slept on top of them or as close to them as I could get.

So this is how my life went on for a while. The couple, now called my foster parents, were more like a real family to me, and I forgot about the previous people that I lived with. Every now and then I would meet some new people who wanted to take me to their home, but none of them were the right family for me.

People say I hate cats, but they’ve got it all wrong. I love cats. I love to chase cats, bark at cats and maybe even make a cat my new stuffed toy. I mean they look just like my stuffed toys, but they move! How great is that. My foster family will not let me play with their cats though, or any other cat for that matter, so that’s all I have to say about it.

But there are a few things that I don’t like, so in no particular order: horses, Harley Davidson motorcycles, the trash truck, birds, dogs that are mean to me, people that are mean to me, the guy at the car wash who uses the air hose to blow water off cars and people casting fishing poles. I know, I’m weird. What can I say?

I enjoyed Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year with my foster family.

Things weren’t always perfect, and sometimes I didn’t get along with Juliet (read the full story here), but with time and training we worked through it all.

One day my foster family took me to get some photographs of me taken. They put me in ridiculous costumes so that people could see that I wasn’t a tough dog.

A Forever Home

Lots of people called my foster family about adopting me, but none of them seemed to be right. A lot of people that called did not want me because I was spayed (maybe one of them was my previous family looking for a dog to make them money off pups).

Pretty soon it was time for the Super Adoption event. No one was really interested in adopting me, and I think this was the last straw for my foster family. After the event, they filled out some paperwork for The Pet Rescue Center and made me an official member of their family!

It has been a year now, and I am settling in very nicely. I recently turned 3 years old.

My family is very happy to have me in their home. They love me because I try to do funny things to entertain them, like sleeping under chairs …

Imitating a frog …

Making silly faces …

Sitting in funny positions …

And staring out the window …

But mainly, they love me just because I’m Bella.

« « Handsome Dan | Hunger Games Star Josh Hutcherson Adopts a Pit Bull » »


24 Responses to “Bella’s Journey”
  1. Wonderful story! Bella is beautiful, love it when she said her new friend still has her ears lol too cute.  Thank you for taking Bella and showing love.  Although tragic God does everything for a reason, glad Bella escaped and was hit by the car, that was her freedom!

    • Cindy says:

      I read a story a few years ago about a beautiful dog called Oogi, this story about Bella reminded me about that. I live in Ontario, Canada and they are banned. It is very sad because people have no idea about this dog and the beautiful breed they are. I am so happy to see Bella happy and in a loving home. My heart gets very sad when I watch stories about the losers using these beautiful dogs for their pleasure and wallet and throw them away when they are of no more use. Thank you for making Bella happy ang loving her so mych this stry has filled my heart and made me cry but happy tears. If I could I would love to meet your babies they look so beautiful….Cindy Walsh

  2. christielici0us says:

    What a great story, told from a doggie’s perspective. How confused they must be, when their world is constantly changing and they can’t understand why.
    I’m so glad beautiful Bella ended up with a great family. It sounds like she has a wonderful life. I wish every Pittie could have a happy ending like this!

    • StubbyDog says:

       @christielici0us Bella’s story is so captivating especially being told in her voice. We too wish every pit bull could have Bella’s happy ending.

  3. skreidle says:

    That was so, so sweet.
    Now if you’ll excuse me, my face seems to be wet, and I may need to go get some pit bull kisses to dry it off. :]

  4. CaitlynPilch says:

    Amazing story. Her relationship with Juliet reminds me so much of my Duke and Daisy! It gives me such hope to read this and know so much is possible. 🙂

    • StubbyDog says:

       @CaitlynPilch It is a hopeful story, sometimes dogs just take some time and patience to become best buddies.

  5. SharonStewart says:

    What a wonderful story, it had me crying the whole way through. It gives me hope though. We have a 3 yr old pit mix that we rescued and just the other day brought home a 5 yr old pit that was going to be put down bc he got kennel cough. I’m hoping Suzie and BamBam can get to be just like Bella and Juliet!

    • StubbyDog says:

       @SharonStewart Best of luck and bless you for saving two beautiful, loving pit bulls!

  6. ChrisJohnson2 says:

    Tears of joy are running down my face. This is how amazing dogs truly are, if given the chance to share their love. Kudos to the foster family for being patient and giving their time and love to Bella.

  7. ValerieSherman says:

    The extended story was great. It lends a lot of insight into a family who didn’t give up and just tried harder, all the while respecting Bella’s needs. Great story. Thanks for sharing.

    • StubbyDog says:

       @ValerieSherman You said it perfectly Valerie.

      • MicheleSharnetSauers says:

        Seriously this story was incredibly well written and beautiful.If I didnt already love the breed and have a Pitbull,this story would make me go find one to bring home.If only all the ignorant jerks could see this story.

  8. tinkertoy62 says:

    Oh , what a glorious HAPPY ENDING to a great story. I love Bella , her point of view is precious and so insightful as to how these creatures- abused and neglected over and over again, can remain so patient, so loyal , such loving companions in spite of it all…So many thanks for sharing this story and to the foster mom and dad for sticking by her and never giving up….All the best, sweet Bella! We love you!

  9. BonnieJoHicks says:

    You are a very well spoken young lady Ms. Bella! Congratulations on finding your family and your sister Juliet. I’m sorry you aren’t allowed to play with the cats – my Polly is not either! She would lick all the hair off trying to love them to death! 
    I  h ope you have a long and peaceful life with your family! 

  10. StaciHayes says:

    Love this story! We have a Bella. It’s the perfect name for such a silly pitty. Thank you for sharing!

  11. SusanRodriguezArmstrong says:

    Bella!  Beautiful story, and a happy ending for a doggie that really had a tough time – thankfully, all that’s behind her and she can live in peace and safety for the remainder of her years.  Blessings to you Bella, and your human family.

  12. Joey1205 says:

    Such a beautiful dog. Its so sad that this breed is so stigmatised. It is not the Breed that determines their behaviour, it is the OWNERS.

  13. claurel says:

    My eyes wouldn’t stop watering as I read this. So happy to read about others responsible enough to take in a dog like this, especially a breed that’s been given a reputation despite doing nothing but love.

  14. AdrienneClegg says:

    Love her and love her parents. Love sometimes requires work, thank you for putting in the time. YOU are an inspiration!!

  15. LisaScarsi says:

    Bella!!  I’ve known your story for a while now and I’m so happy to have met you.  You are one lucky pooch to have found such a wonderful & loving family.