Posted: Wed, 2016-08-24 00:00

We adopted Bella in July 2011. We did not change her name. She had come from Detroit - her owner surrendered her and sent her via airplane to MAGSR. We were her foster family, and then she stayed!  Bella has some allergies (leaf mold is her worst irritant) and immunotherapy didn't work for her. May - November she is perfectly fine; from about Thanksgiving until Mother's Day she stays on Apoquel to keep down the itching.  Other than that, Bella is a super smart, cuddly, athletic dog. She is slowing down a little at age 8. Now a 2-3 mile walk actually puts a dent in her energy, whereas a few years ago that would have just been the warm-up! From her behaviors and her appearance once she filled out, I strongly suspect she is a Belgian Malinois mix; probably mixed with a pointer or other tall hound. 

This photo is from a trip we took this summer with both Bella and her adopted bro Chief. Chief is a miracle boy. We adopted him from our county shelter three years ago at age 10. On March 5, 2015 he collapsed after eating breakfast. Later that day he had emergency surgery to remove his spleen. Biopsy showed he had had a bleeding tumor which was a hemangiosarcoma. Vets at the emergency center said he had maybe 3-6 months to live.   That was 18 months ago, and now at age 13 he still walks a couple miles a day with us, chases balls like a puppy, and wrestles with Bella as much as she can stand! 

Our trip was a road trip from Maryland to Niagara Falls (yep - the pups went international!) and then out to Wyoming and back.  Over 5000 miles in two weeks. They traveled like champs, and we found parks, walking trails, pet-friendly restaurants and motels all across the country! :)  I think this photo was at about day 8 of the trip, on the front porch of a KOA camping cabin, as the dogs were getting a little suspicious about loading up into the SUV yet again... 

Carolyn and Dan Matthews

Bella & Chief