Two years ago we opened our hearts and lives to adopt a sweet new puppy into our home.  What we thought we were adopting was little puppy who needed a good home – what we got was a teacher. Bella’s life had begun rather precariously. When she was only a few weeks old, someone had wanted to euthanize her because he thought she was an inconvenience. He was so wrong!   She was rescued, along with her mama and five siblings, by a truck driver when the puppies were only weeks old.

The long haul truck driver scooped them up and drove them from New Mexico to Eureka, Montana. When they arrived Wendy, the Shelter Manager of a no kill shelter, a true saint, became their den mother.  They soon became known as Soda Pop and the Six Pack.

These puppies never stayed a day in the shelter. They resided with Wendy until they could be placed in loving homes. Wendy booked private appointments only… and only for those who were serious and ready to adopt a puppy.  She knew puppies were a lot of work, and wanted to ensure the new parents were up to the challenge.

Michael and I were so excited. We couldn’t wait to see the puppies! Up until then we had only seen Facebook pictures.  By the time we met them, the puppies were approximately five weeks old – each weighing between 1 1/2 to 2lbs.

When we entered the yard we first saw Mama aka Soda Pop – a purebred grey Miniature Schnauzer with gentle eyes who looked at us as if to say, “Will it be you who takes one of my puppies and loves them?” She stood up and put her front paws on me so gently that my heart ached for her. What about her? Who would adopt her?

Puppies are so adorable. They draw you in so easily, but this beautiful, tender soul was a grown dog and more often than not people want to adopt puppies. I asked Wendy about her – she said not to worry that she was already spoken for.  In fact, Wendy assured me that as soon as the pups were weaned, (which would have to be soon even though they were very young because she was running out of milk due to malnourishment) she would have a new home waiting for her.  You see Soda Pop weighed only 15lbs. She should have weighed 35lbs.  It was a miracle any of them were alive.

We sat on the grass and soon all the puppies were in my lap. Wendy told me she had picked out two for us. I would have loved to take two, but we were only prepared to adopt one.

Bella the six pack 1008554_567085940009090_1801743117_o.jpg

Bella was the teeny one at the top.

Bella, although small and somewhat of a runt, stole our hearts.  She picked Michael. At first, after much deliberation, we had decided on the second of the two puppies Wendy had hand selected for us.  But Bella knew we were meant to be her family and made it happen.  Two weeks later we picked up ourlittle fur baby and brought her home with us.  By now she weighed closed to 2 1/2lbs.  She reminded me of a stuffed toy. Since she was so little she had lots of challenges, and for the first four months there were many times I was sure we would lose her.  The malnourishment plagued her for the first year.

Yet each month she grew stronger.  She was such a joy to be with and even though we feared she would not make it, we loved having her.  It seemed that no matter where we went she attracted people, and brought smiles to old and young alike.  She LOVED children, chuck it, and playing with our cat, Tequila, who after three short weeks decided Bella was okay after all (well for the most part anyway).

In obedience school the trainer offered to adopt her if there ever came a time when we could not care for her.  It seemed odd at the time, but this became common.

Bella had a way with people.  They fell in love with her. Even when she was no longer a puppy, this continued.  She simply loved people.  Dogs were okay, but people were her thing.

Bella loved adventure. She was always ready to sit shot gun and navigate the way, go wherever you were heading, and greet people with love and excitement – like it was the first time she had ever met them (no matter how many times she had met them before).  Bella was well traveled– we were often on the road – she was so easy to have along with us.

Bella taught us to:

1.  LIVE in the moment.

2. Be curious about everything.

3. Dance in the kitchen – even if it was only for peanut butter

4. High five every chance we got.

5. Ask for attention if you need it – she was relentless about this.

6. Always be at the ready for fun – ALWAYS!

7. Stand quietly beside someone who was sad – sometimes no words are needed.

8. Rise and SHINE with joy and love in your heart.

9. To keep going until you find it – the ball. No giving up.

10. Most important of all she taught us about unconditional love!

Bella was family. She was only with us two short years. Bella passed away in our arms knowing she was loved unconditionally – she raised us good.

Sadly on Tuesday July 14th Bella was hit ,by a speeding driver, and suffered fatal internal injuries. Yet right up to the moment she took her last breath she looked at us with love and life. We take comfort in knowing she was doing what she loved best – playing Chuck It.  The driver had been speeding through the neighborhood and the ball had rolled in the wrong direction from the grass. It was so tragic and unexpected.

Thank you to all of you who have sent cards, flowers and well wishes.  Bella was loved by many and even though at this moment our hearts ache we know… Bella was a gift. We have decided Bella was only on loan to us and she has now moved on.

So Bella, sweet Bella , who brought us so much joy – run, run free and chase the ball.  Sweet girl we love you and miss you so much!  May 20th, 2013 – July 14th, 2015

Your dash was far too short but we were blessed to have you!

We love you! xoxo

(For more about Jo Dibblee visit