Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bella: The Horse-Dog

It has come to my attention that a post describing our yellow lab, Bella, is long overdue.

As I write this morning, Bella is lying by the bedroom door with her nose pressed against it. No, she did not just flop down there and that's how it fell. She is poised; ears alert; attentively waiting like a huntress. What in the world is she doing, you ask?

She is patiently waiting for her master (that would be Frank) to wake up.

Side note: Frank woke in the middle of the night and went to the couch so he wouldn't wake me. Collective "AWWWW!" Smile.

I really wish I were able to post a picture for you but you'll just have to use your imagination. This dog is literally lying, looking at the door, waiting for any indication that he is moving. She has been that way for almost twenty minutes now.

Bella is the quintessential version of a modern-day "Lassie" and she warms the heart of her master. Although I refer to her as the horse-dog, I'm told that she is really rather small for a Lab. At approximately 65 pounds and three feet tall!!!

When she bolts out the sliding glass door in the mornings, she invariably uses the top of my foot for a launching pad. And as she stands adoringly before Frank for a head rub, her wagging tail becomes a dangerous weapon pounding anyone nearby - usually me.

When we walk around Lake Hollingsworth together, Frank allows her to swim at one particular spot. It's a heart-warming moment between a man and his loyal pet. He throws the stick, Bella plunges headlong into the water, splashing, swimming, retrieving, receiving affirmation. Then while he's distracted, she SHAKES. Nasty lake water flies through the air like an unleashed fire hydrant spraying - you guessed it - me.

Occasionally, Bella feels the need to chase a neighbor's cat. This urge most often rises in her when Frank has already left for an early hospital visit; leaving ME to run into the front yard after her in my bath robe, screaming like a banshee, "BELLA! Get back here!!" (No, I do not know what a "banshee" is. I only know that Mom always used the phrase in relation to people acting in very unattractive ways.)

Bella came to us as a "gift" (do you hear the dubious tone?) and that is a whole 'nother story. Joy and John had just married and she moved into their new apartment; taking with her their horse-dog, J.J. I remember being so relieved that now, finally, we would have only one little dog in our home. Then came Bella!

On the flip side, I must admit that I feel much safer walking by myself now that I have Bella to accompany me. Although she would be more likely to lick someone to death, they don't know that. And she does lay at my feet in a comfortable sort of way - when Frank isn't home.

Her big amber eyes are a veritable pool of trust, love and adoration. She is the epitome of the little prayer: "Lord, help me to be as wonderful as my dog things I am!" Well, Bella thinks I'm okay; it's Frank she adores.

So, because he has wanted such a dog for the entirety of his life-time. And because I adore him too, Bella is ours for as long as she lives. And in the deep places of my heart, I hope this horse-dog stays around for many years to come.

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