Bella Being Bella in our Pack – Stuff That Makes Things Fun
Posted on November 16, 2014
This morning around 11:00 a.m., Mark and I were getting ready to go to the art show in Raleigh. With three doggie children, it can get interesting when we get ready to leave. I had just called Luke and Rusty to come into our bedroom so they could sack out while we were gone for a couple of hours. It was ONLY the three of us in the bedroom and I am straightening things up when I hear what sounds like “mouse or rat” rustlings noise coming out from under our bed. We live in the country so it is a sound that we have heard before. I am standing there trying to figure out if we are going to have to get a trap. I ease over to the light switch and flip it on. The rustling immediately stops. I know it has to be a rat. From a respectable distance, down on my knees, I start looking under the bed. I cannot see anything that looks like it is there. I see a couple of small boxes. I crawl around on the other side and I still don’t see anything. I quietly crawl back over to Mark’s side of the bed and I am looking closer and closer and …. there is a familiar “fur-do”. It is Bella!
How in the world she slipped into the bedroom and got under our bed which is only 6″ off of the floor is beyond me. As my eyes adjust to the dim light under the bed I see her mischievous twinkling eyes looking right at me and her tail is wagging back and forth. I called her and she couldn’t come forward but had to reverse gears and back out from under the bed. Something had caught her eye and she had belly crawled under the bed to check it out. What floored me was when I turned on the light, she was like a little kid and wasn’t going to give away her position. When I finally saw her, she came out and was quite tickled with herself. I was so amazed at her all I could do was laugh. How she got down there and actually got under there left me speechless. Laughing at her antics is half of the fun of having her in our lives.
One of the things our doggies like are ice cubes. Bella plays ice hockey on the kitchen floor with hers. She will flip it up and then chase it with her paws. Everything is fine until it slides past Rusty’s nose and he eats her ice cube. She puts her front paws on his face like “where is my toy?” He just shrugs and walks off. I give her another ice cube and she is back to “ice hockey” time. If she sees Rusty coming, she grabs her ice cube and heads for the kitchen door rug. The first few times that she played with ice cubes she could not understand where they would “go”. The melting thing took a little while for her to figure out. Rusty doesn’t always win though. I was tossing ice cubes out to him and Luke when this red blonde bullet came through and snatched Rusty’s ice cube before he could catch it. He looked at me and I just shrugged. By the time I had shrugged, Bella was on the living room couch and in full control of “her” ice cube. I gave Rusty two extra ones so he was happy. Our Lab is the most patient of dogs.
When Mark and I are in the car together, Bella rides in the back seat in our Grandson’s baby seat. With her Kong safety clip fastened around the straps, she rides along and doesn’t seem to miss anything. She can see straight out of the middle of the front window of the car and is safely fastened so that she won’t be flying around in the car if something should happen.
Bella loves drinking water out of her green water bowl, which actually is the lower part of a Perrier Sparkling Water bottle cut off. We keep a bottle of Smart Water in the car and she loves to drink at least two cups of her water from the cup holder.
Bella loves going to banks. She knows that she is supposed to get a cookie. So far, First Citizens Bank and Bank of American haven’t let her down.
When Bella and I ride together, she gets the shotgun seat next to me. She is not heavy enough to activate the front air bag so she likes riding there. I love her having the Kong Harness with the safety loop. It can be clipped anywhere on the seat belt. She likes sitting beside me. It puts her closer to the cookies from the bank and even better, her water cup is in one of the coffee cup holders. She will take sips of water like someone drinking a drink and enjoying her “ride time”. She does get excited and wants to come over where I am at but my key command is “Scoot” “Scoot”. Bella knows that means to move over further in her seat.
I think I mentioned in one of Bella’s blogs about how important I think that it is to teach your puppy to “pee” on command. It makes it easier for me to know that she has recently had a potty break BEFORE we leave in the car. I always carry a roll of green poop bags and paper towels. Both Bella and I appreciate those owners who clean up after their doggies have a poop. It does make me irritated at the people who don’t. We believe in leaving the grass walk area with no puppy poo.
Bella has thus far, NEVER met a water puddle that she didn’t love. That being said, we have made sure that she knows the command “Dry Feets !” Rusty and Luke both know that when they come in from a wet grass potty visit or in from a rainy day, “Dry Feets” means that they get a body wipe down and each foot dried. Bella easily learned that command just by following Rusty and Luke in. It helps to save having wet spots on the Pergo flooring and on the carpet. I am too old to start learning how to slip and slide on a wet spot caused by a doggie coming into the house with wet feet.
Bella likes to watch movies with us and it is funny to see her reactions when there are lots of action scenes. Luke has also been and still is a television watcher as well. He especially likes the National Geographic stations with the animal programs. Bella’s favorite movie is “The Legend of Bagger Vance”. Rusty has never been really interested in television. He much prefers a nap.
Our little pack is a happy pack. They are on a regular schedule for feeding times and bed times. Professional grooming is usually done once a month and all routine vet visits and monthly meds are a must for our pack. Their health and welfare is not only governed by how we meet their physical needs, but also by how we meet their mental and emotional needs as well. Luke and Rusty are comfortable and because we have kept that in balance, the addition of Bella to our family has been a smooth transition for all. Our three doggies see their alpha owners getting along. They see our affection for one another. They share in our affection and each one knows that they are loved.
Bad behavior is not tolerated. Toys are kept in a Longaberger Bushel Basket. No fighting over toys, just playing tug and chase and keep away. If we hear a growl that is not in play, the toy in question is removed from their area. It will be returned at a later time. People ask us how we got our dogs to play together and be a “family”. My only answer is that they know they are loved and they know the rules. The rules are easy to follow. As long as the rules stay the same and are clearly maintained, they are not confused. Love is freely given and nothing pleases them more than to spend time with each of us. Rusty sleeps on his Orvis dog bed, Luke sleeps with Mark and Bella sleeps with me.
We really do need a bigger bed.