Monday, January 26, 2009

Bella - our gentle protector and watchdog

Bella is our fierce watchdog and gentle lover. Whenever the gardeners come she just about comes unglued. She can't stop barking. Today when the gardeners came, I thought she was going to get hit by the weed-wacker. She did not like that particular tool, at all! She has an aversion to long sticks of any kind. I think she may have been abused with a stick or cane or something. 
Since we adopted her in November, she has melded so well with our family. She has been such a positive influence. Jonathon, when he his tender feelings are hurt, goes to her for her licks and loves. Bekkah and Steven both love playing with, petting, and walking Bella. Aeron can often be seen leaning over kissing or hugging her in various places, like Bella's back, head, tail, and neck. Last night we had to pull him off of Bella, Aeron decided to lay down on top of Bella for full body contact! Bella just growls and tries her best to communicate her displeasure, often gazing over at me with a pleading look hoping for help. Inevitably, someone comes to her assistance. 
Ethan is the worst offender. He loves Bella so much! He wants her to sit next to him on the couch. He wants to walk her. He wants to take Bella outside for her constitutionals. He will hand feed her. Most of the time, Bella patiently endures his fierce demonstrations of affection. This morning, Bella had enough of Ethan and nipped him as Ethan tried to jerk her back to the couch. Ethan was practically choking her. The other day Ethan was trying to get Bella to dance on her hind legs. It was funny and awful, all at the same time! She growls, we intervene. Sometimes, we can divert Ethan's attention away from her. Othertimes, like this morning, I can't. We all just have to endure. 
Right now Aeron is asleep on the couch. A little bit ago, Bella jumped up onto the couch where Aeron slumbers and curled in her sleeping position at Aeron's feet. Bella loves the human contact. She keeps watch over us all. She loves to sit next to me with her head in my lap or she will climb into my lap, curl up and slide her snout under my arm. I appreciate how she seeks out physical love and affection and approval. In fact, regardless of the time, every day when Peter comes home Bella immediately runs to the door and jumps up at him, licks his hand and demands for him to greet her. Peter loves it. It always elicits a chuckle and brings a smile to his face.
Yesterday, Ethan's perceptiveness regarding Bella's needs surprised me. In the afternoon he was outside helping out, unbeknownst to me. Karen Blackmer came over for a quick visit. And as we sat visiting on the family room couch I glanced over my shoulder and saw Ethan outside. He was doing his best to clean up after Bella. He had her pooper scooper and was trying to scoop up her droppings. He wanted to help clean up! It was both touching and hilarious. Anyways, he was struggling with the scoop and finally he gave up, reached down and picked up the poo (it was dried up - thankfully!) and dropped it into the scoop. He was so intent on the task! It's little things like that, which demonstrate Ethan's continuing progression and development. Well, Ethan finished up the job and came inside. Immediately, we washed up his hands and he went on to the next task. 
I am grateful for Bella. Yes, having a pet is not always convenient. It requires work and sacrifice. But she has been such a rich addition to our family. Her patient love and devotion outweighs any work required of us. 

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