Nan Madding of Paso Robles sent me this story about her dog Bella:
“Bella is a wonderful poodle mix we adopted in February 2007 — two weeks to the day after we lost Les, our 14-year-old Maltese. My husband Mike and I had agreed we needed to wait awhile until getting another dog, but our house and hearts were so empty without Les; we decided that adopting another dog was the only thing that made sense.
“I searched Petfinder.org for an ‘allergy friendly’ dog and applied to adopt several, but was always a day late. The day I saw Bella’s picture, I believed she would join our family. Mike and I drove to Lemoore to meet her the next day.
“She had been found by animal services, wandering the streets of Fresno pregnant with a litter of six puppies and obviously not cared for. As soon as Bella had her puppies, they were quickly adopted.
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“The day we met Bella, she had just been spayed so she was very quiet and timid. Mike had doubts she was going to have much of a personality, but when I saw her I knew she was ours.
“We drove to Lemoore the following day to bring her home. I held her in my lap the entire way home but she would not look at either one of us. It was obvious she had been abused; she would cower and look away when we came near. It took a lot of patience and time, but she came to trust us, and we can’t imagine our lives without her.
“Bella now weighs 20 pounds and is my lap dog if I’m reading or watching television. It seems as if all she wants is to be with us — she goes with us outside to water plants, pull weeds or barbecue, and sits quietly near us until we are through.
“She has only barked one other time without the doorbell ringing — she was watching television and saw a large man wearing a big, black cowboy hat — she went into a barking frenzy, which made us wonder if this image man brought back bad memories for her. We advise visitors to our house to remove their hats, just in case. She seems grateful every day that we rescued her and has no idea that in fact, she is the one who rescued us.”
Canines for Felines
The North County Humane Society hosts a Canines for Felines Walk around Atascadero Lake from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. Participants are to meet at the Atascadero Lake Park bandstand, and all pets must be on a leash. Registration fee is $30, which includes a T-shirt and a dog bandana. To register, or for more information, call NCHS at 466-5403 or visit the Web site at www.slonchs.org.
If you have a story and/or photo of your animal companions please e-mail to email@example.com or mail to Pet Tales, c/o The Tribune, P.O. box 112, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406.
Jennifer VanderSmith is The Tribune’s pet columnist. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.