Miss Bella

With the sudden loss of Peaches in January 2012 I KNEW I didn't want to be without a Bloodhound

The day after Peaches' passing her breeder (Kathy) sent me information on a Bloodhound puppy that had been abandoned in the Minneapolis area

Let me tell you all the story about Bella. 2 weeks ago all of my hounds woke me up at 2 am. They all wanted to go outside so I let them out. Lizzy wanted to go out in the side pen which I don't use in the wintertime. The others kept running inside and outside for about 10 minutes. I had to put them in kennels for the rest of the night. I figured that a raccoon got into the side pen and I would check it out in the morning. (The temp was 20 degrees). Well, 6 hours later I checked out the side pen and I found this adorable 8 week old BH puppy. It was cold and scared so I tempted it into the garage, plied it with food and water and soon it decided I was its best friend. There was enough snow on the ground so I checked out the lawn beside the house and there I found a set of footprints leading to and from the pen. I figure it was a Christmas gift that went bad. The puppy is quite healthy. The dew claws were clipped and the scars were well healed and the puppy smelled like it had a bath. Friends of mine have had the dog for a couple of weeks but it is not working out with every member of the family so I am fostering her for now. 

A Bloodhound home without a Bloodhound and a Bloodhound without a home? Even with my blond roots, I could figure this one out! I got in touch with the people that had her and very soon arrangements were made of Bella's trip to Canada from the Minneapolis area.

The First 24 Hours

On a Friday afternoon I left work early and traveled down to Fargo, N.D. on the heels of a prairie storm that left 50 miles of the I-29 in poor condition. I spent the night in a dog-friendly hotel, had a good meal, floated around in the pool, and soaked in the jacuzzi - a hard night to be sure! ;)

The following afternoon I met Susanna and Bella at a local restaurant. Susanna, another long-time Bloodhound owner, and myself shared a meal, swapped Bloodhound stories, and Bella and I set out for Canada mid-afternoon. Bella had slept all the way from Minneapolis and continued to sleep as we made out way north. An hour and a half out of Fargo we stopped to stretch our legs and then carried on. As we continued down the Interstate I kept looking at this angelic puppy sleeping on the seat beside me and thinking "I am going to pay for all this sleep!" but better to pay when we get home than in the truck.

We crossed the border at 5:20 in the afternoon without any significant delays and made another rest stop at Morris, some 20 minutes in to Canada and just before I turn off the main road and on to the lesser highways to zigzag our way home. Bella was good at each stop, had a pee, but when I left her in the truck (while I went to do the same), she sat upright, watching out the window and waiting for my return.

By the time we got to Steinbach, Bella was no longer sleepy and we made another stop for her to relieve herself.

We pulled in to the yard at 7:20 and Bella was initially pretty wary - she could smell Bloodhound scent but didn't know where the other dog was. I brought the first load of stuff in from the truck and she followed me in VERY cautiously. While she was busy sniffing around, I slipped out for another load, and then to put the truck away. When I was moving the truck, she came out through the doggy door, and went back in again - good, no training required there! She then had two large dishes of water, two dishes of canned dog food, played with her new knotted rope, her tire-on-a-rope, her tail, me, taken a BIG dump (I knew she needed to do that!) and went in and out a half dozen times. She is still full of energy and still explored the house and the fenced yard. Since she has had 10 hours of sleep since the morning I expected it to be awhile before I got any sleep and it was after midnight before she started to get drowsy.

When Bella finally settled down, we moved to the bed upstairs and she settle in against me and slept through the night, until 7:30 when I needed to get up. I understand this was probably her first night on a bed and she was perfect! She had another generous meal, puppy food this time, did the pre-wash on my breakfast dishes, and settled in to play with her toys, explore the yard, and just generally adapt to life as a puppy in a new home. This afternoon she will get another car trip - this time to meet my local vet. So far everything is perfect though her house-training needs some improvement.

As magnificent as these Hounds can be, they also can be goofy! How could I resist posting at least ONE goofy picture! ;)

Day 2

I decided to take Bella for a checkup with my local vet and she was NOT happy. I think she thought she was on the move again. She looked SO sad, drooped and wrinkled and whimpering. She got a thorough checkup, two staples in her nose for a small cut, and was very good with the vet and the techs. She seemed relieved to be on the way home again and learned that car trips often involve food. ;) Once back home we both had a lovely nap.

Night 2 - Now THAT was interesting!

Bella was looking tired after supper so I thought I would take the opportunity to do some reading and have a quiet night. We toddled off to bed upstairs and Bella nuzzled her way between my arms and stretched out beside me with her head and one leg over my arm and went to sleep. How wonderful to have this darling puppy snuggled up close and sleeping peacefully in my arms!

I leave a light on downstairs so Bella can find her way to the doggy door and also a yard light so she wont hesitate to go outside if she needs to but so far I have been getting up with her.

After a couple of hours sleep she got off the bed so I went downstairs  and to the door with her as she went outside to pee. She wasn’t ready to go back to bed right away so she is laying on the floor beside me chewing on her big rawhide bone while I was on the computer for awhile. When I was ready to go back to bed, Bella was still chewing on her bone so I took it with us to bed and she contentedly chewed her bone on the bed for awhile longer.

Bella eventually got off the bed and dragged her bone downstairs. Most of my dogs have been in the habit of “a midnight play session” and the house is relatively dog-proof (at least dog resistant!) so I decided to let Bella play unattended and see how it went so I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Sometime an hour or so later I was attacked by “the wild puppy from hell”, full of energy, full of beans, and hell-bent on wild play! She jumped on the bed and attacked my head (the only thing not covered by blankets) biting my nose, my chin, my ear, and jumping all over me! I restrained her, wrapping her in a bear hug which only caused her to fight back more.

When she pulled away, she started barking and growling at me, looking EVER so serious, trying her best to look like a ferocious dog - and doing a mighty fine job of it to!!! Even with 26 years around Bloodhounds I had to pause and think “Is this real? What is this about?”.  If it was real it would have to be nipped in the bud RIGHT NOW! I would have to pull “Alpha Dog” and put her in her place forcefully because the aggression that was being displayed was pretty fierce and intimidating. Knowing she had been around big dogs for awhile I decided what I was seeing was probably puppy bravado so I barked and growled back at her. I guess I was right because the back-and-forth growling and barking continued for awhile and then she left the bad and went back downstairs.

I heard Bella playing downstairs for awhile longer before I fell asleep again and I woke up when she came back to bed (but didn’t notice what time that was). She slept the rest of the night on my feet and when I got up this morning everything was fine. There was no wet spots on the carpet, she hadn’t got into anything she shouldn’t, and her rawhide bone had been dragged through the house almost to the dog door. She did good! She can continue having middle of the night play sessions - we will just have to do something about jumping on mama’s head in the middle of the night LOL!

Bella is going to be quite different than any Bloodhound I have had before - I have never seen a puppy display such a wide range of emotion, from the sweet cuddly girl who slept in my arms to the scary display of aggression! I expect I will eventually have to assert Top Dog with Bella, just so she knows who’s boss, but only IF the aggression ever turns real. I don’t mind a dog with an assertive streak - Peaches was a total coward and expected ME to protect HER. However Bertha (before Peaches) was a protector and stood her ground - I liked that.

Certainly if her previous owners ever saw such a display of aggression from Bella without understanding what was behind it or how to control/respond to it, I can understand why she was dumped - it could have been scary to the uninitiated!

Looking angelic! (And not fooling anyone LOL!)

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