Meet Bell, our early Christmas present.
In our effort to literally stop crying over the loss of Homer and JJ, we started to look for a dog. The browsing started with Petfinder. The parameters were: good with dogs, good with cats, housebroken, less than 60 pounds, good in the car, and already in NH (or nearby).
With the help of a dear friend that is retired from the dog rescue "business" we started to narrow down the dogs. In addition to Petfinder, we browsed area shelters. Mirabel topped the list as she checked all of the boxes.
From the photo of Mirabel, now Bell because of Christmas; on her online profile she looked like a mix of Homer and JJ. That is by no means the reason why we were drawn to her. The description of Bell was too good to pass up. Her foster mom gave her a 10/10 and said that Bell is a gem. So, we started the process of adopting; a week later we were meeting Bell.
When I first saw Bell, I was startled by her body being a mini version of JJ. It is uncanny and it made me cry. She has a warm face like Homer and that makes me happy. Here are photos from the meet and greet and getting into the van for the first time.
Bell is 2 and a half years old and about 45 pounds; she is blind in her left eye. The backstory is that she was left at a shelter after hours in Mississippi and then taken in by a rescue group in Memphis. A Portland Maine rescue group, The Grateful Dog, picked her up and transported her to New Hampshire. Bell was with a foster for about a month. That is a lot of moving around.
Since we brought her home, we have taken it very slowly and have kept her on a leash inside and contained to our kitchen / family room. We toured her through the house on leash for days, introducing her to the cats over and over; happy to say that Bell is just curious about them.
Each morning Bell and Whiskey are walking on the conservation land trail (until significant snow piled up) across from our home. (Whiskey has really missed that; the last time he walked Homer there was in the fall of 2021) We have been on numerous car rides, walked in the downtown park a few times, met a few of our friends for a brief time while out and about, and played ball in the back yard while on a long rope (never let a newly adopted dog off a leash outside).
We are learning that Bell has many faces. She looks different from each angle.
Whiskey and I are determined to have Bell be an equal opportunity dog and not connected to one of us more than the other. Homer was "my dog" there was no question about that; he stuck to me like glue. I didn't mean for that to happen, it just happened.
We are taking Bell on car rides separately so that she will go with either of us.
By night number five, Bell is laying by the woodstove with Willy (white cat) and Alice (in the round bed) in the background. The cats must feel good energy too otherwise they would not be in the same space.
We are establishing routine for the first weeks. Dogs love routine. Bell is learning to lick plates and pots and to walk on the trails.
Bell likes to give hugs. This is such a nice gesture.
Many adventures coming soon. Many more photos to be captured. Our hearts still ache for our departed Homer and JJ; life moves forward, and new memories need to be made.
Thank you to everyone for your support during the past month. Welcome Bell, we think everyone will love her.