Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Worst and Best Day of Belle's Life

Going to the pound to pull dogs into rescue is one of the most emotional experiences ever. The misery you see in the eyes of cold, bored, suffering, caged dogs is almost more that I can bear. You cry for the ones you can't save that day. And you cry all over the few you do.  When CBBR volunteers went to the pound last week we intended to evaluate and maybe pull just one dog--a male pit bull who had been caged for--get this--nine months.

As we waited to be let into the back wards of the pound, we watched an emotionless man relinquish one of the sweetest, most beautiful dogs we'd ever seen. She was a white English Setter or Brittany mix with long, well-groomed fur, and a pink stain around her neck from a bright pink collar. As her owner signed the papers to dump her, she looked around at us all wagging and smiling. We could see she had a small growth on her lip.

A few minutes later, as we walked through the endless back wards of unwanted dogs (crying, as usual), we encountered this little white dog. Her kennel card told us her name was Belle. The dog beside her was trying to break out of its kennel to eat her. We looked at each other and scooped her up. We're a pit bull rescue, our director said, but this dog is not staying here. We made frantic calls until we found a temporary home for Belle--and two other dogs, including a crippled pittie puppy and the big male pittie we had come to see.

Since then, vets have determined that Belle has a cancerous tumor on her lip. It is being removed, along with a bit of her jaw bone. The vet anticipates that she will have many more years to live and her quality of life will be good. What Belle needs now is a long term foster home where she can recover at her own pace. She has a lovely, calm, outgoing temperament, and is gentle with people and dogs alike. She is a true joy, and she is just one more reason why we keep venturing into the pound even though the experience usually reduces us to blubbering misery. Welcome, Belle. You've got good people now.

If you think you might like to foster or adopt Belle, please contact and fill out an application at If you can't care for Belle but you'd like to help us pay her $1200 surgical bills, we'd be grateful for donations of any amount. They are tax deductible.

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