I lost my first basset, Betsy, back in 1999. I knew that I would get another Basset but my brother surprised me w/ another dog only weeks later & my plans were put on hold. When my dear Dopey went to the bridge June of this year, I was absolutely devastated. I renewed my resolve to have a basset & started searching online for breeders, shelters, rescues, etc. I came upon CBHR & didn’t wait long to sign up. My plan was to foster bassets until I felt ready to adopt again.
Bella Rae was my first foster. I got her on July 27 of this year. I was told that she was from a shelter in Rocky Mount, NC & that her brother, Diesel, & her were turned in because the dogs barked too much & the owners were facing too many noise complaints from neighbors. Living in a townhouse, I was worried that Bella Rae was going to rile up my neighbors, too! I picked her up at a meeting point in Statesville, NC where her & Diesel were separated as Diesel was going to his own foster home in Hickory, NC.
Bella Rae was extremely overweight, had a patch of missing hair, and smelled like she bathed in rotted garbage every morning. The drive back to my place in South Charlotte was a very long & stinky one. She HAD to be bathed before being allowed in the house so with a miner’s light and a hose, Bella got her first bath that very night!
Bella Rae instinctively bonded with my roommate & I could see that she was a very shy & sweet girl. I was the mean lady who gave her a bath & kept tossing toys in her direction so I am not sure that she immediately took to me as a result. The vet said she was in good health aside from a skin infection & hookworms. Bella was NOT potty trained & did not know any basic commands. Over time, as I trained Bella to sit, come, & potty outside, she & I developed a bond of our own. When I left her w/ another CBHR foster for a weekend (I was traveling), I spent the entire weekend talking about Bella Rae & showing off her pictures to everyone. That’s when I knew that I would not be letting her go.
Today, Bella is at a healthy weight, her skin is much improved, & her personality is really starting to come out. She’s still shy around strangers & becomes stressed around them but we are working on that together. Bella is very obedient & will follow me wherever I go. The moment I sit down, she runs & takes her rightful place on my lap. I’ve never had a dog that enjoys cuddling as much as Bella Rae. She doesn’t understand toys but she does love her pink blanket! We assumed Bella lived outside most of her life but you’d never know it the way this little princess acts now. She will only go outside to do her business & then immediately drags me back into the house so she can get a treat & go back to her blanket.
Oh, and about all the barking that she supposedly did – well, I’ve only heard Bella Rae “bark” 3 times in the months I have had her & each time, it has been 1 single “woof” & she seems surprised to hear her own voice when it’s happened! She can be a bit whiny & has what I refer to as a Donkey Cry but she’s stopped doing that & will only make the donkey noises when she needs to go outside – and I can appreciate that!
Bella Rae has many nicknames (Bell, Bells, Belly, Belly Lelly, Lela, Bellini, Bellerina, Donkey, and My Little Girl). Every day I love her just a little more & imagine a long future with her. I’m a foster fail & I wouldn’t have it any other way. And…. I am sure that she wouldn’t either.