Belle, Mi Amore

I should say, “we don’t adopt our furry kids, but they are the ones adopting us.”

My story is about my well-loved furry Husky-German Shepherd mix daughter, Belle.

We got her from Toronto Animal Services on Progress Road three years ago at the age of five months. We went there initially to see if we could adopt another dog that we saw on their website. I had previously fostered a large white German Sheppard mix (Biggie, as our clinic, named him) that was found astray near the vicinity of Coxwell Animal Clinic where I currently work.

My children were devastated when he was taken to a shelter in Woodbridge, ON. When we arrived at TAS-Progress Road, I was sad to see that Frankie (her name before she came into our lives), was being cuddled and loved by a man, so I set my eyes on another dog. This particular dog was a Bull Mastiff who was being guided back into the shelter by a worker after being walked outside.

I then proceeded to ask the receptionist if that dog was available for adoption. Since I used to have five big dogs back home, we were very interested and could manage him. Looking at my then 5-year-old son who’s more or less 3 feet tall, unfortunately, said: “no” due to my youngest son as they were concerned that he might end up being a “chew toy” for that dog.

Now saddened, we were about to leave the facility when I saw out of the corner of my eye, that “Frankie” was being led back into the shelter. We proceeded to follow and ask the attendant if we could meet with her. With a smile on her face, she continued to lead her back to us.

At first, she was a little bit afraid of my youngest son because he was so excited and went right up to her. I asked them to stay behind me, my eldest son held out his hand so she could sniff him and she went nuts as if a child found a playmate! She ran back and forth and started rolling on the floor asking for a belly rub. It was love at first sight for all of us and adopting her was a success! During the car ride home, she contentedly laid on the laps of my children as if she had taken this ride a million times.

Since December when she “adopted us,” we decided to name her BELLE. We chose the name not because the month was December and Christmas time was just around the corner, but because my youngest son put a large shirt on her and my eldest son made her stand on her two hind legs and made her dance. It was the very first trick that they taught her!

Since then, It’s a busy household filled with my wife Sheila, my two boys Allester and LLewden, Buddy – my bearded dragon, Diana – my ball python, two turtles – Scarlet (who passed away last Christmas) and Donnatello and Belle – my furry German Shepperd daughter.

Belle, Mi Amore

Written by Wendell “Bruce” Labrador, Animal Care Assistant