Bella vowed to be loyal to her owner, even though he hit her, left her locked outside in cold weather, and fed him heaping amounts of expired Old Roy dog food. Then came the trip to K-Mart.
Bella was excited to go for a car ride. She thought it was the perfect opportunity to bond with her dad. When they reached the plaza, the man got out of the car, grabbed Bella by the scruff of the neck, threw her from the vehicle, and sped off, abandoning the German Shepherd puppy.
Despite the abuse and neglect, Bella still felt like she had failed in her sacred duty, and she was disqualified from having a family again. Bella knew that people would try to woe her to live with them, but she would not let this happen. She couldn’t fail again.
Bella managed to live in the parking lot and avoid humans for a year. She experienced one of the harshest winters outside with little shelter. Bella considered it her punishment for failing her family.
Bella survived thanks to the kindness of strangers, who threw her food from their car windows so she wouldn’t starve. When they tried to approach, she quickly retreated, feeling unworthy of love.
We Angels watched over Bella. We attempted to coax her into going with a new family, but she would not listen. She confided in Benny, an angel who spent time with her during those cold nights, that she wanted to be there when her father returned. Benny tried telling her he wouldn’t, but Bella was a stubborn and broken-hearted dog.
We knew that Bella would never surrender to rescuers. She would have to be caught like a wild horse. Volunteers from a local rescue began to visit the parking lot every day to feed her and start to bond. She would come within a few feet of the rescuers but never allow herself to be touched.
I kept visiting the rescuers in their dreams to encourage them to continue to try and save Bella, and Benji attempted to persuade her to surrender. One of the most significant issues with living on the street is that it is where cruelty exists, and it is impossible to keep it at bay.
When the local newspapers began to write about the vicious dog in the woods by K-Mart, the rescuers, in partnership with two vet techs, made one final attempt at saving her. It took an hour of chasing to get her surrounded. Finally, one of the techs injected Bella with the sedative. Bella collapsed, and then to the shock of those trying to help her, she stopped breathing.
One of the rescuers took Bella in his arms and ran with her to their car. As they sped to the emergency vet, a tech repeatedly did chest compressions until Bella began breathing independently.
I visited Bella with Benji. We told her that she had been reborn and could start life with a new family. Bella reacted enthusiastically.
Miss Kelly, one of the rescuers, decided that Bella would be her dog. Bella, newly born, having shed the soul who had previously failed, was ready to get off the street. It took a year of training, but together Miss Kelly and Bella worked until they were mom and dog, the most sacred bond in the world.
Bella now lives with three other dogs who she adores. She has a loving mom and dad, goes on long walks, plays in the yard, is well-fed and cared for. She spends the night not in a cold parking lot but on the foot of her parents’ bed. Thank God, in Bella’s situation, that kindness won.
We need it to win more.