A Tribute to Bella

After beautiful Bella’s one and only owner sadly passed away, she was taken in by her owner’s daughter. Bella was estimated to be 11 years old and already had several medical issues that needed to be properly addressed. On top of that, the daughter’s home had two other dogs, which tiny 6lb Bella found the change to be too much to deal with. The daughter tried her absolute best to handle the conflict in the home, but with Bella’s health status, she reached out to Our Companions for help. Given her medical condition and current situation, Bella was welcomed to our Sanctuary.

Once she arrived in January, it was apparent that Bella’s medical condition was much more dire than anticipated. Only after a short while at our Sanctuary, Bella was immediately brought to our vet for further examination. On top of having kidney failure, pancreatitis, and a missing eye from an old injury, Bella also had congestive heart failure and wasn’t on the right medications to help with her complex condition. She also was refusing to eat, which made things even more complicated since she could only have certain foods with her pancreatitis. The vets were honest in letting us know that her current situation needed lots of monitoring and managing, including administering fluids and syringe feeding her meals. They weren’t too sure how long she had left to live, but estimated a few months with the proper care. Her situation was certainly challenging, but we knew she was in the right place with us.

When she returned to the Sanctuary, the Dog Team went right to work with creating a treatment plan to help Bella get well. Her daily fluids and multiple syringe feedings a day certainly took a toll on Bella, but after a couple days, she started to show a bit of strength and even some spunk- proof that she still had some fight in her! After weeks of observing Bella and modifying her treatment plans to better help her situation, Bella was showing signs of improvement! The Dog Team would try out several different innovative ways to entice Bella to eat on her own. With how extensive her care was, our amazing volunteers even stepped in to help with her hands-on treatment. Finally one night she started to eat some of her meals! She started to eat more and more, which lessened how much she needed to be syringe fed!

Bella started to gain more energy and would go for strolls around the Sanctuary! Yet nothing beat being wrapped up like a tiny burrito and being cuddled by her friends! She was truly everyone’s little cuddle bug! Though she was quiet and sweet, if you noticed closely, she had these small mannerisms that showcased her funny, sassy personality! She would tell you what she liked, what she didn’t like, and marched to her own drum! Over the course of a couple months, her health and energy would fluctuate. She would have a good week of eating some food on her own and wanting to go out for walks, and other times where she refused to eat and didn’t want to move from her bed. As time went on, her bad weeks were becoming more frequent than her good weeks. Staff tried the best they could to help Bella continue her fight, but it was apparent she had no fight left and wanted to be at peace.

On Bella’s last day, she was surrounded by all of her caregivers and friends that fought with her and cared for her through these last few months. She was wrapped up in a burrito blanket, cuddled on a lap, rocking in a chair in the sun when she crossed over the rainbow bridge. Despite knowing the outcome for Bella since the beginning, it’s still difficult to know she’s no longer with us. She was tremendously loved by staff and volunteers, and even our whole community that tuned in to see how she was doing and cheered her on. With all that she’s been through, we’re just so thankful that we could have given Bella a place to feel safe and loved; a place where she knew she could relax and be herself. We want to thank our incredible staff, volunteers, and supporters for helping Bella savor these last few months of life. A part of her ashes will be buried next to her original owner, where they can be together forever.


  1. Margaret Collins on June 1, 2022 at 12:44 pm

    This is a tribute to Our Companions and their commitment to the animals. Life without animals would be unthinkable but animals not having such a caring team as our Companions would be devastating. Thank you so very much for all you do and especially for the love you give each and every animal.