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What a charming and loving thing to do for your Bella! I love it.
She must be so proud of you

I know how hard the 'time markers' are, I'm sending lots of hugs and well wishes to you and Vera


Bee- "Good night sweet prince & flights of angels see thee to thy rest"
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Hello Don, What a lovely song and tribute to your girl Bella.   You have been so positive in the face of loosing Bella.  I understand how these anniversaries can really get to you. There always seems to be a new range of emotions to deal with. You have done so much to honor the life that you had with Bella. Just move along with your feelings Don. Bella surely has a big and fearless spirit now. I really do believe that our beloveds take what made them unique, their personalities, their spirit and love with them.

I really enjoyed the story about the run in that you had with the male deer. It is hard to imagine this little dog getting between you and that deer. She certainly was fearless and a great protector over you! How you must miss her! She is still that way Don. Her spirit will come to you. The first few weeks that Coco was gone I didn't feel her around me much. Yet when I was in a calmer state of mind, I feel that her presence came through more. Stay open to that Don.

 You had a very strong bond and connection with Bella. You gave her a great life. In return, she gave you love, acceptance, healing, strength. The love never dies. We may have to accept it in a different way, but it never dies.
 I read your posts and see all of the pics of you and Bella. She is so very adorable. And she looks very happy and content with you...My thoughts are with you and Vera.................Please take care Don,..............Sincerely, Andrea.
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Don & Vera, thank you so much for your message on my little Luna's picture and your kind words. It brought me comfort during this painful time. I loved watching the video of Don with Bella painting, she is so precious. You are very fortunate to have had her in your lives for such a long time. Hugs

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Lunita wrote:
Don & Vera, thank you so much for your message on my little Luna's picture and your kind words. It brought me comfort during this painful time. I loved watching the video of Don with Bella painting, she is so precious. You are very fortunate to have had her in your lives for such a long time. Hugs Iselda

Thank you for your wonderful words Iselda, I am so glad you enjoyed Bella's video. I am so sorry for the loss of your adorable Luna, I know how painful it is to lose such a precious little girl. I hope the support on here will help you with your loss, I know being on here has helped me.
Thank you again Iselda for your kinds words.

Stay in touch.
Sincerely, Don & Vera
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Hi Andrea, thank you for your wonderful, heartfelt words, you know exactly what to say each time, your words bring me such peace each time you write, Thank you.

I have finally experienced EXACTLY what you mentioned just this past week, Bella's spirit beside me, it was such a wonderful feeling. Vera has been telling me she has felt Bella's presence since day one, Vera has Native blood, she is Icelandic and Metis, she would tell me Bella is in the car, She is on the couch, She is now in the kitchen, while I didn't doubt her, as I know in the past she has sensed the spirits of others who have passed,(she has a keener sense to these things than I do) I thought maybe she was just saying these things to make me feel better. But like you said, once I was in a calmer state I was able to feel her "energy", I know it was Bella, it was such a calming, loving energy and presence, it is so wonderful knowing that my little girl is still here.

I am so glad you enjoyed Bella's song, I wrote that to not only honor Bella, but to help keep my mind busy on my dreaded Wednesday, while tears did still flow, I know it was a better day all around for me. I wish I had some musical talent to put music to the lyrics, I hear a tune in my head but have no idea how to translate that tune to paper.

Thank you Andrea for your continued Support, your words truly help and you write with such meaning and elegance. I so appreciate the time you take to write in support me and others as well.

In Friendship Always, Don
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I had to drop off some football forms for my sons at their coach's home, Bella is with me of course. I drive up, it's a townhouse in a complex type setting, I pull over and the mailbox is about 15 to 20 feet away from me, I leave the car running and the door open as I am only going to be seconds. As I am walking towards the mailbox, I hear Bella's faint little bark, she rarely barks so when she does, it usually gets your attention right away. I turn around and I see Bella in the driver's seat and the car is driving away, I either forgot to put it in park or maybe, just maybe Bella bumped it out of gear when she jumped over to the driver's side. Anyways, the car is slowly driving away with Bella barking at me, thankfully this part of the street was slightly uphill so then the car couldn't go too fast, but it does go downhill in about 30 feet. I start running after the car, get my hand on the door, Bella is so excited and barking away, doing these little spins in the driver's seat. I think she is thinking "this is so cool, I'm driving" I am running beside the car holding the door, telling Bella to move over so I can jump in, "Move over Bella". She starts to spin and barks, she is so excited. I am laughing but I do realize I need to get in this car NOW as the downhill is coming up. My voice is now getting firmer with her as I am getting a bit worried, "Move over Bella, now!!" she realizes the tone I'm using and then jumps over to the passenger seat, I jump in the car and stop it with lots of space between us and the hill. Just another day of adventure with Bella, I can still see her excitement when she was in the driver's seat, it still makes me laugh today.
We spent so much time together and had so many fun adventures, for such a little girl, she played a huge part in enhancing my life.

You are such a beautiful little girl Bella, we shared so many adventures together and had so much fun, I truly loved each and every second you and I spent together, you really made life fun. Thank you little girl for making me laugh, you sure knew how to keep me laughing.
I Love you Bella, Love forever, your Daddy
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Dear Don,

Oh your posts have so moved me.  I haven't been back to the forum for a long time and found myself reading your thread. I love the video,  i LOVE your paintings , I love your song and I love the way you are depicting Bella during her life in a such a vivid way that I feel I knew her.  You have a way with words Don.
The paintings are beautiful.  If we didn't live on either side of the  world (I'm in Oz) I'd be wanting to buy from you, particularly Siesta which is a treasure with your feel for colour and composition. You have really brought Bella to life in them. 

My little Chi Danny boy passed last October as well as another little girl soon after so it was a very sad time.  Now I have Phoebe who is a little Chi Cross and looks a little like your Bella.  Your Bella had a huge heart, and so has my Phoebe.  I just love your tales of your baby, she was truly unique, so entertaining, feisty and loving.  Your stories make me laugh ....  and cry.   When we have shared such a bond the pain of loss is so great, i do understand believe me.

Please keep writing about your Bella, she is amazing.  I say "is" as I don't believe they are far away from us.  She would be looking over your shoulder as you write, and also encouraging you to paint again as you have such a talent to share with the world.

Sending you warm thoughts,
Kate and Phoebe


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Hi Kate,

Thank you so much for such wonderful, heartfelt words, I am so glad you enjoyed Bella's video and art, I love "Bella's Siesta" as well, I love vibrant colors, this one I painted for the opening scene in Bella's animation movie I did. I love sharing Bella's stories, the two of us had so many fun adventures together, Bella always made me laugh, I love how she knew how and the way she took care of me, such an amazing little girl.

I am so sorry for the loss of your Charlotte and your Danny, like Bella, he fought through his health issues, he gave you an extra 3 months of love and fun times. Something about these little ones that they love to fight and prove their Doctors wrong, Bella fought each and every time she had an issue, her Doctor  loved her so much and was always amazed at how she would fight and bounce back. He always told me" She's the one I brag about" man did he love her.

I LOVE Australia, My buddy and I traveled there for 6 months when we were 20 years old. We worked in the Melbourne Car Auction for a few weeks and then bought a car from them,a 69 Valiant for $400, is the car auction still there? We both loved the Melbourne outdoor Market. We traveled all the way to Brisbane, stopping along the way at Coffs Harbour, which I loved and so many other places and then we drove back to Melbourne and then the 1200 kms across the Nullarbor to Perth, what a drive, 5 days of absolutely straight road and emptiness, yet there was such beauty in the surroundings. Perth was so worth it, gorgeous city, stayed there for a few weeks, we then sold the car in Perth for $300 and caught the train back to Melbourne, what a fun time the train was, so much fun. As much as the trip and the sites and of course the absolutely BEAUTIFUL beaches were so wonderful to experience, absolutely loved the beautiful beaches, it was the Australian people who I will never forget, the way the Australian citizens welcomed the two of us to your country was so amazing, people invited us for lunches,dinners, family events, BBQ's, showed us the sites, gave us advice, helped us in planning our trips, they genuinely treated us as family, we both were so amazed at the way we were treated so well by the so many different people we met, they loved that we were from Canada, absolutely loved it and asked so many questions about Canada and our home, that made us especially proud. I so regret losing touch with them, so easy to do back then without today's easy technology of the computer and emails. I have such love and appreciation for Australia, I really need to get back there one day. Man do I have so many fond memories and great stories from that trip.

Thank you again for your wonderful touching words about Bella and all her stories, I am so proud to share her with all of you and so happy that others are enjoying her, she truly is my Inspiration, I know she will always be in my heart and always beside me. I am glad you have another Chihuahua, Phoebe, in your life, please feel free to share or send me photos of her, I would love to see more of her.
Thank you again Kate,

In Friendship, Don
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Don, How are you?  I am constantly amazed by your wonderful sense of humor during all of these adventurous mishaps in life. And Bella! Oh my dear Don, she really was fearless and full of life and personality. They say that our pets take on our personalities to a certain extent. Bella could surely feel your wonderful disposition. I think it gave her the freedom to be the way she was. I also feel that way about Coco. I always wanted her to be happy. Some have said that I spoiled her. Yet she truly was the happiest, friendliest dog around.
  Thanks for sharing Bella with us Don.  She was a very fortunate one to have you and Vera. You allowed her spirit and personality to blossom and shine brightly. She will never forget that Don. Her spirit will still shine for you and through you in many ways.  I hope you are having a good weekend............My girl Coco must be totally smitten with Bella and I am sure they are causing a lot of mischief with their high spirited ways now. Good for them!! ........................Take care Don............Sincerely, Andrea.
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Hi Andrea, How are you doing?

It's funny, I was just thinking yesterday.....I wonder who Bella is getting in trouble with these days....and I have to agree, she and Coco are probably causing a lot of fun mischief together. I also have to believe Bella's long time friend Dragon, (my friend's dog) and probably the only dog who wasn't deathly afraid of Bella, (she passed a few years before Bella) is with Coco and Bella as well, the three girls are causing all sorts of mischief I am sure.

Like you with Coco, I also spoiled Bella and had absolutely no problems in doing so, after the ways she helped me, there was never anything too good for my little girl. I know she was happy, she loved life and she fought so hard to stay as long as she could. I always let her be, she did pretty much what she liked and I would be in the background watching, observing, making sure she was always safe. I always considered myself the lucky one, as Bella taught me so much about life and she was so good at keeping me happy and keeping things fun. Such an amazing little girl and spirit, I knew how lucky I was during our times together, that's why I enjoyed each second we were together, she made it so easy and so much fun to enjoy her.

It is so good to hear from you Andrea, how are things with Mr. Rudy, are you seeing progress with him, it will take time as he is still learning, you are the perfect person to teach him.

Good to hear from you Andrea, thank you for all your kind words and support, it is truly appreciated Andrea.

Talk to you soon,

In Friendship, Don
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Now, listen to me, Don, as you know I am getting over this blasted cold and still have the remnants of a cough (ugh),  so do you think I can afford to sit here laughing at the thought of Bella in the driver's seat while she made a fool of you, her big, protective Dad, ignoring your pleas for her own safety ("not to worry, I have it all under control, Dad" - yeesh), giving you a good scare, pushing you to the brink?!  

For all you know she had a driver's license, and kept it a secret for years.   In fact, I'm surprised you never asked who filled up the tank with gas on days when you knew you hadn't done it yourself.   :)  

Yours in friendship -- from across the miles!
Grace and Twirl

"Now that the time has come
 Soon gone is the day,
 There upon some distant shore
 You will hear me say,
 Long as the day in the summer time
 Deep as the wine-dark sea,
 I'll keep your heart with mine
 Till you come to me"  (LM)

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Hi Grace, You know, I never did look in Bella's wallet to see if she in fact had a driver's license, Bella always loved jumping into my seat when I would get up, car, couch, wherever, she loved to steal my seat or maybe she was just saving it for me.

I'm so glad Bella's adventure gave you a good laugh, especially while you are under the weather, I hope you get better soon.

Take care Grace, thanks for all your support and your wonderful words.
Your Friend, Don

Here is Bella, comfortably in the driver's seat of the van we had, she is 5 years old here.

Bella in Driver's seat.JPG 
Bella age 7.JPG 
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The three of us were out in the Kayaks, Vera in hers and Bella and I in ours, they are what are called "sit on top" kayaks, not the type where you are inside it, but you are on top. Bella's spot is at the front by my feet, I fluff up a towel for her to sit on, she has her own little life jacket, she loves to sit there and watch as we paddle around. We would go out in the ocean, staying in the cove as these aren't really the type of kayaks you go out in the open waters with. Seals would always come right up to us, pop up and see what we were up to, Bella loved them. They would pop up on one side, Bella would get right to the edge of the kayak and look at them, she never barked at them, Bella would do this "hasping" or "husping" thing, she would slap her feet on the edge as she "husped" or "hasped" at them, kind of like a sneezing motion without the sneeze (if that makes sense). The seals would go under the kayak and pop up on the other side, Bella would spin around and do the same thing, it was a fun game they would play, I always wondered what Bella thought they were, she never showed fear, but liked to "play" with them.

Anyways, this day we were way out there, about a 1000 yards out, but still in the cove, staying close to the shore. Vera said she was getting tired, so I said, "OK, Let's go out a few yards this way, out into the middle and then ride the waves in." Something we have done before. Vera tells me to lead, she'll follow. I start paddling towards the middle of the cove, the waves are a bit bigger than we have had before, so it should be a fun ride in. I look over my shoulder and Vera is going the other way, she is about 100 yards away from me, I call to her, but I can't hear what she says, so I turn around to go to her. Just as I turned around, Vera's kayak flips and into the ocean she goes, it was one of those, "Did I just see what I saw ???" moments, I quickly paddle over to her, I still can't believe what I saw. We get there, Vera's hat is floating , sunglasses floating, paddle is floating, kayak is upside down (floating), Vera is bobbing in the water, all you can see is her head poking out of her life jacket. Bella sees all this and then sees Vera, well she gets up and starts to jump into the water, I am yelling "NO!!! Bella Stay" I put my foot up to stop her, I am laughing now because I really can't believe what is happening is really happening, this is making our kayak rock. I am telling Bella to stay, Bella is trying to get to Vera, I know she is thinking, "I need to rescue Mommy" I am trying to keep Bella in the kayak, I know the best way for me to help Vera is by staying in the kayak, we don't need two of us in the water......and the last thing I need is for Bella to be in the water also, because then that means I am going to have to go in after her and the LAST thing we need is all of us in the ocean. I could just see the headlines, News-Flash: "wife flips kayak, dog jumps in to save "Mommy", husband jumps in to save dog, rescue teams are still searching for the wife" I didn't want to be that guy we have all read or heard about, the one who saves his dog first, oh come on....we ALL know who I'm going to save first.

So I finally get Bella settled, she is still at the edge, reaching her tiny paw out to Vera, like she is going to be able to pull her in. Even though it is summer, it is the ocean and the water is cold, and I have no idea as to how deep it is, but there is no way for Vera to touch bottom, seals are gathering around to watch this episode. Vera goes under the water and flips the kayak upright, a feat in itself as they aren't the lightest kayaks, never mind having to do this in the ocean. Bella is trying to jump in again, our kayak is rocking so far to the side, I am yelling at Bella to stay. The seals are popping up everywhere, they must be enjoying this show. I hold Vera's kayak steady, as I am keeping my kayak upright and fighting Bella with my foot, I'm still laughing and Bella is insisting on being a hero to save Vera, Vera climbs onto her kayak, again not an easy feat as you have no bottom of the ocean to boost yourself from. Vera gets in, she is exhausted, I collect everything from the water, Bella is trying to get to Vera, I am fighting Bella so we stay upright. I get her in my lap, so she is able to see Vera and Vera pets her, to let her know she is alright, this calms Bella down and Bella then sits beside me so she can see Vera. I get the rope out, tie it to Vera's kayak and tow her in, she is too tired to paddle. The seals follow us all the way in, like they are making sure we are alright, (or maybe the seals are hoping for a part two of the show), Bella is "playing" with them the whole way. I am laughing at Bella and the seals, Vera is cursing me out.......just another day of adventures with Bella.

Bella never showed fear, it always amazed me how she would act in such situations, she was never worried for her own safety, she would do anything necessary to protect us. Hard to believe that such a tiny, little girl wouldn't be afraid of anything or any situation, she just wanted to be sure we were always safe.

You are such an amazing little girl Bella, you did more for us than I could ever imagine, your fearlessness was something to admire, everyday you taught us something about life.
Thank you Bella, you made life so much fun and we shared so many fun adventures, you made it so easy being with you.
I love you so much little girl, I miss you even more, thank you for making me laugh every day.

I love you Bella, Love forever, your Daddy

Bella riding in our Kayak, bottom one she is in her spot at the front, you can just barely see her head.

  CDD96B34-59E9-44D9-84D8-71D06FBB88DB.JPG  FE163268-2B12-482E-8648-546DF38EC8DF.JPG 

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Thanks for another Bella story. Made me smile.
Small wonder that the title of this thread is "My inspiration"
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We humans should have half the courage and spirit of your Bella
And it amazes me all the adventures she was a part of or the 'instigator ' of :)

Thank you as always for sharing !

Bee- "Good night sweet prince & flights of angels see thee to thy rest"
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