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Love and Lessons from our Black Lab

family time gratitude happiness reflection
Black lab in grass looking at camera

We were driving down a country road heading to the Mountains of Georgia, and there she was:

A sweet little puppy in the middle of the road. 

We weren’t sure what to do, so we picked her up and took her to the animal rescue. 

We couldn’t stop thinking about her, so we drove back up to our mountain house to see her just about every day for a week. That was quite a feat since it was 1.5 hr. drive each way! But she had won our hearts.

At the time, it seemed like our lifestyle was not conducive to a new addition: we lived in a mid-rise condo and both of us traveled. After much discussion, research on doggy daycare facilities and what it would take to care for her (yes, crazy I know but this is what DINKS - dual income no kids, people do)...

...We made the decision to adopt this little five-pound pup!

 She had shiny black hair, big brown eyes, and the kindest, gentlest soul. From day one, she was the perfect pooch…well at least to us.

Bella taught us so many lessons…
- demonstrating that we were the leaders,
- positive reinforcement,
- re-directing, gentle but stern discipline
- and the list goes on... 

Bella was definitely excellent training for our future human children.  I’m so thankful for those teachings and our son and daughter are grateful too (whether they know it or not!).

And speaking of our two-legged children, when they came along, Bella knew she had to take a back seat, it was as if she accepted they were now a part of our pack. She was always there to protect them while letting them climb on and love on her.

The logical, rational side of me knows this is the circle of life and that she wouldn’t live forever, but I still felt a stabbing pain in my stomach and my heart was broken.

Some of the things I’ve missed are:
- her wagging tail and eagerness to see me whenever I came in the door,
- the walks in our neighborhood while smelling the fresh-cut grass and listening to the birds chirping, (although I don’t miss picking up her poop...).
- her wet kisses, and
- the way she looked at me when I scratched her head. 

These memories will forever be embedded in my mind as well as the unconditional love provided by “man’s best friend”.  

Our sweet Bella gave us  14 wonderful years of unconditional canine love as a companion and friend. 

Have you experienced this too? Share a memory or a lesson in the comments!

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