Bella came to B.O.N.E.S. needing a new home. She had been greatly loved, but needed special attention to learn house training and overcome some fears. Loving, very smart, and having lots of energy, she made good progress while being fostered.
She was adopted by Vic and Nancy, who volunteer at hospitals, elderly centers, and schools. Bella showed her smarts by passing a series of training classes. She achieved Pet Therapy certification in 2016. Vic and Nancy will share stories about their experiences with Bella on this page.
You can also follow Bella on Facebook.
Much can happen in nine months, and we hope the sharing of our story may stimulate similar memories or accomplishments. Our adoption of Bella through B.O.N.E.S. signified a wonderful new chapter in our lives.
My wife, Nancy, and I have been married for 46 years. We have two adult sons and three grandchildren. I am a retired school principal, but consulting and mentoring. Nancy works part time and babysits two of the grandchildren every Tuesday. We view our situation as being enjoyable, satisfying, and fortunate.
We previously cared for my oldest son's beagle, Brittany, for nine years until she passed away in July, 2014. Upon my retirement, we decided to adopt a beagle and work towards volunteering in hospitals, elderly centers, and schools.
I would like to compliment B.O.N.E.S. and boast a bit about Bella.
We applied for adoption early in 2016. This initiated a process and a relationship with Ibby Nathans, who served as our Adoption Counselor. Ibby communicated in great detail and guided us through the comprehensive (and very necessary) vetting and matching process. On Father's Day, June 19th, we provided Bella a "forever home" after she spent two months fostered by Joy Chromy and her wonderful family. Nancy and I will be eternally grateful to both Ibby and Joy for making it possible for Bella to join our family.
June 19th to November 2nd represents a period of just over 4 months (133 days). During this time, Bella erased her past as a timid and fearful dog to become certified as a Pet Partners, Pet Therapy Dog. Our newly-confident Bella is now ready to begin providing comfort and joy to adults and children in hospitals, hospice, elderly centers, and schools.
Bella and I began our schooling on July 29th in Karen Perusek's Courteous Canine Dog Training School of South Kingston, Rhode Island. We worked weekly with Certified Trainer, Celeste Diamantini. Combined with daily practice sessions at home, we completed two courses: "Canine Life and Social Skills" and "Touching Tails Therapy Dog Class." Bella and I learned Loose Leash Walking Inside/Outside, Navigating Through a Crowd, Accepting Rough Petting, Accepting Strangers and Other Dogs, Sit, Down, Wait, Stay, Come, Leave It, and Ignoring Distractions. I also completed the substantial, eight lesson "Therapy Animal Handler Online Course" offered by Pet Partners of Bellevue, Washington. We are novices, but we're eager to learn more and get more proficient. We will begin our work in predictable facilities.
Below is a timeline of our training. Hopefully, Bella's story will kindle similar thoughts and perhaps goals for your adopted beagle. The value of your family relationship with an adopted beagle and its potential contribution in your community are unlimited. There are numerous stories to tell!