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.
When does six weeks turn into three months? That's impossible, you say!
Not so when your companion is a retired school principal, and he accepts a six-week school assessment job that unknowingly requires six additional weeks of preparatory work. So what does this have to do with me, Bella, a therapy dog?
Well, it meant an unusually long interruption to our hospital and hospice visits, school presentations, college campus tours, and even our tales here on the B.O.N.E.S. website. And that's saying nothing about my poor nose!
Team Bella finished its walks in all 39 of Rhode Island's towns and cities. We also completed tours of Providence College and Rhode Island College, including a meeting with RIC President Frank Sanchez. I was looking forward to the next college campus tour at Johnson and Wales University, a world-renowned culinary school. It was rescheduled for early May. It would have been heaven to this nose, but I can wait a few weeks!
Our regular hospital and hospice visits did not completely end for the three months. We did do our annual Christmas morning visit to Miriam Hospital. That holiday morning visit is a very special way of giving something back before our family celebrates Christmas later in the afternoon. No one deserves not being home for the holidays.
The end of the "six-week gig" meant it was time to get back to work and we started with a very special and meaningful visit to the second grades of Leslie Feid and Andrea Engler at Roosevelt Avenue School in North Attleboro. New to me, but Vic spent 35 years in North Attleboro and 23 years as principal of the school. Extra special was that Vic's wife, Nancy, served as the photographer.
In our visit, we featured a TED-Ed YouTube video, How do dogs "see" with their noses?, by Alexandra Horowitz. Boy, did I learn a lot about my nose!
In the video, I heard things like this: "A wonderfully-developed nose." "Smelling in stereo.""300 million." "A whole-separate olfactory system." "Can detect and distinguish scents in spaces as large as an indoor stadium." "Can detect the what, where, and direction of a scent." "Able to recognize human and animal hormones." "Aromatic bulletin boards." "Tell the future in a breeze." "Smelling not just in a moment but in an entire story."
Hope this intrigues you as it did me! Now, I understand what I do every day! I also certainly remember the scents of Manny's own Bella, Mrs. Feid's Lucy and basketballs, and Mrs. Engler's Dukie.
My newly-favorite second-graders were highly interested. They actively listened and posed great questions in their letters. Emma demonstrated how to ask an owner if it's OK to pet their dog and I got to meet Ryan, Anthony, Yvette, Julia, and AJ up close when they examined my nose.
I hope piques your interest about your dog's nose.
Many of the students asked us to return later in the school year. In the meantime, if you watch the first video, you'll understand how I'll be able to detect each and every one of the second graders and teachers if we meet again!