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“Bella” A Staffordshire Bull Terrier Dies A Hero in Her Owners Arms

5 Oct

“Bella” A Staffordshire Bull Terrier 

Dies A Hero in Her Owners Arms

"Bella" Dies a Hero in Her Owners Arms.

 Nicole Russell, who lived in Johannesburg, South Africa, was about to leave for work one morning when a car pulled up and four armed men jumped out and demanded her keys and purse. Nicole held both arms out so that they could take her jewelry and keys. Scared and confused she rushed to comply with their demands not realizing that she had mistakenly handed them her house keys.

 The men became agitated and violent when the keys would not unlock the car. When one of the men grabbed her and began dragging her towards the car Ms. Russell (in fear for her life) screamed.  Russell’s mother, alerted by the screams pushed a panic button in the house and ran into the garden.

 There she was confronted by an attacker with a knife.

 Bella, the family’s 4 year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, was with the mother and immediately lunged at the knife wielding attacker. Bella bit the man several times on the leg and was then shot in the head by one of the mans accomplices. In spite of her injury Bella continued to defend her family until the men panicked and fled.

 There was a point when one of the men (having just shot at Bella) turned his gun on Nichole and pulled the trigger. But either the gun misfired or Bella had taken the bullet intended for Russell.

 When the men were gone Bella sat down and rolled over and as Nicole held the hero dog Bella in her arms. Bella looked at her quietly for a few moments and died.

 An autopsy showed that Bella’s heart had been completely drained of blood in her fierce battle to protect her family.

On November 8, 1997 “Bella” was awarded posthumously a seven ring rosette trophy for her selfless heroism defending her family.

"Bella" Awarded Medal for Bravery

The Familiar Spirit! “poem”

3 Oct

The Familiar Spirit!


When feeling sad because I miss

my angel dressed in fur

I Close my eyes and feel you by my side,

right where you always were

I feel your love and see your face

with the light that shined within your eyes

Please Know, that a part of my heart belongs to you

You will always shine inside

A sign from the Bridge

The Last Will & Testament of an Extremely Loved Dog

21 Aug

The Last Will & Testament of an

Extremely Loved Dog

By Eugene O’Neill

 I, Silverdene Emblem O’Neill (familiarly known to my family, friends and acquaintances as Blemie), because the burden of my years and infirmities is heavy upon me, and I realize the end of my life is near, do hereby bury my last will and testament in the mind of my Master. He will not know it is there until after I am dead. Then, remembering me in his loneliness, he will suddenly know of this testament, and I ask him to inscribe it as a memorial to me.


  I have little in the way of material things to leave. Dogs are wiser than men. They do not set great store upon things. They do not waste their days hoarding property. They do not ruin their sleep worrying about how to keep the objects they have, and to obtain objects they have not. There is nothing of value I have to bequeath except my love and my loyalty. These I leave to all those who have loved me, especially to my Master and Mistress, who I know will mourn me the most.


  I ask my Master and my Mistress to remember me always, but not to grieve for me too long. In my life, I have tried to be a comfort to them in time of sorrow, and a reason for added joy in their happiness. It is painful for me to think that even in death I should cause them pain. Let them remember that while no dog has ever had a happier life (and this I owe to their love and care for me), now that I have grown blind and deaf and lame, and even my sense of smell fails me so that a rabbit could be right under my nose and I might not know, my pride has sunk to a sick, bewildered humiliation. I feel life is taunting me with having over lingered my welcome. It is time I said good-bye, before I become too sick a burden on myself and on those who love me.


  It will be a sorrow to leave them, but not a sorrow to die. Dogs do not fear death as men do. We accept it as part of life, not as something alien and terrible which destroys life. What may come after death, who knows?


  I would like to believe that there is a Paradise. Where one is always young and full-bladdered. Where all the day one dillies and dallies. Where each blissful hour is mealtime. Where in the long evenings there are a million fireplaces with logs forever burning, and one curls oneself up and blinks into the flames and nods and dreams, remembering the old brave days on earth and the love of one’s Master and Mistress.


   I am afraid that this is too much for even such a dog as I am to expect.


  But peace, at least, is certain. Peace and a long rest for my weary old heart and head and limbs, and eternal sleep in the earth I have loved so well. Perhaps, after all, this is best.


  One last request, I earnestly make. I have heard my Mistress say, “When Blemie dies we must never have another dog. I love him so much I could never love another one”. Now I would ask her, for love of me, to have another. It would be a poor tribute to my memory never to have a dog again. What I would like to feel is that, having once had me in the family, she cannot live without a dog! I have never had a narrow, jealous spirit. I have always held that most dogs are good. My successor can hardly be as well loved or as well mannered or as distinguished and handsome as I was in my prime. My Master and Mistress must not ask the impossible. But he will do his best, I am sure, and even his inevitable defects will help by comparison to keep my memory green.


  To him I bequeath my collar and leash and my overcoat and raincoat He can never wear them with the distinction I did, all eyes fixed on me in admiration; but again I am sure he will do his utmost not to appear a mere gauche provincial dog. I hereby wish him the happiness I know will be his in my old home. One last word of farewell, dear Master and Mistress. Whenever you visit my grave, say to yourselves with regret but also with happiness in your hearts at the remembrance of my long, happy life with you:


  “Here lies one who loved us and whom we loved”. No matter how deep my sleep I shall hear you and not all the power of death can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail. I will always love you as only a dog can.”


by Eugene O’Neill

The original version of this tribute was written by Eugene O’Neill for his wife Carlotta, a few days before their Dalmatian passed away from old age in December, 1940. Please give credit to the author if you should pass this moving piece onto others in the future. 

Monument to a Dog

21 Aug

Monument to a Dog

Boatswain's likeness courtesy of Newstead Abbey

Near this Spot are deposited the Remains of

one who possessed Beauty without Vanity

Strength without Insolence,

Courage without Ferocity,

and all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.

This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery

if inscribed over human Ashes,

is but a just tribute to the Memory of


who was born in Newfoundland May 1803,

and died at Newstead Nov 18th, 1808.

When some proud son of man returns to earth

Unknown to glory, but upheld by birth

The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of woe

And storied urns record who rests below

When all is done, upon the tomb is seen

not what he was, but what he should have been.

But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend

The first to welcome, foremost to defend

Whose honest heart is still his master’s own

Who labors, fights, lives, breathes for him alone

Unhonored falls, unnoticed all his worth

Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth

While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven

and claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.

Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour

Debased by slavery, or corrupt by power

Who knows thee well must quit thee with disgust

Degraded mass of animated dust!

Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,

Thy smiles hypocrisy, thy words deceit!

By nature vile, ennobled but by name,

Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.

Ye, who perchance behold this simple urn

Pass on–it honors none you wish to mourn.

To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise;

I never knew but one–and here he lies 

Boatswain Monument

Lord Byron’s Inscription on the monument

built for his beloved Newfoundland

Boatswain, 1808

Lady (Yellow Labrador Retriever)

10 Aug

Lady (Yellow Lab)

This blog is dedicated in loving memory of my familiar spirits. These Animal Angels have been my best friends, my protectors, my teachers, my dogs, my heart.  Teaching me the values & ethics no people ever had (save my grandmother). They taught me to know love, loyalty, devotion, courage and heart.  To know them with out limits and to have them with out condition. I would not be the person that I am today had not been blessed with those tremendous spirits.

When I close my eyes, I can still feel you by my side

and you will always SHINE INSIDE!

A Tribute to my Lady

Lady was a yellow lab and she passed away august-17th 2010. I rescued Lady from the Lancaster animal shelter a little over a year ago. She was very old arthritic covered in moles and cysts and stuck in a cage with 4 other dogs. Lady was a day from being euphonized and I felt I had to take her. I new nobody else would. The people at the shelter thanked me for choosing the oldest one with the worse health. She had been neglected and abused her whole life. She wanted nothing to do with me. She was food aggressive. She growled if you put your face anywhere near hers. Snapped at me when tried to help her up. What people must have put her through to make her this way troubles me, it is not in a dogs nature to be that way. Slowly I gained her acceptance and eventually her trust. It took over a month before she wagged her tail for the first time with out promise of food. another month to teach her she didn’t need to worry about food. 6 months after I rescued her from that shelter I was returning from a hike and I heard her howling. She was calling for me and I new then that the walls were now gone she loved me and missed me. The only thing that I was not able to get her over was the flinch she always had which accompanied an unexpected touch it angers me to think what she must have gone through to expect pain to accompany any human contact. The best years of her life spent in pain and/or isolation. I just wanted her to know what she never had before love, security, trust and a little happiness. Lady died  3 days ago and her last hours were spent in my arms hearing my voice and knowing she was loved. I will always love her and rescuing her was one of the most worthwhile things I have ever done, in  my futile attempt to in some small way make up for what my kind had done to her. Lady you will always hold a special place in my heart.


Dee Oh Gee (Black Labrador Retriever)

10 Aug

Dee Oh Gee (Black Lab)

This blog is dedicated in loving memory of my familiar spirits. These Animal Angels have been my best friends, my protectors, my teachers, my dogs, my heart.  Teaching me the values & ethics no people ever had (save my grandmother). They taught me to know love, loyalty, devotion, courage and heart.  To know them with out limits and to have them with out condition. I would not be the person that I am today had not been blessed with those tremendous spirits.

When I close my eyes, I can still feel you by my side

and you will always SHINE INSIDE!

Dee Oh Gee was a black lab I rescued from the Carson Animal Shelter. I had gone in to rescue a golden retriever I saw on the available listing for the shelter. When I arrived I was told that he had been put to sleep the day before. I was about to leave on a 10 month road trip and wanted to find a friend and hiking partner. I passed him up twice looking for the right match when a worker told me He was hours from being euphonized. I continued looking but new then I had to take him or it would feel like I was the one responsible for his death. I never regretted it for a second. He was so eager to please. loving affectionate and over time became very independent as well. The first time we went into the woods in my R.V. he would get out just to do his business and then he would run back into the motor home. To get him to go on a walk I had to put him on leash and drag him the first hundred yards. Within a month or so he came out of that shell and showed his adventurous spirit, always up for a hike always exploring but never so far he could not hear my voice. He was the best traveling companion you could hope for. The best friend as well. He woke me up one night warning me of a fire in my R.V. I would enter his name for one of those heroic pet awards except I am not sure he would qualify seeing as he started the fire to begin with. The fire was an accident he warned me of the danger deliberately that makes him a hero in my book. While traveling the I-5 at night I had a blowout, there was very little shoulder to work with and traffic moves at 65+ on this stretch. It was a loud bang and I pulled off best I could to check the tire. Dee Oh Gee was between me and the door and I said would you get out of my way. I jumped out took a quick look at the destroyed right tires and saw 2 semi trucks coming fast so I jumped back in and  drove the 1 mile to an exit where I could safely stop only to find Dee Oh Gee was no longer in the R.V. It was over 10mi. to the next off ramp if I went back the opposite direction then 10mi back. So I instead ran up the freeway toward the spot I had my blow out. But couldn’t find him. I spent the next month putting up posters, checking shelters and even hired a service that calls all residence of an area and nothing, He had a microchip and tags but I still have not heard anything. It was farm country and wide open. Houses so far apart and pastures as far as the eye could see. The first 2 days I traveled that small stretch of freeway many times, both in a vehicle and on foot looking for his body dreading what I might find. But he was not hit by a car (I am grateful for that) I finally just ran out of ways I could actively look for him and had to accept the fact that I would have to wait for someone to find him and call me. No one ever did. I still check every county shelter within a hundred miles of where he went missing searching for him. What really gets to me is that I must have unintentionally slammed the door in his face and driven off and the last thing I said to him was would you get out of my way. If there is one moment in my life that I wish I could take back it would be that 30 seconds along I-5 freeway. I will never stop looking for Dee Oh Gee. If I never see him again I just hope that he knows that I did not abandon him and that I will always love him.

Dee Oh Gee's Tribute


Quilto (Arabian Stallion)

10 Aug

Quilto (Arabian Stallion)

This blog is dedicated in loving memory of my familiar spirits. These Animal Angels have been my best friends, my protectors, my teachers, my dogs, my heart.  Teaching me the values & ethics no people ever had (save my grandmother). They taught me to know love, loyalty, devotion, courage and heart.  To know them with out limits and to have them with out condition. I would not be the person that I am today had not been blessed with those tremendous spirits.

When I close my eyes, I can still feel you by my side

and you will always SHINE INSIDE!

Quilto was my grandfathers horse and his pride and joy. When my grandpa broke his hip he had to stop working with the horses so Quilto became somewhat wild. When my grandpa passed away a few years later I began caring for Quilto. Being a stallion he had an unlimited reserve of testosterone and a very wary opinion of anyone approaching him. The first time I got into the ring with him he charged me & I charged him without hesitation he stopped stomped and snorted a few times then walked away. I had earned his respect and over the next few weeks I earned his trust and friendship. It wasn’t long before he would follow me like a puppy always hanging over my shoulder and nudging me with his nose for affection and treats. We would play a game where I would take off running across the paddock through the door to the other end of the stable and he would chase me till he had me cornered. Then I would turn towards him charging at me he would skid to a stop and I would stomp my feet and throw my arms up. He would rear up snorting and stomping his front hooves on the ground then he would gently walk up and give me a kiss and I would give him a carrot. One day after a rain we were playing this game and I slipped in the mud getting a slow start so when we went through the doorway he was only couple feet behind me. I slipped in the mud at the doorway where there was only room for one to pass and hit the ground. I was sure I would get trampled. But I didn’t and when I looked up I saw Quilto on the ground. He had thrown himself to the ground to keep from stepping on me. Quilto was a stallion and he had a stallions ego and pride but he had a gentle soul as kind and loving as I have ever known. Quilto passed away at age 34 of Colic. I spent a week while he was sick staying up all night with him getting 2 maybe 3 hours of sleep before I would have someone waking me up with those dreaded words Quilto is down again.  We finally had to put him down he was suffering so much it broke my heart when he passed away. Even today I question my decision  every choice was made with his best interest at heart and still I will always feel regret for it.