Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Casa de Bella

In less than one week, my husband and I are leaving for vacation. We are pumped to spend eight glorious days swimming in the ocean, laying on the beach with my SPF 80 (of course), hiking, eating, and spending time with family. It’s going to be fabulous. That is of course, except for one thing, leaving our dog (affectionately known as Bella Dog, Boo-bers, Bubba, the list goes on) at home. I know…I know, I sound like one of those crazy people who carry their dogs around in their oversize purses and take them wherever they wish to go. And perhaps I would if I could AND if my dog wasn’t 45 pounds. I love her, but I’m not gonna break my back carrying her around and I don’t think she would last five seconds in one of those things anyways.

I realized that since adopting her in July 2009, we haven’t been anywhere for an extended period of time without her. She’s accompanied us on many road trips and camping excursions. So for me, it’s going to be like I’m leaving my baby behind. After all, she is the closest thing to a daughter to me; we sometimes treat her like one (if this is wrong in some doggy bible, oopsie, I do apologize).

So naturally, I did what any good parent would do. I started making a list for one of my best friends in the whole world who has graciously offered to keep an eye on her for us. I know Bella will be in good hands, but I wanted to make sure all of the bases were covered. I started typing. And typing. And typing. Before I knew it, the list was four pages long. Really? Really. I have detailed every ounce of information I could think of, from feeding rituals, to walking tips, favorite toys, and everything in between. Maybe I'm crazy, but then, I think I already knew that.

The whole list got me thinking for a second (just one second), what if Bella wrote a list, what would it include? What key points of her daily routine mean the most? I’m guessing it would look a lot like this:

1)      Bella is allowed to stretch herself across the bed, taking up the majority of space. This is completely encouraged as it allows for freedom of expression and the full stretching of the muscles to eliminate soreness and future fatigue.
2)      When it is time to give her nightly medication, please refer to it as “cheesers.” In no way does it resemble cheese, but she loves it when you call it that nonetheless.
3)      Allow her to have full control during her morning/evening walks. The harness is fine, granted it’s not too tight. Don’t worry about predetermining the route, Bella will show you exactly where to go and when. Failure to comply may result in severe physical pain and dirty looks from the Bella dog.
4)      Add a “sies” to the end of each word to make them more exciting. Some examples include: funsies, treatsies, and bedsies. And yes, you will sound like a dork and inside Bella will be laughing at you.
5)      Take her for car rides about once daily and 2-3 times on the weekends. This is important information. Make sure at least one window in the back has been rolled down for her sniffing pleasure. This must happen at all times, even during subzero temperatures and blizzard-like conditions.
6)      Regardless of what you have heard or read, it is ABSOLUTELY, without a doubt, OK to feed her scraps from the dinner table. It is strongly recommended that you feed her whilst you are still eating, maybe even before you take your first bite, to ensure consumption at the proper food temperature as required by the Health Dept.

Thank you for staying at Casa de Bella, we hope you find your stay as pleasant as possible.

Yours Truly,


  1. I literally laughed out loud on several occasions while I was reading this post — absolutely awesome. I loved hearing about Bella's routine from her perspective, and I can totally empathize with not wanting to leave your baby behind.

    Anytime the fiance and I go away for the weekend, Beth, or whoever happens to be watching Mona, gets a cheat sheet with her date of birth, her vet's contact information, contact information for a vet close to the pet-sitter's house, and our families' contact information. (Do you feel better about your situation now?) ;)

  2. Phew! I do feel better, thank you! I love that you leave cheat sheets as well. I'm not the only one. Oh how we spoil our dogs, huh?

  3. Ha ha ha... Wow. I'm kind of scared. I didn't think I'd be nervous but now, I wonder if I'm qualified to be hanging out with such a complicated companion. The List is yet to come... I thought it would just have a big "WATCH CABLE" in the middle of it. Doesn't sound like it.