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Katrina rescues: Bella settles in

In addition to starting her "Snowball Effect" campaign, Phyllis DeGioia has taken two Katrina foster dogs into her home. In this report, Bella settles in while Phyllis worries over Clint and his upcoming surgery:


We have made cat headway. Last night I had Bella sleep in her crate, but in my bedroom instead of downstairs. When we walked into the bedroom, Chelsea was on the bed. Chelsea got off the bed and Bella saw her. Bella ran over, tail wagging, and sniffed. No big deal.

The room Bella has been in is where Chelsea hangs out a lot, so her smell is all over. Chelsea spent the night on the bed. No 4 a.m. crying or howling from Bella and we all slept all night. What a relief. I was very worried about Chelsea’s safety after I saw Bella signal far too much of the wrong kind of interest in an outdoor cat, but she’s doing fine so far. I’m still gating Chelsea upstairs.

This morning when we came downstairs, Chelsea was standing in the kitchen outside the gate and jumped under as Bella ran to her. When I was feeding the dogs, I looked up to see Bella was not at her bowl, and her bowl still had food in it. Before this she’d always cleaned it out in one sitting --none of this ,“I’m a traumatized rescue who needs to be hand-fed” stuff.

Turns out that Chelsea was sitting in the living room and Bella went over to smell her. Brave Chelsea girl, the world’s original scaredy cat, just let it happen. Chelsea was there, I think, to make sure I didn't forget her breakfast. After breakfast, both Ginger and Bella hung out by the no-dogs-past-this-point gate. Ginger is addicted to canned cat food --  that stuff is like crack -- and I had to get a new safety gate when I realized that the reason Chelsea was losing weight was directly related to why Ginger was gaining weight.

Bella is very adoptable -- unlike darling Clint, who isn't adoptable at all. Since I doubt I can afford four pets at this point, I don’t think I will try to adopt Bella. I will miss her, she is just so sweet.

Last night my knitting group was over and I placed her in everyone's lap (she wouldn't jump on the lap of several strangers) and she was getting loved by and giving kisses to all of them. We all think she'll be adopted immediately once she is available (whenever that might be --  I still don’t know if she’s a surrender or will wait 30 days for her owner). I may have to knit the little Southern belle a winter sweater before she leaves.

After breakfast the dogs all went out together.  On the porch door there’s a dog door sturdy enough for Wisconsin winters and my dogs, who range from three to eight pounds heavier than Bella. Bella is unfamiliar with dog doors. She waits for the Doorman to open the porch door. This morning I told her that if she wants to get off the porch with the big dogs, the 20 pounders, she has to learn to use the dog door. I got her to come back inside when I opened the dog door for her, but I couldn’t get her to go out it again.

I hope that Clint’s surgery goes well today. I’ll ask them how old they think he is, but my guess is at least 16. Anesthesia for an ancient 10-pound dog makes me nervous, but he’ll feel better without those bad teeth. Please God, don’t let him have come this far just to go out during a dental. Good wishes and zen for this manly man are quite appreciated.

A friend in California says that two reunions have occurred with the Katrina pets sent to California, so there is definitely hope here! -- Phyllis DeGioia, editor, VeterinaryPartner.com

September 21, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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