"I got bella in March of 2007. I had been begging my mum for a couple years for a small dog of my own as we already had 2 large dogs as our family pets. Finally, she decided to give in and I was told I would be able to get a small dog for my high school graduation present. My mum picked me up from school one afternoon and we were on our way to get the newest member of the family. She had called ahead and spoken to the person we were getting the dog from and they knew I was interested in a female. When we got there they had 2 females out playing ready to meet us. I noticed a larger fluffy dog and as soon as she saw me she came running. She was trying her best to bark but it was just coming out as little yelps; she was a ball of fur and super hyper. You could tell she would have been a great dog with a big personality… As I sat down on the floor to play with what I thought would be my new dog I noticed the other little girl who had been the runt of the litter was off in the corner shaking. She was so anxious and confused about everything that was going on she started to pee herself a little bit. I extended my hand out and called quietly for her to come over to me. Her big brown eyes went really wide and she carefully made her way over to me. She gave me one look, put her head down on my lap and let out a big sigh. At that exact moment I knew my dog had chosen me. Bella and I were instant companions. I was in a special correspondence program at my school and the days that I was there I was allowed to bring her with me. My fellow classmates and teachers gushed over her every time she came with me. My mum had been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer about a year before we welcomed Bella into the family. Having Bella around really helped cheer my mum up. She knew exactly what to do to show unconditional love. As my moms condition got worse she was transferred to a local hospice. The nurses there encouraged families to bring in behaved pets as it made the patients feel more comfortable and at peace. I would bring Bella in every opportunity I had and she was so good with people the nurses asked me to take her around to visit other patients. She was able to put a smile on every single persons face regardless of what they were going through. My mum passed away 6 days before my high school graduation and I am thankful every single day that I had Bella to help me get through it. She really was my saving grace in dealing with the loss of the most important woman in my life. She knew when I needed her and on the days I needed an extra bit of love she was always there to give me her best cuddles. I really don't know what I would have done if I didn't have my special girl in my life. She was the best present I ever received from my mum and I wish I had been able to tell her how much I appreciated her. Bella is now 7 years old and has a little brother named Joey that I adopted a few years ago. He's a black cat with a kink in his tail and they are the best of friends. She is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I can't wait for more years to come with her by my side."
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