Many of you may remember Belle, the dog who was abandoned following last year’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan and who later found a new home with my parents in Canada. On a recent visit to my hometown, I was excited to be able to catch up with Belle and check in on how she had adjusted to her forever home during the year in which she has been there.
First of all, I was thrilled that Belle instantly remembered me and wagged her tail and stood on her hind legs to beg for cuddles. Throughout the week I was at home, Belle was my canine shadow, sleeping under my chair while I worked on my laptop, lying next to me all night, and eagerly accompanying me to the park and beach.
Over the course of the year, Belle’s health has stabilized, and—other than the occasional ear infection—she is in perfect condition. Because Belle had many abscessed teeth when we first got her, it was obviously painful for her to eat, and she lost weight as a result. Now, she’s very enthusiastic about food and will take treats under the table to work on chewing them. (She has only a few teeth left.) Her favorite treats are dehydrated sweet potatoes and blueberries.
Belle has become fond of her adopted brother, Levi, a gigantic black-lab cross. At first, Belle was obviously very afraid of him because of his size, but she has come to realize that Levi would never hurt her—and she even tolerates the occasional lick from him. At night, Belle happily slept tucked between Levi and me.
It has been so great to see Belle really settling in with her new family, but it has also made me think about the hundreds and thousands of other animals who have been abandoned in the wake of disasters or who are waiting at shelters—and who aren’t as lucky as Belle.
If you want to help dogs like Belle, please donate to PETA U.S.’ Animal Emergency Fund. Please don’t forget to make plans now in case disaster strikes. If you have room in your home and your heart—and the resources to care for an animal—please make the kind decision to adopt from your local animal shelter. A dog like Belle is waiting for you.
Posted by Ashley Fruno