Back in Tenerife, Elsie and l had gone up to Adeje the main town in the council area. I have forgotten what the reason was but this lovely little brown bitch trotted up to us.
I asked Elsie to ask people around if she belonged to anyone. The answer was no she is just a street perro (dog) well not any more l said she comes with us.
Bella settled in very quickly she was so loving and just wanted love in return. She had spent the first week with us when a family turned up, took one look and fell in love.
Bella went off to her new life, for a week when they turned up again.
“She is dirty, she steals food, she is smelly”
I said l had been through her history with them. I had explained all possible problems, that she had only known the streets and they had accepted and understood what l had told them. I said that l would be happy to help train her up and so she could stay with them.
“No” said the woman “l do not want her… we will have that one” pointing at one of the other dogs and treating Bella as though she did not exist.
I left them in no doubt that they would never have one of my rescue dogs, they are not disposable and to get off the property.
Bella struggled in my arms as they drove off. When they had gone and l shut the gate she ran up to the gate digging and crying. I carried her back her cries were heartbreaking. I put her in with a couple of quiet but loving Podenco’s l had in to see if she would settle with them she just went flat and stared at the door. When she got out at playtime she went straight to the gate digging and crying trying to get out.
Within 2 days l was force feeding her with food and water. Her weight fell off her and she went from chubby to a skeleton in what seemed like a day.
If a car came to the gate she perked up looking for her family. As soon as she saw it wasn’t them she collapsed again, silent.
I thought of taking her home to help her but then l would have put her hopes up again and then have to wean her off and l couldn’t do that. I couldn't not get her on an emergency flight to Germany for a couple of weeks. Assuming she survived.
My guilt looking at her was and still is so deep l will always carry it.
Tony came out a few days later and l went straight up to see him. He did not actually believe me until l got there. While we were talking his wife and a friend of hers came towards us out of sight, their voices and footsteps carrying.
Bella jumped up and yipped, saw Wendy and collapsed again in despair.
Tony looked at me, then at Bella. “She won’t make it you know. I would never have believed a dog could die of a broken heart but she does not want to live without those people"” he said quietly.
I knew that but lived in hope he may have some magic cure for her even though in my heart l knew he didn’t.
“I know l told him, she won’t even survive the trip to Germany and even then….”
I carried her into his consult room and she slipped quietly away. She loved to death a family that had no doubt forgotten her within days. I know she has found the peace and love that was denied her on earth.