Our oldest family member, Belle the Beautiful Black Dog, was born born in March of 1996. We guessed she is part retriever and part Italian greyhound. The Humane Society said she'd be a large dog…NOT. This is Belle on her way from the "East 40" three years ago when she was 15 years old in "people years". I wasn't sure what she had but I knew I had to get the camera out.
This is her proudly bringing her prize, a gopher. Amazing what a soft mouth she had. You go girl!
One year after this photo was taken Belle chased coyotes (3) away from the formal back yard, out of the horse corrals and back onto the trails at the ripe old people age of 16 years. Too bad the weapon of choice was a nearby rake and not a camera.
Sign of a dedicated gardener? Dirt under the nails (toes and fingers). In Belle's case it was ring around the nose, in addition to the dirt under her nails… front and back, all 20 of them. Who knew a dog with retriever heritage would be such an asset to farmers by being the hunter?! She was always on gopher patrol…digging and digging.
Now just another two years later we have laid Belle the Beautiful Black Dog to rest after her 18th birthday. Sydney misses watching TV with her while eating popcorn .
Layla misses snuggling, napping and sleeping with her Belle.
We all miss our best four legged gardener. The artichokes are flourishing this year. The first of the season to be eaten tonight, thanks to our gopher getter, Belle. The gardens won't be the same without their guardian. To paraphrase…"If you have a library and a garden…and a dog…you have everything." We won't be the same without Belle the Beautiful Black Dog.