Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 24, 2017

Bella’s energy knows no limit

By Vicki Tillis | Feb 16, 2017

Ethan’s dog Bella likes to jump. My mom made the observation a few weeks ago that Bella was jumping as high as I am tall.

I didn’t think that was possible, so I began paying attention to how high this big puppy really was making it into the air ... and, well, I have decided: yes, when she jumps, her head is about level with mine, maybe a little higher! I truly am not exaggerating!

Bella loves to jump. She is up into the air when Ethan or I come home, when we have visitors, when it’s time to fill her food bowl, when it’s time to go outside or come back inside or any other time she wants us to know how happy she feels.

She also loves to jump up on and across the kitchen table after Boxxy, our cat. She loves to jump from chair to chair in our living room, tipping them back a bit before the front legs bang back down on the floor and she catapults across the room. It’s funny, but it is sure rough on my furniture!

Have you ever watched the movie “Polar Express?” During the holiday season, as I watched it again, I had to laugh at the scene in which the elves were leading out the reindeer to harness to Santa’s sleigh. The little elves were having rather a difficult time keeping the big, excited, leaping reindeer under control; that is probably how I look when I walk Bella on her leash! I attempt to walk and keep things under control while Bella leaps about jerking me across the yard and down the sidewalk!

This big energetic puppy, who had her first birthday a little over a month ago, is almost too much for me, but I am stubborn enough that I won’t let her win. I keep trying to teach her some manners.

I know Bella can learn. Ethan and I have taught her to sit and stay when we fill her food bowl. She jumps from the kitchen corner where we scoop her food from the bucket, all the way across the room to where her food dish sits on the floor. But as soon as she is told or signaled to sit, she does. And we can tell or signal her to stay, and she will stay there until she’s told or signaled to eat. See, if Bella can learn and follow “sign language,” I know she is teachable.

My next challenge is teaching Bella to sit at the back door so I can hook or unhook the rope or the leash to her collar. It will sure be a lot easier to accomplish without her jumping all over me in her happiness to be either going out or coming in!

I did tell Ethan that if he didn’t get his dog under control, I would hobble her feet, like a horse, so she can’t jump! But Bella is so full of happiness, I am sure she would find a way!


– Vicki Tillis is The Fairfield Ledger lifestyles editor.

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