The Letting Go

The photo above is from when Bella and I spent an afternoon at Shadowlawn Elementary.

“Yes, it’s going to hurt to let her go, but that heartache is nothing compared to what our veterans have done for me and for our country.  So if I can help a veteran one dog at a time, I’ll do it even though it hurts, and then I’ll do it again.”

The above has been my mantra since May 2nd when I brought baby Bella home.  8 months later, almost to the day, I took her back to K9s For Warriors so she can begin the next phase of her training to be a service dog for a brave man or woman who signed that blank check for you and me.  Trust me, it was not easy to let her go, but I did it with tears and a smile saying, “You Go Girl!  Make Momma proud!”

You see, I tried to keep my distance.  I tried not to bond with her.  She was never allowed in my bedroom nor was she allowed on the recliner with me.  But then 5 weeks ago I started physical therapy and things changed.  Bella seemed to know Momma was hurting, and when I could finally relax during the icing, she gave comfort.  So much for keeping her at a distance.

Bella’s warrior is going to be receiving an incredible companion.  She has the sweetest personality, and wants little more than to please her person.  She works hard and gives love unconditionally.  Yes, she can still be “Psycho Puppy” (as we dubbed her from the beginning), but that’s because she’s so happy.  There is a beautiful soul inside this pup.

Word from my friends that work in the kennels at K9s For Warriors is that Bella is doing well.  She’s adjusted.  From what I understand, she’s still being evaluated before starting with the professional trainers.  The next time I see her will be when she graduates with her warrior.

We spent time during her last days with me saying goodbye to friends and taking photos.  I hope you enjoy them.  

But before the final weekend photos, here are some photos from when we visited Shadowlawn Elementary School.  (The faces of the children are blurred for their safety.)

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34      35

The Final Weekend


Getting words of encouragement from her Aunt Teri
A hug from Aunt Kristen
A hug from Aunt Kathryn


Playing fetch, her favorite game


Let me lick my nose then throw the disc again!


I’m not tired; really, I’m not!


At Metro Park, Jacksonville, FL


At Metro Park, Jacksonville, FL



Trying to be good for Aunt Kristen’s camera


Aunt Kristen, I’m just going to watch those ducks!


Watching the boaters


Kristen captured her beautifully here


Looking towards her future


Such a beautiful girl



Image may contain: indoor
8 Months Ago





This is not the end of the blog, but the beginning.  Bella is the first, but not the last.  Stay tuned for K9s for Warriors updates and the next puppy!






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