Wordless Wednesday: Stuck


When I come home from the store, the dogs always have to check out what I got. They stick their head in the bags to sniff everything. This time, Bella got her head stuck in the bag handle. She just stood there, and stood there, and would not move. I had to go save her from that bad bag. LOL


Happy Birthday Bella

Our sweet girl, Bella, turned two on Sunday! Bella has been such a wonderful addition to our little family and we love her so much. I still remember the day when we saw Bella for the first time, as we immediately fell in love with her.


I love all of Bella’s facial expressions, as she has many!


Bella posing next to my chalk birthday sign, but is interested in looking at something else. LOL


This is one of my favorite birthday photo’s of Bella.


“Oh, what’s that?”


This is a typical scene at our house with Bella. As you can see, Bella is not pampered at all. She loves being covered up when she naps with Teddy.


Look at how little Bella was when we brought her home for the first time at two months old. Bella and Nikita fell in love with each other that day and have been best buddies ever since.


This photograph is so silly, as you can see Bella sticking her tongue out at Nikita! Nikita was probably thinking “Is she staying here?”

Happy Birthday sweet Bella, we love you!

One Year Ago Today We Changed a Dog’s Life


Val Uncle Dave Bella and Roy

One year ago today we made a life-changing difference in a dog’s life. We gave Bella her new “Forever Home”.


Bella was found wandering the streets of Cleveland as a very young puppy. Someone disposed of her. Who knows if Bella had other siblings.

BELLA 9-8-12

We made a difference in a dog’s life by rescuing Bella from all the perils she endured while on the streets, and gave her a warm happy home. She has a place where she can lay her weary head to rest. She has all the food she wants, a snuggly place to nap, a loving sister in Nikita, toys galore, and all the treats she could ever dream of. Not all dogs are this lucky.


We were also lucky the day we met Bella. We went to check out an event that the APL was holding in the hopes that we could find a little playmate for Nikita. We were not particular in any certain breed, but wanted to give yet another dog a good forever home with us. The second we saw Bella drive up in a car arriving at this event on the lap of an APL employee, we knew that she was the one. We basically watched where they were taking her so we could snag her immediately and that is exactly what we did. She was so small and we fell in love with her immediately. She was brindle in color, and at the time, I did not know what brindle meant, so I looked it up when I got home. Brindle refers to her tiger striping & coloring. We are still unsure as to what breed of dog she is, although on her paperwork it stated part collie. I find that hard to believe as Bella has not one characteristic of a collie. No matter what she is, we love her from the top of her soft as silk ears right down to her curled warbly tail.


Bella has so much energy & spunk and that’s what makes Bella, well, Bella!  She has the best personality and definitely knows more of the English language than most high school graduates, and we find ourselves having to spell in the front of the dogs now.  Geez, is this what the world is coming to?  LOL

Bella is a good listener.  She walks on a leash very well, greets other dogs with a good butt sniff or two, and definitely alerts us to any critters who get anywhere near the house.  But, at the end of the night, when we all retire to lay down our weary heads, she always comes over and gives us both a good night kiss, and then snuggles with Mommy for a few minutes, then heads off to la-la land on her own fluffy bed.  What a sweet girl!

Bella and Nikita Snuggling 12-11-12

Bella is the perfect match for being Nikita’s sidekick. They are always by each others side and are always playing with each other.  (we have probably more than 50 toys in their toy box, but they always have to play with the “same one”.  When one picks up a toy, the other one wants THAT toy)


I definitely think that both Nikita and Bella can be partners in crime too because they like dressing up.  Perhaps these are their super hero outfits.

Bella Footwear Fashionista


Bella Im So Cool

All that we know, is that we have two of the best dogs around and we are so happy to give them both a “Forever Home” with us and make sure that they will never have to worry where their next meal is coming from.

We love you Nikita and Bella!


Learning Boundaries

Every time a new puppy heads home to their new “forever home“, they start learning boundaries.  They start off with small boundaries, like staying in the kitchen where “clean ups” are easier (on us) as puppies don’t care who has to clean up after them (lol), then slowly, they earn a little bit bigger boundary.  They are learning, but we are the ones who teach them the boundaries.

This week, Bella earned a little bit bigger boundary and we took down our baby gates and barricades we erected in the kitchen, and allowed her to enter the living room.  So far, she has done very well in her new boundary and has had no accidents (yet).  When the baby gate was taken away, she hesitantly entered the doorway to the living room, unsure if she should go any further, and since no one was correcting her to “not” enter, she walked in a little further.  She was probably thinking “Wow, what is this room?”  It was funny watching her as she walked around and sniffed everything in the room, as this was all new to her – new smells, new things, and a new experience.  The TV was on, and she actually sat down in front of it and sat there awhile and watched.  It was so adorable that I had to grab my camera and snap a picture of that.

It has been a few days since Bella’s introduction to another room, and she has been such an angel.  I placed a little blankie next to the couch where she has designated “her spot” and runs to it every time she enters the room and lays down with her toys.  Other than our bed, Nikita is only allowed on one of our couches which we have covered up with a comforter, and when Nikita jumps up on the couch, Bella watches her.  She has not yet tried to jump up on the couch, but we are sure that will happen one day.  She will need to learn another boundary as far as furniture goes, that this will be the only couch she will be allowed on.

When Nikita was a puppy, she was another angel and still is.  We always thought that we adopted the best dog in the whole world and were so lucky to find her.  She has the cutest mannerisms and has some of the funniest things that she does with her toys when she wants us to play with her.  Now, we are blessed with yet another puppy who is becoming one beautiful dog, learning tricks and boundaries along the way.  We could not be happier!

Thank you Daddy & Mommy for teaching me boundaries, and giving me lots of love & a forever home!

Halloween Forecast: Dreary, Windy, & Freakin Cold

It figures.  Over the past week or so we have enjoyed an Indian Summer type weather, which don’t get me wrong, as I have thoroughly enjoyed walking outside with the dogs in flip flops again, but Mother Nature should not do this to us.  She sneaks in this nice weather and we get sucked in, hook line and sinker… then she drops the bomb on us.  Just yesterday, I was outside in my flip flops cutting the grass with a tank top on, and today I am heading outside with my Browns cap on, winter coat and rain boots.  (but, I’ve got the cutest pair of hot pink rain boots!)  I guess I should not complain, as this is exactly what we expect around this time of year in our part of the world, and we know what kind of weather we are expecting for Halloween night – cold with high winds and a good chance of rain.  Now that sucks!  Every year we deal with the winds (but that is why we changed from those flimsy styrofoam tombstone to our wood ones – cause we won’t have to chase them down the street!) but if we get the high winds of 70 miles per hour that they are calling for, we are sure that we aren’t going to have many trick-or-treaters ringing door bells.  (if that’s the case, then WE are going to have lots of candy for ourselves!)

Our front yard is getting quite a lot of attention lately.  Ever since we added the three skeletons and homemade “pallet” coffin, cars slow down or even stop in front of the house to take a closer look.  We could not be more happy with the fact that everyone loves what we have done to the yard!  On Friday, I noticed that someone had got out of their car to check out the graveyard and I went outside to say hello.  Frank, was his name, and he was a financial planner who loved our homemade “economy” tombstone with blood dripping from the words, as he said that sums up how the economy is.  He even took out his cell phone and took a few photographs of it and he said that he was going to post it on his blog.  How cool is that!?  Frank even liked the skeletons that we added to our home haunt and I told him that we got them at KMart, so I told him that they might have some left and I think he headed up to the store after we talked to check.  We hope that Frank could find some in the store and that he stops back on Halloween to see the rest of our props that we will bring out.

Over the past few days, I have been messing around with a paper mache project.  I am attempting to make a huge pumpkinman head for a prop in our graveyard.  I started with a large plastic bag from the store and filled it with more plastic bags & crumpled newspaper, and when I got it to around the size I wanted, I ran masking tape from the top of the bag to the bottom pulling in the plastic bag slightly so it makes the indents you see in a regular pumpkin.  That part turned out well.  Then I made the “stem” to the pumpkin by rolling up newspaper and attaching it to the pumpkin with masking tape.

Now comes the part where I have to paper mache it.  I had asked in a prior post for any recipes for paper mache (since the last time I did anything like this was in high school) and I got a few responses.  (thanks!)  So, I ended up using a flour and water mix to come up with a kinda soupy to thick mix, then cut up strips of newspaper and dipped them into the paper mache.  I ran my fingers over each newspaper strip to remove the excess mix and placed them on the pumpkin bag form in all directions.  (I heard that you should not just lay the strips in only one direction – makes a lot of sense)  So, I got the top half of the pumpkin done the other day and let it dry overnight.  I was amazed by morning how hard the top half actually was and was pleased so far with the results.  Then I completed the bottom half, which is drying right now.  The next step will be to design the face I want on the pumpkinman and this will be the fun part.

I have seen so many interesting techniques online for creating pumpkins of this sort, and what they have done is to cutout the eyes, nose and mouth of the pumpkin, then add additional strips of thin boxes (like a cereal box) around the eyes to give them depth, and of course, I would have to do the paper mache again around this part after I attach it with masking tape.  So if you are planning a project like this, plan on lots of time to complete it as I am learning along the way on how time consuming this actually is.  I’ll keep you up to date on how I am coming along with this project and hopefully I can get it completed before Halloween night!

I thought that I would share with you some great photographs that I have taken since we adopted Bella in September, as I have done a horrible job in keeping up with this, but with me being under the weather for about a month with a nasty chest cold, it made it difficult to do.  Nikita and Bella have become best friends and Bella cries when Nikita is not in the room with her.  We know that Nikita has tolerated quite a bit with Bella, her nipping at her legs and such, but Nikita has been a good sport.  When Bella gets too rough with her, Nikita will put her in her place with a stern growl, and that usually makes Bella back off a bit.  Lately, we have seen Bella trying to snuggle up with Nikita on the floor when she is napping, and Nikita is ok with this, until Bella nips at her feet, then she moves to another location.  We feel that when Bella gets a little older/bigger that they will be napping together, but for now, Nikita is doing her best to keep her feet and legs away from the sharp puppy teeth.

I love this photograph of Bella sitting by the front door!

In the first few weeks that Bella arrived in her new home, she has already learned her name, how to sit, shake, down, and she is learning how to beg now.  She is a little shaky on holding her beg position for too long, but she is close to getting it.  I tried to teach her how to roll over, but that did not go over too well, as when I tried to “roll” her, she freaked out and ran under the table.  Maybe perhaps we’ll try that trick a little later.

One thing for sure that we know is, is that Bella has gained some weight.  She was so tiny when we brought her home and when we weighed her last week she has doubled in weight!  I can tell for sure because it is not as easy to just whip her up off the floor to pick her up.  That is good, because that means that she is one healthy puppy.  Her latest fun thing to do that I taught her (since it is getting hard to pick her up) is when we are heading out the back door, she waits for me to open the door, lets me step out, then she “jumps” out the back door as if she is diving into a pool.  It cracks me up every time to watch her do this as it is the funniest thing to watch.  She still can’t climb “up” the step to get back into the house, so I have to pick her up on that part.

Another hilarious thing happens when I vacuum, as this household chore happens a few times a day to keep up with any dog hair.  As you all know, Nikita does not mind the vacuum and she lets me actually vacuum her so I can remove any loose dog hair.  Bella, on the other hand, thinks that the vacuum is a big play toy and chases it and lays behind the vacuum to bite at the air coming out of the back.  Silly dog!

So stay tuned for more photographs and silly stories of Nikita and Bella and our Halloween updates!

Welcome Our New Addition to Nikitaland: Introducing Bella

We are proud to announce that on Friday night, we added a new addition to Nikitaland as we adopted a new little bundle of energy & joy from the APL at the Adopt Around the Clock 24-Hour Pet Marathon.  There were 400 dogs & cats that needed to find their forever homes, so it was no surprise to us when we arrived and PetSmart’s parking lot was jammed packed with cars & people all over the place.   Cages were all over the place under tents in the parking lot filled with adoptable dogs and puppies and inside PetSmart it was filled with all the kitties and cats.  It was like a Furry-Palooza going on and we were so glad to see the great turnout that this event had.   We heard that the adoption goal was 300 pets, and we think that the total adopted was 237, so a lot of animals got to go home and start their new lives in their forever homes and that is awesome!  This is one great photo of how happy one certain puppy was to be adopted by a nice couple!  (Thanks Annette for adopting me!)

We spent a lot of time walking around meeting & greeting all of the dogs & puppies and when we saw a new batch of animals arriving, we knew that we had found our new puppy.  Bella, is what we named our new puppy, but it took us until Saturday morning to figure out what to name her.  She arrived in one of the vehicles from the APL and we saw her on the lap of one of the employees, and when she was brought into the tent area, we followed her.  We could not take our eyes off of her.  We ran into Uncle Dave from the APL who helped us with our adoption of Nikita two years ago and he took Bella out of her cage so we could hold her.  It was love at first sight!  We did a lot of thinking while we were there and wanted to make sure we were doing the right thing, as we had Nikita on our mind and wanted to make sure that she would be ok with a new puppy in the house, but after deliberating a bit, we decided to adopt Bella.

We had to head into PetSmart to grab a bag of puppy food since we did not have any at home, and PetSmart had given us a lot of coupons with our adoption, so our first bag of food was on them!  Thanks PetSmart!  Bella was already drawing attention from everyone who walked by us as they all had to pet her.  It seemed like deja vu all over again, as this is what happened when we walked through the store with Nikita just two years earlier.  We were finally on our way home with our new puppy, and we found out that not long after we left a huge thunder storm hit and a lot of the tents were blown down and they had to move all of the animals inside PetSmart, but all the dogs were safe which was good to hear.

As for me, I have not been able to sleep much since Friday night, since I have nominated myself to take Bella out every time she woke up to cut down on the accidents in the house.  I nominated myself so Daddy could get a good nights sleep as he has a very important job and we don’t want him heading into work with little sleep.  We love Daddy so much & want to thank him for everything! We were lucky when we adopted Nikita, as she did not whine or whimper not even once from the first day we brought her home, but Bella is a completely different story.  Friday night was hell from all the crying, but with each day that has passed, she has gotten a lot better at night and sleeps quite a few hours before she wakes up and needs to head outside.  Phew, I knew this was not going to be easy, but we did a good thing and gave another little puppy it’s forever home.

Nikita took to Bella quite well, and was wagging her tail when we brought her into the house for the first time.  It will take a little time for her to get used to having another dog in the house, but we feel that she will be ok.  We had noticed that Nikita was a little anxious or stressed a little because she was drooling all over the place like a Saint Bernard.  When we took Bella to the vets on Saturday for her first check up and she weighed in at 8.6 pounds, and Nikita got her nails clipped while we were there, we had asked the vet what the drooling was all about and he confirmed that she was a little stressed with the new puppy, but it will pass.  As of today, Nikita has not drooled, and that is a good thing!  The one thing though that Bella is doing to Nikita is running behind her and biting Nikita’s fluffy tail and Nikita hates this & runs like mad to get away from her.  Hopefully in time, Bella will be cured of this so she does not stress out Nikita.

On Sunday, Nikita took a little break from Bella and sat down on the couch to watch the Browns Game.  The Browns were playing the Philadelphia Eagles and unfortunately, they lost by ONE POINT!  Ouch, that hurts.

We have a lot to celebrate this week as Nikitaland is turning two years old on the 14th, and what better way to celebrate our two years than with two beautiful dogs, Nikita and Bella.  Nikitaland is now Nikitaland & Co., because we have made room for one more fluffy pup in our life, with lots of love to share.  Not only do we have two reasons to celebrate, but I have a third reason.  It’s because I get to spend every day with the love of my life to which I owe everything to.  (thanks for everything my Sweets!)

One of the neat things about Bella is that she is portraying some of the same traits that Nikita did when she was a puppy, as climbing into the fridge as Bella did this and went straight for Daddy’s wine bottle and started licking it (just leave some for Daddy when he gets home).

So, stay tuned as we will have many more stories to tell with the addition to our happy home!  Enjoy our small sampling of photographs of Bella, as we are sure that there will be many many more to come!  Enjoy & welcome Bella to her forever home!