# Bella’s Birthday

Today’s a big day in our house! Our little fur-baby turned N-I-N-E! All day I’ve felt like the typical parent, walking around shaking my head and wondering how time flew so quickly. Most of the photos I take with cameras, phones or otherwise are of my dog, so it should come to no surprise that on her birthday I took hundreds of photos. I’m not kidding. I’ve managed to cull through them so I could share my favorites, but let’s be honest…they’re all my favorites.

Before I suffocate you with cuteness, I’ll take you back to the day I got Bella. It was July 2005. I had just returned from spending a summer in Italy, falling in love with Joe. Earlier that summer I had just finished my first year of my master’s and it was a very. very. hard. year. Bella (a name I picked in Italy before ever knowing what she’d look like) was a gift from my Dad, knowing that I needed the distraction and unconditional love a puppy was guaranteed to provide. He took me, my sister and brother out to pick the puppy of my dreams. I had three to choose from:

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That white and black one almost stole my heart, but Bella came up to me and licked my cheek–which is odd, since she’s not a licker–and the rest, as they say, is history. We’ve been making out every since. Here’s evidence of our humble beginnings:

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I should have known they’d be a match made in heaven. They still nap together all the time.

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Fast forward to today: We started the party early by allowing Bella to participate in one of her favorite activities: sharing an apple with us. (She just goes crazy on the core, we don’t actually go back and forth taking bites…although that does sound precious.) This was last night and I don’t normally do much black and white photography, but it seemed to fit these photos best:

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Who could say ‘no’ to this face? Spoiler alert: Not me. Ever.

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Bella’s known for demolishing her toys into carcasses, so instead of getting a new toy whose entrails we’d be picking up within 20 minutes, Joe and I decided to give Bella the ultimate experience gift. See, unlike her Mama and Daddy, Bella loves the snow. I mean, girlfriend LOVES to play in some crazy deep snow. We decided to take to her a baseball park near our house and let her go crazy. And since I was the one holding the camera, it meant Joe had to go crazy too. Nothing a few layers couldn’t help with, though. She meant business before he even put her down.

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Most of these pictures do their own talking…

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Sure, go ahead and put your entire head in the snow. That’s fine.

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Her joy. Her love of life. Her excitement. I want it.

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These next photos are for my Aunt Pam and Memaw, who will appreciate her shakin’ what she’s got:

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But, the best is this one…

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because if you zoom in….

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Ha! Not your best look, baby.

After our snowcapades, we give her birthday ice cream in the form of some Frosty Paws.

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Didn’t take her too long to figure out it was for her…

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That tongue is about to make several appearances…

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We even let her eat at the table. Before you *tsk tsk* me, I assure you my great-grandmother, lover of all dogs and original owner of the table, would have approved.

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And then I teased her by taking it away and she went all Puss-in-Boots on me.

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When it was all said and done, she had ice cream-covered chops. A true sign of puppy bliss.

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Here’s to you, Bella — for nine wonderful years, for your infinite love, for your sweet snuggles, for everything. You make me such a better person. Happy birthday!

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3 thoughts on “# Bella’s Birthday

  1. Awww…sweet baby Berra! We love you and are glad that you had such a special birthday. Thanks for spending some of your time with us.
    Love,
    Mama Dos!!

  2. Pingback: Friday Five: First Blogiversary | hashtag marci

  3. Pingback: # Bella turns 10 | hashtag marci

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