Belle had a chance to meet her new adoptive Dad for the first time in Madisonville, TN and they will make quite a team. Carl Jones is a disabled military veteran from Florida who was looking for a new companion with therapy dog skills and Belle was a homeless disabled German Shepherd looking for a best friend to share her life with.
9/19/15 Adoption Update
Belle is continuing to be so, well, Belle! Her personality continues to come out as her confidence and maturity grow! She is full of joy and energy and she is calmer and thinking more than reacting! She watches us and wants to please us.... Sometimes her enthusiasm can just about bowl you over!
Carl ended up in the hospital for over a week with a serious infection. The infectious disease Doctor found the culprit.... Belle. Carl had not been feeling well and was laying in bed a lot. Belle and Emma were spending time sleeping during the day with him. Two days in a row, Belle launched herself off the bed using the back of Carl's hand as her base. While that back paw has no claws, it scrapped the thin skin on top of his hand. Carl is on anti-rejection drugs to suppress his immune system (transplanted kidney) so he has low resistance. Carl responded well to the iv treatment; he just finished the regime about a week ago. He did his own iv treatment here at home. Infectious disease Doctor said this is not an uncommon issue with puppies and that as Belle matures, the danger lessens.
Belle and Emma now sleep on the couch and not in Carl's bed. Belle also has a dog bed at the foot of Carl's bed if she is sleeping in his room. Mouthing is discouraged and being replaced with long back scratches. Carl is being careful to keep from getting any skin breaks from our girl.
Carl is taking daily walks during the day with Belle in the neighborhood! She is listening to him when he tells her to be gentle. They are both enjoying this! I also am walking both dogs in the evening. They walk shoulder to shoulder and sniff their way along. These are relaxed walks, not practicing the heel command although, if I tell them to heel, they do.
I put away the new food bowls because Emma would give up eating and Belle was eating most of both dishes of food! An after effect is that Belle lays down and straddles Emma's food bowl and growls at Emma if she gets near Belle's unattended dish.... Emma would come into the kitchen and stare at me, trying to make me understand that Belle was being a pig! Now I bring Emma's bowl next to me at meal time so she gets to eat as well!
Emma and Belle have had one conflict in the past month and Emma initiated it. No one, dog or human, got hurt. The rest of the evening all dog contact was ignored and neither dog liked it.... This confrontation stuff still seems to be tied to me. Sigh!
Cat and Belle continue to irritate each other. No aggression just ongoing sibling rivalry; " she touched me! She is looking at me...."! Whatever!
Belle is becoming calmer and more mature. When we get company at the house, she stands down pretty fast when we tell her they are okay. We are working on playing with toys. She is not chomp, chomp, chomping on them but chasing them and playing keep away! I would like her to drop the ball and let me throw it for her but evil look in her eye slows me down as I begin to reach for the ball..... We will need to work on this much more! I have not found more black dog fur on the table so that's progress!
I am seeing a very happy dog who seldom gets flighty or scared anymore. She is not hiding in my room as the Roomba's clean the Bird room floor each day! When I use the broom to guide the parrots outside in the morning (think Lion tamer and the chair) the sight of the broom used to make her run and hide. Now she gets ready to run under the parrots as they fly out to the outside kennel (big door is standing open). Emma and Belle race under the two macaws and then out the door as well. Cat crouches low while all the crazies whisk by her! They all seem to enjoy the excitement in the morning! At night, the macaws walk back into their perch so it is much calmer.... Occasionally a dog will attempt to give one a squeeze so I wave the broom at them and they back off but no one runs and hides.
We hope you enjoy this latest Belle update! We are thankful to have our Belle!
Suzanne and Carl
5/2015: Belle was born missing a back foot and has been fitted with a prosthesis manufactured and donated by Derrick Campana of Animal Ortho Care in Chantilly, VA. Over a 5 month period, the device was fitted and adjusted several times by Dr. Marti Drum at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Hospital and Dr. Derrick Campanhn. Dr. Sandra Priest provided veterinarian chiropractic care.
Belle has been lovingly cared for in two foster homes where she blossomed from the terrified dog that had been turned in to the Monroe County Animal Shelter in January, to the calm, loving beauty that she is today. Carl and his wife, Suzanne Reinhardt Jones will be able to bring her to therapy dog classes near their home in Florida to help her learn the specific skills she'll need to be Carl's very, very best friend. Today she walks with pride thanks to the support and care of the entire Team Belle.
Belle has been sponsored under the Second Chance Pals program and has been adopted through the Pets for Patriots program of the Monroe County Friends of Animals. Visit:
for more information on this program which helps to connect adult and other at-risk shelter pets with members of the U.S. military. The Monroe County Animal Shelter was the first in Tennessee to qualify for this partnership.