A puppy mill is defined as "an establishment that breeds puppies for sale, typically on an intensive basis and in conditions regarded as inhumane." That's where Belle lived for 12 years. The elderly Chihuahua was discovered by rescue volunteers from Bianca Associado, in Portugal. Horrified at her condition, volunteers took her in and changed her life.
All Belle had ever known was the inside of a small cage, where she had litter after litter of puppies. She had never even seen the sunlight. From lack of use, her muscles had weakened to the point where she could not even walk. When Bianca Associado found her, she was very sick.
She was in awful shape with glaucoma in her left eye, terribly ingrown nails and a tiny body riddled with parasites. The rescue organization took immediate action. After treatment for her many ailments, she was adopted by a kind lady named Irene from the Netherlands.
The first two months were so hard on her as she battled leishmania (a single-cell parasite), had several surgeries including removal of all her teeth (which were rotten and falling out) and then, sadly, the removal of her left eye. The pain from the pressure of glaucoma was miserable. She had a rough time coming out of anesthesia and scared everybody when she had a heart attack and needed resuscitation.
Four happy years passed as Bella learned to interact with the wide, wide world. At first, everything scared her, including sounds and sudden movements. She had to learn to walk and trust the humans who cared for her. But she didn't have to do it alone; she had lots of friends who accepted her for the sweet dog she was.
Enjoying the sunshine became one of her favorite things.
Irene took her on longs walks along the beach...
...and in the sand and grass. Irene loved Bella so much and was her constant friend.
They were the best of friends, and Bella lived those four years in contentment.
Then, the unthinkable happened. Bella had to undergo another surgery to remove her right eye after glaucoma made the pain too much to bear. It was particularly scary after the problems she had with anesthesia the first time. After 16 years, Bella was totally blind.
Exploring her world and learning to interact with it without sight was a little tricky, but true to her indomitable spirit, Bella continued to live a life filled with joy and adventure.
Now Bella wakes up every day with an expectation of fun and with the companionship of her friends, who think nothing of her blindness.
Irene has made a Facebook page for her, where friends around the world can see this brave and incredibly joyful little dog. For however long she has left in this life, Bella will be happy and content in the arms of her best friend, Irene, alongside her canine buddies. Bella's creed is: “Not only with eyes can you see beauty.”
Share this inspiring video with your friends and write a comment about what you think of this amazing little dog. Then visit her Facebook page and leave a little love!