After losing my precious girl who meant the world to me as much as I grieved I knew something was missing, and Alaska would have wanted me to take dog in and make their doggy life on this earth the best and loving I could, just as I did for her, always hoping she knew the moments spent with her changed my outlook on life and I will forever cherish. I knew I needed time to grieve and couldn’t right away think about it but the time came it began. For months, and I mean months I looked at rescue and adoption sites all over the states. If I could I’d take every single one and it broke my heart. How would I ever know who which was “the one”? They all should be “the one”, deserving of homes love and families. Months had passed and I figured, there are dogs nearby that need homes so why expand my search so far? Within days I came upon a shelter just miles away in Northbrook, and I saw Her. So confused wondering how I’d ever know I had found the right one, within a second it all became clear. Yes I read her story, yes I saw her pictures, but that absolute feeling overwhelmed me knowing..it’s Her. She’s the one. She doesn’t need someone, she needs Me, and I need Her. I emailed the shelter and was thrilled when I got a response. I remember the day like it was yesterday, I drove down to the shelter never having actually seen or met her in person but so hopeful and more nervous whether she’d like me. I walked in the back and Allyson who I had been in contact with brought out “Poppi”. That was her name at the time. We were introduced and I remember one of the volunteers asking when I hoped to possibly take her home. I responded..now, today. That evening Bella came home with me. I knew very little background information on her, she was a hound mix.

I later learned that she was found on the side of some country road, moved around shelters and although adopted once already, had to be returned to the shelter. I felt from the moment I saw her that it wouldn’t be easy, but she belonged with me. The first weeks were truly trying, there were nights I wanted to cry, but one thing I was sure of was I wouldn’t just give her back. I was prepared to be patient, sacrifice and boy did I ever. Not only are you never really sure of your new best friends past when adopting but on top of that Bella is a true hound. Coonhounds are unlike any other dogs, they give a whole separate definition to the word unique and one of a kind. Their intelligence and wit surpasses all expectations and their personality makes them impossible to be just “dogs”. They truly require understanding and knowledge of their instincts but the reward is ..priceless. They’re not for everyone and time spent with Bella having her a part of my family only confirmed that famous saying that it’s not you who chooses the dog but the dog chooses you. The connection we have is beyond comprehension, and everyday having her in my life I’m reassured She was meant to be with me. I’m forever grateful for everyone at Heartland Animal Shelter for giving me the greatest gift, as grateful as I am to have the honor and privilege to be able to provide this “dog” with the absolute best doggy life she has here on this earth. Because the truth is, we only have so many years with them ❤

Happy Tails Archive


When you adopt from a no-kill shelter, you save two lives. The animal you adopt and the one that replaces him.