Justin Wright and Bella: Deployed May 2011
Posted by Jennifer Petre on May 13, 2011
Justin has been in love with Bella from the moment he saw her picture. I remember the phone call vividly. I was in the middle of my initial interview conversation, and Justin cut me off; “Excuse me Ma’am”, he said “But I am looking at this picture of Bella and it is like she is calling me, I wold love her to be my dog….” there was more but I wasn’t listening. I was waiting for this phone call. Our first Bella stalker
Bella is the type of dog that will elicit attention form anyone or anything that even looks her way! We weren’t worried at all about the initial connection that would take place. You could see the red hearts floating in the air around them….
Bella did respond immediately with Justin having her one ear on him at all times. Justin was equally as excited to learn all we were teaching him about her body language, when Bella was instinctively “Watching his back”. This also helped their connection grow as they were both able to read each other in a short time together.
However, Bella and I have a special connection as well. I have known Bella for 10 months, spent some memorable time together where she was my therapy dog. I loved her, she loved me, anyone could see it. This also was confusing for Bella. The first three days she had one ear on Justin and one ear on me. I felt bad for Justin, he was doing everything right, and Bella was responding so good to him. Donna and I was very impressed and proud of her actually. By the third day Donna, called Doct0re for this reason, had a conversation with me that went something like this: “Do not walk Bella, look at her, feed her, let her sleep in your room.”…..basically I was banned from Bella! I understood why this was so important for her to transition to Justin. I spent that afternoon on the balcony of the home with the zoom lens, watching their training class on the beach….
Justin’s Dr, Melinda Gabe. had mention in previous email that she would love to meet us. So we took advantage of that. Donna and I met Justin there to show them, Justin and Melody, the proper dog introductions. Dr. has a wonderful dog,/ She is Canine Good Citizen and is a part of her Therapy. We wanted Bella and er dog to meet properly since Bella will be with Justin from now on at his appointment’s. It took a few minutes and walk by’s, and all were good. Bella got to accompany Justin, another great bonding time. Thank You Melinda Gabe, it was wonderful meeting you!
One day of ignoring Bella and I was chopped liver! I was hurt for about 2 minutes, until I saw them together. Bella fit right in to his work, the other Marines love her.(I hear she has a huge following. I am sure she hates that!)
It was pure joy of watching Bella for the first time in her new back yard. This was a highlight of our trip. Bella loves being outside, she loves the grass and loves nothing more than to roll in the grass for hours. It has been winter and our spring slow to start, this was also her first grass experience. She took off and sprinted in circles around the yard. Her new yard was almost an acre all fenced in. She was in heaven. She ran, and rolled, ran, peed in every corner, and ran again. You could hear her laughing……all the while she would check in with Justin, run by him, or stop for a roll over belly rub! Could it get any better?
Yes, actually it did. We drove over to say goodbye and see how the night went. Bella was behind Justin when he answered the door. Yes was so excited to see us, and even though we got the wiggle butt kisses hello, she went right back to Justin side. I let out the deep breath I wasn’t aware I was holding. Then she did something that stopped Donna and I in our tracks…………she ran over with a ball in her mouth to elicit play! Bella did not do that, we have tried a million times, she didn’t play fetch, period…….until now. Apparently Justin and Bella played the night before, and Bella was sure excited and proud to show Donna and I. A huge tear fell from my eyes and rolled right off her pink nose….I had to go. I have no doubts about this, Enjoy your new life Bella- you deserve just his!
I hugged Justin tight, a lot was said without saying nothing. He knew how hard this was….”I’ll take good care of her”. I walked directly out the door down to the car with out looking back. I couldn’t. When I went to unlock the car I realized I grabbed the wrong keys, I had his! “I cant go back up there Donna” was all I had to say. I went around to the trunk to get a much needed Gatorade, (to rehydrate myself from all the tears already this morning). Next thing I knew Bella was running around the corner and ready to jump on the car…..Leave it to Bella to have a dramatic goodbye. Last vision was of Justin from behind carrying Bella through the door…
Thank you Justin for making this great experience for Donna and I too. Thank you to Provost Marshall, who helped us out tremendously to navigate Bella through the system! Thank you Anette for the best banana bread ever, we ate it between cries all the way home. We are 100% happy and proud of Bella and Justin. We look forward to hearing more..