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The effort one woman made to create a haven for her rescue dog will inspire you

Two pictures showing Bella's pimped dog crate dog-happy
© Mel Issa – Facebook

After adopting a nervous dog from a rescue centre in Michigan, one woman knew she must make her dog feel safe. This she did by a breath-taking degree.

By Nick Whittle , 12 Nov 2019

Bella came from Project Hope Animal Rescue. The Project rescues stray and unwanted dogs and animals on the brink of euthanasia in high-kill shelters.

She arrived at the rescue home in 2017. Her previous experiences of humankind were not pleasant. As a result of her maltreatment, Bella was timid, nervous and agitated. But her luck was soon to change.

She was earlier this year to meet local resident Melissa Maher. Ms Maher already had a dog called Mack, and she was on the lookout for a second. Bella caught her eye and, despite the behavioural quirks Maher was told Bella had in abundance, Maher brought her home.


No sleeping in with these cuties in your face every morning waiting to be taken care of ?! #MouthBreathers

Posted by Mel Issa on Thursday, October 10, 2019

With Mack’s help Bella became less timid over time, and her nervousness around people began to fade thanks largely to Maher’s soft and patient treatment of the new arrival.

The safety of the crate

What Maher noticed most of all as the weeks progressed was Bella’s love of her crate; here she could enjoy 'alone time' and feel at least partly detached from the bustle of a life she was still not quite used to.

Maher decided that due to Bella’s spending a lot of time in her crate she would decorate it. Talking to The Dodo, Maher said, “Her [Bella’s] crate was her first safe place when she came to us. That was the place where she was not to be bothered. She learned that quickly.

When I was decorating her crate for about 1.5 hours, she just sat on the bed watching like, ‘What are you doing, Mom?’” Maher said.

The crate finished, Bella feels even more at home than she ever did. And due to that feeling of safety and contentment, her trust in humans is growing daily. Thanks to Maher and dog Mack, Bella appears to be on the right path at last.