I can't remember exactly why we put this cardboard box out on the porch. I think it might have been intended for Dougal after one particularly bad night storm with lots of thunder and lightning and driving rain. As usually happened Bella decided to take over. With a rug inside it provided a nice den for her. The box, a perfect size for Dougal, didn't last long once Bella took up residence.

I was always struck by the way our dogs would look for 'dens' to lie in - something that seemed to provide some protection and security. After we adopted her, in every house and apartment we moved to Bella invariably found a corner somewhere that became her place.

This picture also gives a clear indication of just how big and chunky Bella was at this time - more than 90 pounds or 40 kilos - testimony to that hidden aggression that came to the fore when food was involved. I never saw any dog try to fight back when she came to the garbage pile to take what she considered hers. Since the garbage pile diet consisted largely of fatty meat and old pizza it's no surprise that she ballooned.

This picture also provides a nice view of another of her many charming features: the black 'cow spots' on her belly. Taken on 15 December 2006.


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