In Loving Memory
Pete’s Pet Posse – Class 1
February 20, 2005 - January 15, 2015
Bella was born February 20, 2005. But her life really began in August 2009 when she found her forever parents, Kirk and Jan Jewell. Before her life as a Cowgirl, her name was “Doddie”. She lived with a family who could no longer care for her and needed to find a home for her. Jan was still grieving the loss of her miniature schnauzer, Harley, and was determined she was NOT going to get another dog. That is, until she met Bella. It was love at first sight. Bella rode home in Jan’s lap – her favorite place to be for the next five years.
Bella had many special gifts and she was at her best when she began sharing those gifts with others. She spent every weekend visiting her Grandpa Jewell in the Alzheimer’s Unit at the Veteran’s Center in Claremore. His face would light up as soon as Bella arrived and he would always say, “This is who I’ve been waiting for!” She would go immediately to him and sit quietly in his lap while he talked and petted her. No one knew at the time, but Bella was practicing for a much bigger role.
She loved everyone she met and made a difference in so many ways. Because of her sweet and kind spirit, she was selected as part of the first class of dogs trained in Pete’s Pet Posse, the pet therapy program at Oklahoma State University. She bonded with her classmates (both two legged and four legged) and became a class favorite. She was quickly named the class diva and everyone in class could tell a Bella story. Perhaps it was practicing the “leave it” command – when she was performing perfectly but suddenly turned into the ninja pup and stole treats off the pile – and then continued to walk as if nothing had happened. Or maybe it was when she realized she had to perform “leave it” and she refused to even look in the direction of the treats. And everyone knew Bella did not like walking on tile or concrete or brick, she was a carpet girl!
Bella LOVED her role as a Pete’s Pet Posse pup and she loved her visits on campus. And the students, faculty, and staff loved her right back. She brought comfort to a sorority as they grieved the loss of a sister. She brought peace to students as they prepared for an exam. She brought smiles and joy to everyone she met, whether it was in the Student Union, the Library, or just walking around campus. She often made campus visits with her buddies Charlie or Scruff, the First Cowgirl’s dog. Ann Hargis affectionately called the Bella and Scruff team, “Lady and the Tramp.”
January 9, 2015, Bella suffered a seizure and was taken to the OSU Veterinary Medical Hospital. After testing and evaluation, Bella was diagnosed with cancer of the spleen. Additional testing revealed it was too advanced to treat, and the greatest gift they could give Bella was to end her suffering. Just as she had given so unconditionally during her lifetime, her parents gave her the gift that she needed. On January 15, 2015, Bella peacefully left us. Surrounded by doctors and student residents who provided comfort and compassion to Kirk and Jan, Bella left this world surrounded by love. She will be missed by not only her “real” family, but also by her OSU family and all of those who loved and adored her. When she left, she took a little piece of all of us with her.
Donations may be made in Bella’s memory to Pete’s Pet Posse by contacting the OSU Foundation at 405.385.5607 or by clicking here.