Love stands test of time

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PETS - Luke Bow­den Any­one in­ter­ested in shar­ing their best friends’ sto­ries can email luke. bow­den@ news. com. au

IT goes with­out say­ing that ev­ery­one I in­ter­view for this col­umn is very en­am­oured of their an­i­mal com­pan­ions, how­ever, no one has ex­pressed it quite as flu­idly and hon­estly as Kerry Faulds, of Howrah, when she de­scribes the love she has for her nine- year- old Maltese shih tzu, Bella.

Tell me how you and Bella came to­gether?

I had a hip re­place­ment al­most 10 years ago and needed to get up and ex­er­cise for my re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. I de­cided to get a dog be­cause I love them but more im­por­tantly, walk­ing it would aid in my re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion. I saw some pup­pies ad­ver­tised and when I went to look at them Bella was the only one left and so she came home with me.

And you both cel­e­brate a big mile­stone later this year?

Yes, we’re both turn­ing 70 this year. Bella’s 10 years old at Easter so that makes her 70 in dog years and I too cel­e­brate my 70th birth­day this year. We’ve grown old to­gether we’ve both got a lit­tle arthri­tis and are slow­ing up but at 9am ev­ery morn­ing we leave the house and walk Howrah Beach with­out fail. Which over the years has just been mar­vel­lous, run­ning into the same peo­ple each morn­ing and hav­ing es­tab­lished some won­der­ful friend­ships with other dog own­ers who walk their dogs along Howrah Beach.

( At this point Bella lies down next to my feet and rolls on her stom­ach want­ing a tummy scratch).

She seems very gen­tle na­tured.

In the whole time I’ve had her I’ve never even once heard her snarl in anger. She loves ev­ery other dog she meets and is just as great with peo­ple. Grow­ing up she’s had our chil­dren and their grand­chil­dren pull her this way and that and she just loves it.

Re­cently, she’s had to put up with a kit­ten we adopted from Bright­side Sanc­tu­ary called Tippy. Tippy is al­ways try­ing to fi ght with Bella and gives her a box round the ears with her paws and jumps on her back but Bella just stands there hap­pily and takes it with­out get­ting an­gry, she’s just the most placid lit­tle thing.

You ob­vi­ously love her to bits.

We won’t even go on hol­i­days be­cause we don’t want to leave her with any­one else. She comes pretty much ev­ery­where with us but if we have to go some­where and leave her, as soon as we leave she jumps up on our bed and watches us leave and with­out fail she’ll be sit­ting there watch­ing for us in the same spot when we get back home.

She’s very spe­cial and I hope she breaks all records for a dog to live the long­est amount of years. She’s just such good com­pany, I just chat to her all day long.

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