The beauty of Bella

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

SCHOOL teacher Deb Bryant of Lind­is­farne has had a 20- year love af­fair with Ber­nese moun­tain dogs, man­i­fested cur­rently by her three- year- old dog Bella. De­spite Ber­nese be­ing renowned for hav­ing short life spans, Deb is more than happy to perser­vere with them.

So Bella is your third Ber­nese moun­tain dog?

Yes, fi rst I had Bronte who lived un­til she was fi ve and then there was Bear and he lived un­til he was eight. I’m do­ing ev­ery­thing I can to get Bella to 10. They don’t gen­er­ally have a long life span and 10 years is about aver­age. I just love their look and tem­per­a­ment. They’ll just mir­ror what­ever your mood is – if I’m up and about then she’s highly ex­cited but if I just want to sit down and re­lax she’s com­pletely at­tune to that and just chills out with me. Bella is ex­tra spe­cial be­cause I in­cor­po­rated get­ting her from a breeder in South Aus­tralia when vis­it­ing my daugh­ter who lives over there.

Would you say she’s well be­haved?

Gen­er­ally speak­ing, yes. How­ever, she de­vel­oped an ac­quired taste as a puppy for Gyprock of all things and man­aged to eat away a few plas­ter walls. We’re not talk­ing just lit­tle holes ei­ther but like square me­tres of the laun­dry. She also seems to be highly sus­pi­cious of men, a lit­tle like her owner.

What do you love do­ing with Bella?

We walk for miles and miles along Howrah Beach and she loves meet­ing other dogs along the way. My sis­ter has a labradoo­dle and they are the best of friends and spend a lot of time to­gether.

What’s great about hav­ing Bella?

The un­con­di­tional love and loy­alty – she puts you in a good mood no mat­ter how you’re feel­ing. She’s even more im­por­tant as a com­pan­ion now both my kids have moved in­ter­state. It means I’ve still got one child to look af­ter.

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