The beauty of Bella
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.