Bella (Aemilia’s Christiana at Arkadian) was born on the 9th March 2013. Her mother is Aemilia’s Bonnie Bea and her father is Amor Von Marchienweise. It was her mother’s first litter and Bella was one of 5, 2 boys and 3 girls. Bella was the smallest and, as she was always at the back of the queue when it came to meal times, her breeder started to feed her separately. Over 9 years later and she is still to be found waiting patiently at the back of the queue for any treats or food. As the eldest, she always gets her treat first though, despite who tries to push in!
Bought purely as a pet and companion, she came to live with us on the 15th May and we soon found her to be a very well behaved little girl who didn’t take much interest in toys but loved to pull her bed around the room. She still has the very first toy I bought her, a pink pig, and it is definitely her favourite. She gets very protective of it when the others are around. She also loves to play fetch but otherwise her lack of interest in toys meant that I could leave my reading, knitting or crotchet lying around and she would totally ignore it. I found out, to my cost, that not all Bolognese are like that when she had puppies!
She was soon enjoying walks with her friends Missy (a Shih Tzu) and Alfie (a Shih Tzu Poodle cross) and loved getting covered in mud. From an early age she went to obedience training and picked things up very quickly. I started to spend time each day to teach her tricks. As well as the standards like Sit, Down, Leave, etc. she can shake a paw, roll over, fetch and dance. Her recall WAS brilliant as a puppy but she eventually got a bit cocky and too fond of getting dirty in the countryside and would only come back when she wanted to. She has always been quite stubborn, in an amusing kind of way!
For the first 6 months she never made a sound and we were delighted that we had a quiet little girl who didn’t bark. Then she saw her first cat….! She started barking with a high pitched ‘girly’ bark and I laughed so much. She wasn’t a quiet little girl after that. Sitting up in the living room window she stands guard over people passing by and barks at the other dogs that go past. Luckily we don’t have many local cats but there is a black one who likes to tease her every now and again.
She is very loving but rather than sit on your lap she has always preferred to cuddle up alongside you. She loves sleeping on a big pile of cushions, the higher the better, reminding me of the story of The Princess and the Pea. She’s also very partial to a tummy tickle and can assume the position in the blink of an eye. When you call her to have her nightly eye and teeth cleaning routine she will always come over and flip onto her back for some fuss, but always just out of reach.
Bella has always travelled everywhere with us, from days out in London to weeks spent up in the Lake District and beyond. Often her Bolognese friend, Mia, who is 2 weeks younger would come with us. Bella has always taken every opportunity whilst out and about with us to lie down and chill out so was a good dog to take anywhere. Once, on the London Underground she was on my lap and mistaken for a toy until I had to move her to get off the train.
On her breeder’s suggestion, we entered her in a few Bolognese Club shows but never took it that seriously as she never seemed particularly interested. Over time we entered her in a few more shows but she was never really a show dog.
Altogether she was so well behaved that we rarely knew there was a dog in the house so we thought we’d have another one – a good one, just like Bella! After speaking to her breeder it was suggested that we mate Bella and keep one of the puppies. The mating was eventful as it was intended she would be mated with one boy but, despite having a flirt and a play date, it wasn’t to be and so his kennel mate was brought out to do the deed. Poor Bella never got to see the second boy’s face as he was very focused on the job in hand rather than any pre cursory flirting. Her pregnancy went well and she had 3 puppies. We reluctantly parted with a girl, Millie and kept two – Cara (a mini-me version of Bella) and Max (by name, size and nature) who probably takes after his dad more. They’re nearly 7 now and they all get on really well, most of the time!
She is very well travelled, having spent lots of time with us in the caravan and motorhome over the years travelling all over the UK and abroad but loves coming home to her garden and spends time chasing the pigeons and doves away or sunbathing in a sunny spot. In 2019 we took them all on a road trip to Italy where they saw many of the sights and also visited the city of Bologna. It was very hot in Italy but they were kept cool in strollers and cool coats and despite the heat she would sneak out for a bit of sunbathing when she could.
As she gets older she is getting a little grumpy at times and hates to be disturbed while she is chilling out. She’s definitely not a morning dog and will happily lie in till well after lunch if you let her. That said, she can run around playing like the rest of them (we now have 5) and really enjoys a game of tug of war with our youngest Bolognese, Enzo as they are quite well matched.
We entered her in the club show in 2022 and while she did her best to entertain the crowd with her antics and made the judge smile, she did seem to really enjoy it and so will do a few more shows as a veteran with us in 2023. She’s very well loved by us all and despite her age, she still has a stunning coat and looks great for her age.
Birmingham, West Midlands