May 5 is a special day. It is the day when, 16-years ago, a litter of English Setters were born beside our bed. First, Bert. Second, Bella. Although unforeseeable on that proud whelping day, Molly’s first two arrivals had immediately found their permanent home.
Bert deserved our title of pick of the litter. What an intelligent boy. Bert was a true standout in class, character and unmatched hunting skills. Bert was big, brown and handsome.
Bella deserved our title of Houdini. In the weeks of meeting families interested in eight available puppies, Bella pulled some great escapes and disappearing acts. Bella couldn’t be picked if Bella couldn’t be found. We suspect Bella’s Houdini stunts were in response to her astute premonition. She was already with her family.
On the homestretch of the 2003 OFAH Get Outdoors Summer Leadership Camps (a program that Cathy and I proudly created) we decided that we were going to keep Bella, Molly’s last unsold puppy.
Cathy and I embraced life as a three-dog family but our family wasn’t complete without our boys Charlie and Jackson. The boys’ childhood was shaped by wrapping their arms and hearts around Molly, Bert and Bella.
May 5, 2003 changed our lives forever. Molly, Bert and Bella gave us years of great memories. Together, these three family members were there as we pursued dreams for the future: an engagement ring, a wedding on a rock, a deed to 138 acres, two healthy and happy boys and a brand new home.
The Pye Acres blog is where we tell the Pye family story, and every chapter captures the love of our English Setters. Honoured here first was Bert, then Molly, and then Enzo. Today we honour Bella.
We said goodbye to Bella on April 19. She showed the world how living 16-years of the best outdoors and family life is really done. She hunted last fall with the passion of a pup, and she loved our family everyday with her heart of gold. Bella’s early instincts were right. She was born to stay with the family that loved her from the very start.
Molly, Bert and Bella… together again.