Bella the Blue Heeler (Rainbow Bridge)

Beautiful Bella


Breed: Australian Cattle Dog (Queensland Blue Heeler)

Age: Lived 16 1/2 years (2003-Mid 2020)

Color: Salt & Pepper

Name Meaning: “Beautiful” in French

Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius

Birthday: December 15th, 2003

Color: Blue Speckle

Nicknames: Beau, Bay, Belle, FoxDog, Bella-Mia, WolfDog, Kitty Cat, Baby Blue, My Brighteyes

Favorite Toys: Frisbees, Tennis Balls, JW Hol-ee Ball, Okra balls, Golf balls, Bouncy Balls, Soccer Balls, Ice Cubes

Favorite Foods: RedBarn Bully Slices, Greenies, Merrick Lamb Lung Treats, Ice Cream, Starbucks Cream

Favorite Activities: Frisbee, Hiking, Fetch, Swimming, Agility, Car Rides, Learning tricks

Dislikes: The popping sound of bubble gum, the flyswatter


  • The Most Adorable Pets of America 2011
  • “Smiling Dogs” Bark Magazine 2013
  • FidoFriendly Magazine TongeOut Calendar 2015
  • RedBarn Summer Press Kit 2016


  • Voted Fan Favorite for HauteDog: Wet Nose Culture Magazine’s 2012 August Cover Dog Contest
  • Semi-Finalist in the 2013 Pets Dialog Lord of the Castle Contest
  • Winner of the 2013 “Make My Pet A Star” Contest for “The Returns” book
  • AZ Foothills Magazine Dog Days of Summer Cutest Large Dog 2015

Background Information:

Bella is a purebred Australian Cattle Dog, which is more commonly known as a Queensland Blue Heeler. She was born on December 15th, 2003 in Sierra Vista, Arizona from a family who had a litter of ACD pups.

Puppy Bella

My first choice of the litter was a predominately white freckled pup who bounded up to me and jumped on me, but the family was initially going to keep him and had named him Snowball.

Instead I decided I wanted a girl, and since one girl was already reserved by my aunt, the only other girl was Bella. She came home at 8 weeks old.

Me with my first puppy

We took home two puppies-Bella and her brother Jack. I had originally wanted to call my puppy “Peppa” after one of the female characters from my favorite book “Fire Bringer” by David Clement-Davis. Her fur looked like pepper. My mom said we should name her “Bella,” and said that it meant “beautiful” in French. So she became Bella-Mia and the Belle of the Ball, as my mom often called her.

Bella and Jack

As it turned out, the family didn’t end up keeping Snowball and my aunt also took him home. The four pups grew up a few houses from each other and got to hang out every so often.

Bella and Bosco (“Snowball”)

The pups slept outside initially since my mom grew up on a ranch where the dogs didn’t really come in the house. One night we convinced her to let the pups sleep in our beds and the rest, as they say, is history. Bella’s slept on her own pillow next to my head ever since.

Jack and Bell as gangly adolescents

Two of Bella’s siblings (Gracie and Jack) lost their sight and Bosco developed a mass cell tumor on his leg which burst. All three siblings have passed over the Rainbow Bridge.
Bella came into my life shortly after my father had passed away when I was younger and she helped me get through it. We grew up together and she even accompanied me through three years of college when I lived off campus. Through various roommates, two apartments, and a house while in Flagstaff, this girl was by my side through so many changes. She was also by my side when I received the news that my mother had passed away in February of 2012.
Bells is my first dog and she is the best dog I could have asked for. I love her pointy ears and foxy tail. She looks like a little wolf with her markings and build. She exudes a calming, serene, and noble aura. I called her the “Queen” as she was always in charge of our pack. Bella is not the cuddliest dog, but she is always by my side, and when I was feeling down from losing my parents or wanting to cry, she was always more than willing to provide comfort and did it best simply by being there.
Bella began learning tricks when she was 6 years old after we discovered clicker training and trick training. Our biggest training inspirations are Jumpy the Border Collie and Secret the Aussie.
Bella is a philanthropic pup who has spent countless hours volunteering with Arizona Cattle Dog Rescue. She has attended adoption events as a breed ambassador, helped photograph numerous foster dogs, helped put together the video and photos for a grant that won ACDR $10,000, been a sibling and teacher to many foster dogs including amazing Olive who joined The Marvelous Mutts performing team, and donated bags of food, toys, and treats to our local animal shelter. Bella visited our grandma in a nursing home to make her feel better.She has traveled cross country to events that benefit adoptable dogs, went camping, visited the beach in California, and she loves to go hiking and swimming. Most importantly Bella has been my rock, steadfast, loyal, and best friend. She was a wonderful big sister and her legacy lives on in her brother Kronos.