Belle is an Australian Cattle Dog (ACD), and her past is somewhat sketchy.
She was the runt of the litter, so she is small for her breed. Belle has issues with microwaves and reflected lights -- this means that she loses her mind and begins to bark uncontrollably whenever her humans fire-up in the microwave, or when the sun reflects into the cabin where she holds court.
Belle launches herself into the windshield of the Jeep when the wipers are turned on. She charges (and then licks) anyone daring to pass by her Kingdom. She will chase... catch... and return a tennis ball until complete and total collapse. And then do it again. And again. And again.
Peter and Patty "rescued" Belle from another human who "rescued" her from another human... who "rescued" her.... well... you get the picture. She was simply too much for her previous owners, but she found a safe and happy home with her new owners in Lake City, Colorado.
Belle is a special dog with many nicknames: Baby Girl, Beanbag, Bellybutton, Meatball, Piglet, Psycho-Girl, and Hellhound. She's chunky and mean in a crazy (but loving) sort of way, and that makes for an interesting dog.
When Belle is not leading her pack up a distant mountain trail, she can be found snuggling next to her humans.
She is The Queen, and she is in charge.
UPDATE: Belle was recently diagnosed with a genetic form of glaucoma. We worked with Dr. Nuhsbaum at VRCC in Denver to control the pain and pressure, but the eye had to be removed after just two weeks of treatment.
Thankfully, an enucleation (eye removal) is not an uncommon procedure in the canine world. We consulted with Dr. Kathleen Seward at the Gunnison Valley Veterinary Clinic to have Belle's affected eye removed.
Recovery was smooth, but Belle was not happy with wearing a cone around her neck for 2 weeks. The cone was necessary to keep Belle from scratching and pulling-out her sutures.
Chasing the ball is a little more difficult due to the loss of peripheral vision and depth perception, but we are amazed at how well she is adapting after the loss of her eye.
Unfortunately Belle's other eye is destined for this same path, and she will eventually have the left eye removed. In the meantime we will continue to take Belle hiking and running, and we will include her in as many of our family activities as possible.
She is a tough girl!