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Belle AXP, AJP

9 year old - Mixed Breed
Owner / Handler - Vicky Lovejoy

Belle came to our family in the spring of 2002 when I found her on the LA pet adoption site. She and her sister were at the Downey shelter (a high-kill shelter at that time and maybe still). The best guess estimate of her age was about 10 weeks. As soon as I saw her and met her bounding out of the filthy kennel with enthusiasm and spunk, I knew she was for me! If her sister had not already been adopted we would certainly have taken her as well!

Belle came home to our two aging German Shepherds - two male brothers who, in their prime, weighed in at 115 and 105 lbs!! The picture here is my favorite and was of her initial introduction to Bully (who did not live up to his name!)

From the start, Belle has been one solid dog. She respected, but was not intimidated by the boys. I can remember them chewing on a bone and growling at her, she would inch her way over and literally end up licking their teeth as they growled and continued chewing on their bones. That should have clued me into how food motivated she is!!! She had her counter surfing days as a youngster and once managed to lift an entire tri-tip steak off the counter and over some utensils that were on the edge without making a sound. That is skill!! She is much better behaved now but still would not refuse the opportunity to enjoy a meal if it was within easy reach. A few years ago, I had baked some muffins which were left cooling on the counter. I then went to get ready for work. As I was dressing, Belle came in wiggling her body and with something in her mouth. I asked for it and she deposited one of the muffins into my hand. I went into the kitchen to discover that she had already eaten the rest but could not quite get the last one down. Perhaps she wanted me to save it for later??

I started agility with Belle when I consulted Terry Long of DogPact for some help with another rescue. She met Belle and said to me, "why not do something fun with Belle who does not have any issues and just wants to please?" Belle has done phenomenally well in a sport that is better suited for less stocky and more flexible dogs. She will never be the fastest on the course but she is so incredibly reliable that any mistakes we have are all mine! We've only been seriously competing for a little over year and came into the sport late. I don't know how long Belle will go but I hope to earn one of those big titles somewhere with her!! The main thing for me, however, is that she have fun and feel good about doing it!


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