What's in a Name?

When you think you are going to get your first purebred Havanese, there is something so magical about choosing a name for your new puppy. I saw photos of little 'red girl' on Facebook - she was all white and fluffy and sweet sitting on her red blanket and I knew right away that she was our forever girl. Those photos helped my naming imagination begin. Because my husband hadn't yet seen the photos of our forever girl, he was just going on 'mushy man love' for his dream white puppy as we pondered this name and that.

Two names stuck out for us - Bella and Gemma. Together the name meant Beautiful Jewel in English. As soon as we saw our Bella, we knew that we had chosen the right name for her - MistyTrails Bella Gemma - Bella for short.

And so we got our Bella Gemma and she became the centre of our world - a world where we no longer had kids at home and the grandkids were far away.

Bella was immediately loved by our whole family for her sweet and gentle disposition, but most particularly by our Grand daughter, Andy.

When we decided to show Bella, we had the great fortune to meet a wonderful Junior Handler named Marissa.

Marissa became our 'other kid'...the one that Brian and I agreed we would keep in a heartbeat. Here is a picture of Marissa showing Bella as a Baby Puppy...

In her first 'real' show as a Junior with Marissa, Bella won a major and received a total of 5 points. I was shocked. Marissa's mom was shocked and so was every other person watching the two of them in the ring. The only person not shocked was Marissa. M just took the win in stride and continued to be our Bella's 'rock in the ring'.

There was something special between this lovely young lady and our Bella. M loved Bella and Bella loved M and every person who watched the two of them in the ring knew that they were watching a little piece of doggy heaven happening.

When Bella turned one, we had a birthday party for her. She waited at the door for her guests very patiently with her Hello Kitty dress on.

Soon after her 1st birthday, Bella became an 'almost' movie star!!! We were asked to have her groomed so that we could take some great shots of her to send to the Movie Director. He needed to decide whether he wanted to use a Havanese in his movie or a Bichon Fris. So Marissa came over for a Chinese Food night and she worked her magic on our little girl!

Bella did NOT love being groomed!!! LOL! But the result was well worth her angst! A big white fluffy cloud of love!!!

The Movie Director decided to choose the Bichon Fris over Bella because he could 'see' a bowl of spaghetti being dumped on the top of the Bichon's head much more clearly than if it landed on the head of a silky dog from Havana! Good thing the Director chose the Bichon because no one was dumping spaghetti on our girl's head! Brian was horrified at the thought!

Bella Championed easily with the CKC the year that she turned 1. By this point Marissa was working at the shows grooming, so we chose Amanda to finish Bella. Amanda is class personified in the ring and Bella did whatever Amanda told her to do! Needless to say we loved Amanda and the way she cared for our little girl. And so Bella became a CKC Champion and started working on her Grand Champion.

We decided to get a puppy to keep Bella company soon after that and Caiya joined our family. Bella was not sure about this little spitfire but it didn't take her long to let Caiya know who was in charge and for the two to become best friends.

And then along came Sara...same thing. Bella made sure both puppies knew who the boss was... and she still does! Bella made sure the two puppies learned to potty outside and she showed them exactly where to go to make sure that we knew that they needed to go out. If either made a mistake inside, Bella would sit by the pee or poo until we saw it...she totally outed the little ones!

We learned just after Bella's first birthday that she had Autoimmune Thyroid Disease and it was confirmed in a second set of tests for us later that same year. Those two days were very hard for us. Not only would we need to spay Bella, but she would have to be tested with a thyroid panel every six months to ensure that her own health was being maintained because at some point, the vet advised us, she may need Thyroid medication. For now, however, she is just fine.

So we had Bella cut back and we spayed her in the Fall of 2016. Several Breeder friends from across North America sent us pictures of how Bella should look. They wanted so badly to help in any way they could so that this whole process would be easier for us.

Bella is now retired from the show ring but she is still the Ring Master in our home.

We understand that Bella's kennel has named another white puppy MistyTrails Bella'Gemma after our girl. A copy of the certificate was sent to Marissa, our Junior Handler, who was confused as to why she had received it so she forwarded it to us.

Bella Gemma is a good name for a girl dog, and this new puppy has a wonderful namesake to grow into. Bella's daddy and I both wish this new little girl well. We are honoured that our beautiful girl was seen as so special that another puppy has been named after her. We pray that this new Bella'Gemma will grow up to be healthier than our own beautiful girl.

In closing, we know that our three girls are all very special. They no longer show because they all have heath problems, but they are loved by us, by our grandchildren, by each other and by everyone who meets them.

Here is a picture of Sara just before she was diagnosed wth Legge Calve Perthes disease.

And here is Caiya shortly before her diagnosis of Anxiety Disorder.

Bella's Daddy wants to reassure anyone who wants to name a puppy after either of our other two girls, MistyTrails Will'n2B Saranad'd - Sara or MistyTrails Cayenne Pepper - Caiya, that we would also be honoured for that to happen. ​We simply ask that you let us know directly through the buyhavanese.com website contact. There is no need to go through our Junior Handler.

We have decided to also make special photographic pages honouring Caiya and Sara on buyhavanese.com, pages that chronicle their short show lives, the special place each holds in the hearts of everyone in our family, as well as photos that show how each puppy has dealt with her disease.

But we are not doing that today....today is Valentines Day and this is Bella's day because she was the first Havanese to steal our hearts!

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