Meet the Pup Who Started It All: Isabella

Date: April 19, 2018

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The Road to Isabella

isabella-and-penelope-isabella-4.pngSix years ago, I had recently graduated from college and started my first job working in digital marketing in Charlotte, North Carolina. I was wildly underpaid, my department was undervalued by upper management, and I worked long hours. As a sports events company, I regularly had to travel on the weekends and my work didn’t stop at 5 p.m.

Through this role, I met one of my best friends, Niala. We bonded over our shared job responsibilities, desire to become better inbound marketers and love of dogs. Our chat threads consisted of passing cute dog articles back and forth, with a few work-related questions in between. When we discovered the BarkBox blog, BarkPost, it was game over. 

Now, she had a pup of her own and was constantly sharing photos, videos, and stories of Marley. Talking pups with her was always the highlight of my day. It didn’t take long before she starting planting the seed in my head that I should adopt a pup of my own.  As much as I wanted to, it just financially wasn’t the right time. 

How I Met Isabella

A year and one small raise later, I realized I was in a position that if I wanted to take that step, I could. Never having an inside dog before or having to raise a puppy without the help of my family, I was in new territory. I didn’t know how to crate train or potty train, and I had no idea what it would be like to manage my time between work, family, friends, and a dog. 

So I did what any good marketer would do - I spent months digging deep into the research. I read so many articles about puppy training, understanding dog behaviors, and dog health and anatomy that I could have minored in it in college! 

Knowing I was doing this research, Niala began sending me pups that were listed for adoption on PetFinder. I told her I wanted a medium sized dog, one that wasn’t super high energy, but one that would be up for going on adventures with me. 

isabella-and-penelope-isabella-2.pngLater that day, she sent me a link to Isabella’s page on PetFinder.  I was obsessed. 

I always loved labs, and there was this little black lab looking pup needing a home. I still remember her coming into my cubicle and saying, “You’re reaching out about her, right?”

Over lunch, I emailed the Greater Charlotte SPCA to submit an application for Isabella and patiently awaited their response…. And by patiently awaited, I mean I tagged the email with HubSpot Sales’ email tracker so I could see when they opened my email and viewed the application. C’mon, I’m a marketer. 

Not 10 minutes later, they had opened the email five times and downloaded my application! So what did I do? I called. Can you tell I’m really great at being patient? My husband hates loves this about me, (ha!).

isabella-and-penelope-isabella-3.pngWhen I got the GSPCA on the phone, they informed me Isabella was still available, I could go meet her to see if it’d be a good fit, and then they would have to do a home visit before signing off on the adoption. Shortly after the call, I heard from Bella’s foster mom who was willing to change her schedule around for that evening so I could meet the sweet, little black puppy face I had been staring at all day long on my computer screen.

When I arrived at their house in South Charlotte, I got out of my car, walked up to the garage and sweet little Bella bounded into my arms! 

As I fell to the ground with this 10-pound, little Bean-girl in my arms,  I knew right then and there that she was mine. That she would forever be mine. 

isabella-and-penelope-isabella-10.pngI spent time in the yard playing with her and her foster siblings and asking her foster parents tons of questions. How’s her health, how’s her training thus far, what’s her temperament like, etc. Isabella’s foster parents are wonderful people - they put so much time and effort into loving and training Isabella to help her find the perfect home. In fact, if she had been up for adoption for one more week, they talked about just keeping her themselves. Talk about God’s timing, right?

After falling in love with Bella, I reached back out to the Greater Charlotte SPCA and expedited my home visit. They came the very next day so I could pick her up the following day and bring her home. 

Guys, the hours after that home visit were the longest hours of my life. 

When I picked her up to bring her to her new home - my home - it was one of the most blissful moments of my entire life. 

My Life Changed After Adopting Isabella

isabella-and-penelope-isabella-11.pngFrom that moment on, Isabella and I have been attached at the hip. She went and still goes everywhere with me - to friends’ houses, on dates, to get-togethers, to restaurants, on vacations. I even snuck her into work after hours when I had to be there late! If I was going somewhere, I found a way for the Bean to come too. She was my right-hand lady and I felt better with her by my side. When my sweet husband and I started dating, he knew right away we were a packaged deal! 

And she has been there through everything - through heartbreak, through every job change, through bad decisions, through happy moments, through finding my way back to Jesus, through meeting my husband, through all the moments. She’s always been there, being my pal and my confidant. 

If you haven’t caught on yet, this little chow-labbie means more to me than almost anything else in my life. That’s why it’s such an honor for me to share Isabella with you all via this medium. And I hope I do her justice.

Fun Facts About Isabella

So, here are so fun facts about the Bean-girl to help you help you get acquainted! 

  • Right after I adopted Isabella, I took her to Petsmart to get her items from the Puppy Starter Kit. Since she didn’t have a collar or leash yet, I put her in the shopping cart. So many people came to meet her that she got nervous and peed! Since she was in the cart, it trickled all out the bottom and puddled on the floor!  Not either of our finest moment! 
  • I adopted her at 13 weeks in Charlotte, North Carolina and was just a tiny little Bean at 10 pounds. 
  • isabella-and-penelope-isabella-9.pngI used the Wisdom Panel DNA test and discovered that Isabella is 25 percent labrador retriever, 25 percent chow and 50 percent mixed-breed past three generations. And trust me - she has the sass of a chow and the athleticism of a lab! 
  • Isabella is extremely athletic and is obsessed with swimming. Last year, we took her to Historic Rural Hill for the 2017 Sheepdog Trials & Dog Festival where we let her try out dock diving (after she threw a super embarrassing temper tantrum because, you know, FOMO). After trying her paw at it for the first time ever, we entered her in the competition 10 minutes later. She qualified as a “Pro” with a jump of 15.3 feet which placed her among the Senior class champions. #prouddogmom
  • isabella-and-penelope-isabella-6.pngShe has a soft heart for young ones of the human or dog variety. She loves to get down on the level of puppies or babies and plays very gently with them.
  • Being the queen of the castle, she hated Penelope when we adopted her. She would turn up her nose quite literally and wouldn’t even look at her for a week! Now, they’re inseparable. 
  • Bella tends to be slightly judgemental. She knows what is best and will give you a super judgy look if she disagrees with you. 
  • Her favorite TV show is Full House; she could watch for hours waiting for Comet to come on the screen. When she was younger and I left her in the crate, I would put Full House on the TV to keep her occupied until I came home.
  • Isabella gets nervous in the car so it’s a family rule that we always ride with her window down. The fresh air immediately relieves her nerves. 
  • She is just so stinkin’ smart. I swear the girl knows exactly what I’m saying when I speak to her.
  • Bean-girl has the biggest heart and is very in touch with human emotions. If my husband or I am angry or sad about anything, Isabella comes over and puts her snout to our face to welcome kisses and provide comfort. I think she missed her calling as an emotional support dog. 

isabella-and-penelope-isabella-7.pngWe’d Love to Hear From You! 

I hope our story helps you know Isabella and understand our hearts for her a little better. And be sure to follow us on Instagram to keep up with the Bean-girl daily.

Have any questions about the Bean-girl, the adoption process or anything else I mentioned above? Leave a comment or shoot us a message