|IntCH Brush Dale's Escape Artist (Bella)
was born on October 20, 2012 as part of Brush Dale's E Litter
. Bella's sire is Borovice Zatoka's Chaska (Buckley)
and her dam is Cendy's Riverhills Anna Die Jagerin (Anna)
. Bella earned her International Champion title at the IABCA International Conformation Show on 8/16/15. Bella's dense, soft, silky roan coat is fairly short on the body, with beautiful feathering on her ears, legs and tail. Her coat is correct for a Small Munsterlander. She has russet brown
eyes and an expressive face. Bella weighs about 42 pounds and is 50cm tall. Bella breezed through her NAVHDA Natural Ability Test at age 6 months, earning a Prize I.
In the field, Bella's excellent physical structure allows her to cover a lot of ground quickly, without tiring. Watching her work a field is like viewing poetry in motion. She prefers to run fairly big, but because of her cooperative nature she is easily reigned in. Bella absolutely loves the water. She tracks as well in the water as she does on land and swims as effortlessly as she runs. Like her mother, Bella will often choose the shortest route and swim across a pond rather than run around it.
Bella has a soft mouth and rarely puts a toothmark in a bird, with the exception of crippled rooster pheasants. She's been known to put down a kicking rooster during a retrieve, dispatch it and then finish her retrieve. But generally speaking, if the bird is alive when she picks it up, it will still be alive when she brings it to you. When she was a puppy, if she caught a quail during training, she would hurriedly bury it - alive and unharmed - and then would continue hunting. She was trying to save it for later instead of giving it to Michelle. (Thus the "3" in Cooperation at her Natural Ability Test, which we still laugh about. No one had ever seen a puppy do that at a Test.) There were several occasions when Michelle dusted off Bella's quail and returned it to the bird crate to be used again.
When Bella is birdy you know it. She slows her pace, her tail whips back and forth, increasing in speed. As she closes in, her body tenses, her chin raises intensely, her tail stops, her foot goes up and she locks on point. It's truly a beautiful sight to see. Bella's style of pointing is correct for a Small Munsterlander, as can be seen in the photo at the top of the page, which was taken while Bella was pointing the first quail we'd ever planted for her while training for her NAVHDA Natural Ability Test at age 5 months. Her tail extends outward, raised slightly at the tip from horizontal. Bella is very persistent when it comes to cripples and will track a wounded pheasant to the ends of the earth. It doesn't matter how thick or nasty the cover gets or how wet, dirty and covered in burrs she gets.
Bella's smaller size often gives people who don't know her the misimpression she is all sweetness. Of all our dogs, she can be the most fearless and the most fierce. When coyotes come close to our yard, it's Bella at the fence, hair on her back raised, barking, howling and growling ferociously. She would definitely take them on if given the opportunity. Likewise, she's very sharp on all types of furred critters, including raccoons, feral cats, opposum, ground hogs, rabbits, squirrels and anything else she can track, chase and catch. Bella has laut (she barks) while pursuing furred animals, just as Small Munsterlanders were originally designed to do.
Because Bella is so highly cooperative, she was very easy to train and she loves to do it. Although the highlight of our dogs' day is their daily run, Bella won't go with Mark and the rest of the pack if Michelle is outside. She'll shadow Michelle to make sure she doesn't miss out on something fun. Even though she is athletic and energetic, she is easy-going and calm when it comes to her training sessions. She is not very food-motivated, so using treats for positive reinforcement during training doesn't always work with Bella. Her favorite reward is a run to Lock Ness Pond at the end of the training session. She also enjoys a game of fetch with the bumpers we use for her forced retrieve training.
Bella lives in the house, as do all our dogs. Her favorite "spot" is lying across the back of the couch (yes, she's a naughty girl) so she can look out the window. She is the smallest of our adult dogs and fancies herself a lap dog. When she was a young puppy, Michelle had back surgery and spent most of her recovery in the living room recliner. Bella learned she could get onto Michelle's lap by crawling onto the foot rest and then make her way up Michelle's legs. Before she would settle in, she'd stand with her front paws on Michelle's chest and lick her face. To this day, Bella still does that!
Bella was given the registered name, Escape Artist, because she was constantly getting herself out of the puppy pen. If she couldn't jump over the fence, she'd climb it. The first time she encountered the steps going upstairs, she simply ran up them, as if she'd been doing it always! Similarly, because she is so agile, she never gets onto our rather high bed the easy way, which would be to use the ottoman at the foot of the bed. Instead, she comes to Michelle's side of the bed and jumps (from a stand) directly onto Michelle's stomach. After a few licks to Michelle's face, she finds a spot close to Michelle and settles in for the night. She's the only dog we have that has ever made a standing jump onto our bed from the floor.
Bella loves everyone, kids and babies included. She almost always gets along well with other dogs and she adores Cleo, our Siamese cat. Generally, when people come to visit, Bella is chosen as the favorite. It would be hard not to like her, because she is always so happy to see you.
Bella is a terrific mother, not only to her own puppies, but to everyone's. She just seems to love mothering the babies. She'll clean them, dote over them and even let them try to nurse! Remarkedly, the other mothers don't seem to mind having Bella in the whelping box or puppy pen, even when the puppies are quite small. Obviously, they don't see her as a threat. One day when KD's N Litter puppies were 5 weeks old, Bella caught and killed a small, baby rabbit. Rather than retrieve it to Michelle, she ran right past her, all the way home and into the puppy pen, and gave the rabbit to the puppies! Bella always keeps her puppies clean and well-fed. Michelle thought she was going to lick the fur right off Lucky. Since he was an only child, he got 100% of Bella's attention, which at times was downright overwhelming. When Bella is weaning her puppies, not only does she regurgitate food for them, but she brings them her treats rather than eat them herself. Up until the time they are able to eat and drink on their own, Bella spends every possible minute with her puppies. It's hard to get her to leave the whelping box to go potty and eat. When the puppies are bigger, Bella spends a lot of time playing with them and teaching them how to be good members of the pack.