In Family

Our Newest Family Member

I have never liked dogs. In fact, that’s putting it nicely. For most of my life, I have suffered with watery eyes, sneezing, and asthma attacks around most of them.

And then we watched our friend’s dog for the year while they were on furlough from their ministry in Bangkok.

And Bella made me fall in love.


My allergies were not that bad with Bella, (keeping the house super clean helped, as did some occasional allergy meds and a few oils). And, although she was absolutely crazy, hyper and at times a bit annoying, she was so sweet that I could not help but move down the spectrum from hate to love.

When we left Bangkok, I cried saying good-bye to her.

Fast forward to Nashville. One thing Maya begged for moving back to the U.S.,  was a puppy. She wanted a dog, that we had trained and had from a young age. At first I said no. Repeatedly. But then realized that a puppy might be exactly what we needed to ease into this transition well. And seeing how quickly Bella became part of our family in Bangkok, I knew that long-term this would be a great thing for us. So, we began looking for a puppy a couple of weeks ago, and realized just how hard it can be to adopt a dog.  There are applications and references and fees and a whole bunch of people who seem just a bit too protective, or who just never call back. Add to that the fact that we had some specific requirements, and it ended up taking much longer than we thought. Who in the world knew that struggle would be so dang real?!?!?

But then we found her. The sweetest thing in the world. For real. I’m sure she would win a prize for cuteness because…


This little lady came from a litter of feisty black and white pups. She is an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie Mix and was the only ginger in the crew-just like her momma. So, naturally, her foster family called her Scarlett. When we went to pick her up, she was sleeping with her siblings. Once she shook that sleep from her eyes, she rolled around wrestling with one of her brothers-handled herself quite nicely if you ask me- who was also being adopted. She fell asleep in Layla’s lap on the ride home, and has been soaking up every minute of attention that we all can’t wait to give her.

She made it her first night with no accidents, and is enjoying the explorations of her new home, and the wild outdoors, aka, our backyard.

We thought about what to name her and decided to go with Bella, who deserves a namesake for being the one that inspired it all. Don’t worry, I won’t name every dog we ever get Bella. I promise. One of my friends already vetoed that. And, if you want to get real official, her name is actually Bella-Scarlett. I mean, we live in the south, so figured a double name only made sense!

And me? No sneezing, no watery eyes, and no asthma attacks. Thankfully, my allergies have been great! Rest assured I will be vacuuming every night to be sure they stay that way. But if you know me, you know that I didn’t need a puppy to get me vacuuming. I love me some vacuumed carpet ya’ll!

We are so thankful to have this little lady home with us. She is the perfect fit for our family; calm with little spunk and totally sassy!


Maya, Esteban, Bella Scarlett, Danielle, Layla

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