Sandra Workinger and Isabella Grace from Gulf Coast Humane Society Fort Myers Florida


Human: Sandra Workinger

Canine: Isabella Grace

Location: Gulf Coast Humane Society Fort Myers Florida

Type: Chihuahua

Our Story:

Having loved Chihuahuas since I was a child and already owning three, I was watching the local news when they did a story on the Gulf Coast Humane Society rescuing dogs from a puppy mill. My sister-in-law invited us for dinner and I met her rescued King Charles spaniel.

The next day I went to Gulf Coast where I asked if they had any Chihuahuas. I was shown Isabella (whose name then was Brownie).

Isabella was snarling at everyone and they handled her with leather gloves. When they brought her to me wrapped in a towel, my heart melted. They told me to be careful as she might bite, but to everyone’s amazement she settled down shaking in my arms. They left us alone and as I held her close I began to see a very sad little dog in need of a forever home.

I was told that she was 5 years old and had spent her entire life in a cage; this was evident by her violent reaction when anyone tried to pick her up. She was not housebroken, she was missing quite a few of her teeth, and also had several large bald spots on her body. This poor girl was used as a breeding dog that was never out of her cage except for medical procedures. I was told she had no idea what grass was or what it meant to go outside and play.

As I held her to me I began to feel as though Bella would never be a good candidate for adoption due to her many health and socialization issues. The thing I remember thinking is that Bella deserves to be free, and even if she never becomes the lap dog everyone normally expects, I will be happy knowing she has a home with me. I was willing to accept the fact that she might not ever be housebroken or cuddly, but I knew she deserved to have a good life. I have other fur babies to cuddle; at least she can have the run of the place. I whispered into Bella’s ear that we were going home and we never looked back.

Funny thing is my husband and I have had Bella in our home now for 3 months and you wouldn’t even recognize her as the dog in the shelter. Yes, she still has a few accidents in the house, but the joy she has brought in our lives by sharing each new day with us is more than enough. I will never forget the look on her face as I placed her in our yard at home, or as I opened the door for her to play in the back yard.

Oh, and as for wanting to be cuddled, she doesn’t climb into my lap but she lays down beside me where I can stroke her tummy, and she even lets me sneak a few kisses in. When I come home from work Bella runs to the door to greet me, and even jumps into my husband’s arms when he calls her. A far cry from the terrified little girl I brought home and a wonderful addition to our family.

By the way the dress is only used for photos as Bella is still a little shy about her bald spots LOL.