Bowie & Friends

Bella & Roo – A Tale of Hope, Love and Second Chances

Meet Bella and her rescue dog, Roo.

Hello, my name is Bella and I’m a specialist veterinary nurse living on a station in outback NSW. I’m also the founder of BLOOD Hound Australia, a social media campaign advocating for blood donor dogs.

How did Roo come to my life?
I was actually looking at the profile next to Roo’s when I was looking at potential dogs to adopt. My mom insisted that Roo was the one and I had to put my application in.

It wasn’t easy in the beginning. After a two week trial, I was battling with the decision of keeping or sending her back, due to my lack of faith in my own abilities to help her. Funny how fate worked sometimes, my draft text which said “She’s a challenge, and I accept”, sent itself! The adoption was then finalised.

Roo was the runt of a 14 pup litter and at 5 weeks old, she contracted Parvo. She survived, but at the cost of her most vital socialisation period. She had to stay in the isolation ward resulted in an Early Litter Removal Syndrome. Roo had many developmental issues to overcome due to her awful start to life, but by the time she turned 18 months old she was happy and healthy enough to donate blood.

With “her people” she just wants to be near you – sitting at your feet or snuggled on the couch beside you. She is very alert and always sure to let us know if someone or something is nearby without invitation. She loves scratches and at the vet she is cool, calm and collected with a “been there done that” demeanour.

Roo has changed my life…
I got Roo while I was recovering from a horse related injury. During this time I was unable to work and had also slid into a pretty bad mental state. Roo was just as physically and emotionally “messed up” as I was but her needs always came before my own. It didn’t matter if I thought working out was useless, she needed a walk. It didn’t matter if I was having a panic attack, she still needed her training session. It didn’t matter if I couldn’t be bothered feeding myself, she still needed a meal.

I had an extensive network of health professionals, loving friends and family supporting me through my physical rehab, but Roo was able to drag me out of my rut in a way that no human being possibly could have done.

Just by her being there, she has been a core reason that I have been able to fully recover – going from being house bound to achieving all I have since my injury. Not only has she enriched my life, but she has changed the lives of many others – allowing many dog owners precious time with their pets that would otherwise have died without a blood transfusion. She has literally given others the gift of life.

Why rescuing dogs are awesome…
We know that all dogs are awesome in their own right, however I especially love hearing the stories of rescue dogs.

The tales of how they become connected with their humans, what they may have been through in their past and how their “forever” has transformed them into the dog they are today, is never short of awe-inspiring.

And by choosing to adopt a dog you can experience all this for yourself, too.

What’s the greatest gift Roo has given me?
Apart from Roo being the key to me clawing back my own freedom, she’s actually given so much more to the world as a blood donor. Without her, BLOOD Hound Australia would not have started, and if it weren’t for Roo spreading the word about the need for ‘BLOODhounds’, there might be hundreds of dogs out there who were dead rather than snuggling with their families right now.

Roo taught me about life and second chances…
Second chances come in so many forms – a new home means a future brimming with unimaginable happiness, a runty Parvo puppy means challenges can be tackled, a bag of blood means immeasurable lives saved. Each thing is a true rescue in its own way. But most of all she taught me that when you’re surrounded by the right company, you can absolutely do anything.


Share your dog story…
We know the difference dogs make to our lives. By sharing your stories, you’re not only inspiring others, but also paying tribute to your fur-mate and celebrating the beauty of hope, love and second chances.

Master Bowie would like to thank Cathy Beer for introducing us to Bella and Roo, and Bella for sharing her courageous story with us. Bella and Roo’s story was a Finalist in the 2018 Advocate® People’s Rescue Story Award. You can also share your Pet Adoption, Rescue & Foster Stories at Companion Animal Rescue Awards, and WIN plenty of prizes.