Bella's Dash

How Our Pup Rescued Us

Non-Fiction - Social Issues
229 Pages
Reviewed on 08/26/2021
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Author Biography

Jo Dibblee is a professional speaker and author of several international award-winning bestselling books, beginning with Frock Off: Living Undisguised. Jo spent 35 years in hiding as a key witness in a murder investigation. Through it all, she remained hopeful that one day she would be free. Jo believes Bella and writing helped untangle and heal her. The trauma of both ASD and PTSD were at times debilitating, but she never gave up.

Michael Dibblee is a retired firefighter. He served as a first responder and professional firefighter, including Dive Rescue Specialist, for 30 years. Occupational trauma caused PTSD and unhealthy coping mechanisms. Through healing, Michael now manages his PTSD and lives a happy, healthy, and joyful life.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Joy Hannabass for Readers' Favorite

In Bella's Dash by Jo Dibblee, you will also read about many more rescue dogs that find their forever homes with people who love them, as well as Bella's story. There are many different breeds or mixed breeds in different sizes, but to their people owners, each dog helps their people as much as they have been helped themselves. The story of Bella is one that tells of more than a rescue dog; the story of Jo and her husband Michael and their rescuing Bella, which later turns into Bella rescuing them. As a dog lover, you are in for a sweet, loving journey that will have you laughing at times and sadly crying the next.

I thoroughly enjoyed every page of Jo Dibblee's story of rescuing Bella, as she tells of how Bella ends up rescuing her and Michael during the dark times of their PTSD and ASD. Bella was one special furry friend who truly sprinkled a 'dash' of herself everywhere she went. I like what Dibblee says: 'that Bella met us where we were, and took us someplace new.' As I read Jo Dibblee's story of Bella, it is so much like our stories with our own fur babies. I enjoyed hearing her talk about Bella and how she was so much a part of their lives, and especially the way Bella knew when they were hurting and would comfort them. It was a joy seeing how they all bonded so closely together. This is such a sweet story. If you love dogs, I encourage you to read Bella's Dash. It is definitely a book that will give you a better understanding of dogs and their owners. It is one you will think about for a long time.

Bernadette Diane Anderson

The beautiful, stunning story of a special love shared between humans and their canine friends. Bella's Dash by Jo Dibblee is the account of her family’s experience of such special love and extraordinary bond with such an incredible friend, who simply becomes the canine member of a loving family. It all begins with the thought that to complete the family unit and bring them together in a common interest they need a puppy. The first obstacle to overcome is planting the idea in husband Michael’s head; once that is achieved, the hunt begins for their new family member. Going to great lengths to find a suitable puppy, their journey starts with training, caring, loving, exercising, playing, protecting, and being protected - just some of the daily challenges to be faced. Jo, Michael, and Cylus soon find their furball is as much a part of the family as the humans are. We think we have rescued a dog and given them a forever home, when in actuality it’s them that rescue us, the poor, crazy, mixed-up humans, with all our past traumas to deal with. Enjoy this emotional rendition of glorious acts by our canine family members. Tissues at the ready!

Jo Dibblee in Bella's Dash takes us on a journey of friendship so unique between humans and canines. She takes us through the various feelings we as humans experience and how just being near us, our canine family members bring us a sense of calm in the darkest of times, and a real reason to keep going. Dogs bring people together, and into a world filled with love, fun, adventure, and action. Jo explains in great detail how this special relationship brings a feeling of well-being to both parties, how dogs perceive our world and how we are feeling, and have a remarkable sense of knowing at any given time that a human needs attention and exactly what type of attention we need - be it the two-minute distraction from stressful situations, a long lingering walk, a bit of boisterous exercise, a snuggling session, or just a listening ear for times of worry, stress, trauma, or depression. Jo Dibblee writes a masterpiece about dogs and their pack members, us humans.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Dogs are with us for a very short time but packed in the brief aura of time, a dash if you will, they love us unconditionally in so many different ways. These loving fur-babies are intuitive beyond the abilities of their owners: they know when we need them, they know when to snuggle and when to just lie at our feet. Big or small, these precious puppies (for they’re really always a puppy – I know mine were/are) full of energy, bubbling over with excitement for even the most mundane of activities, like getting up in the morning. Bella was a tiny puppy, originally named Pepsi. She was in need of a loving home right from birth, but she wasn’t chosen; she chose her humans. (Isn’t that the way it should be?) Destined for greatness, she settled for the role of best friend and, when needed, counselor. Yes, counselor – who else can you talk to and be assured that not only will you be understood, but what you say will be kept in strict confidence.

Jo Dibblee’s book, Bella’s Dash, is Bella’s story. But it’s more than that. It’s a sharing of other pack stories, for dogs are pack animals and all of their stories need to be shared. The author speaks from the heart as she shares Bella’s stories as well as stories about other rescues. She speaks profoundly of our role as humans in this pack-animal scenario. She makes us challenge the concept that we are the leader of the pack, but, perhaps, dogs really do know best. Why? Because we learn more from our furry best friends than they learn from us. It’s a shared relationship, one full of time and commitment, love and patience, joy and sorrow. This book is full of stories told with love and compassion, stories that will have the reader laughing and crying, sometimes both at the same time. One can never have enough dog stories and I’d definitely put this one at the top of the list. Loved the photos of the puppies, especially those of Bella – what a sweetheart!

Edith Wairimu

Bella's Dash: How Our Pup Rescued Us by Jo Dibblee is a remarkable account of how a dog added love and brought healing to a family. The family’s account is interspersed with accounts of other dogs and stories from other dog owners and the dogs that changed their lives. Dibblee’s long-term love affair with rescue and adoption started at the age of nineteen. As she walked around an animal shelter, she was heartbroken by the sadness of the dogs she saw. At the time when they rescued Bella, Dibblee and her husband, Michael, were suffering from the effects of severe trauma. With her selfless love, playfulness, intelligence, and her appreciation for simplicity, Bella changed the lives of those she met, but most especially the lives of Dibblee and Michael.

Bella's Dash: How Our Pup Rescued Us includes the heart-warming stories of other dogs including that of Cassie, a loyal companion and trainer; Nanna, a lovely companion who recovered from neglect after living as a yard dog; and Gilly, an extraordinary dog who has helped her owner with PTSD in many ways including establishing a routine, exercising, learning how to become fearless and to acknowledge emotions. Each story is unique and every dog is special in its own way. The remarkable change they had on the families and people they lived with is apparent. The memoir also contains an account of the special care rescue dogs need. Bella's Dash by Jo Dibblee is a heartfelt memoir about the stories of different dogs. It explores how these selfless animals change people’s lives.