Bella – Community Well-being Dog

Meet Bella, Breckon Hill’s official well-being dog.

Bella unexpectedly joined my family in December 2020 when she was 6 months old. The Community Centre at this time was operating a scaled down service during the pandemic and staff were thin on the ground.

Bella would come to work with me on a daily basis and be in the centre while I delivered a range of  support services to community members struggling through Covid-19

The first week she attending the centre, Bella was your typical puppy, exploring, chewing and barking at everything and anything that moved. However by week 3, I noticed that Bella would levitate towards people who were anxious or stressed.  She showed compassion and her behaviour changed to each individual accessing the centre.  Bella greets some people with excitement, some with a submissive roll over and others a slow snuggle.  Sometimes she greets people at the door and very slowly escorts them into the training rooms with a calming pace.  She recognises fear and gives those scared of dogs a wide birth and if anyone with disabilities comes into the centre, she brings her toys to them or tries and tries to get them engaged in play.

During the pandemic the centre was being accessed by several working bubbles who were participating in First Aid Mental Health.  Bella would be present to meet and greet and sit in the course, providing a very calming atmosphere. 

On 26th July Bella was officially awarded Oscar Kilo 9 Well-being Dog by Cleveland Police and has a diary of events and training to attend.

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