Bella has moved right up in the world, and well she deserves it. When she got what I’m calling her sunlounger, she surely thought that’s as good as it could possibly get.

 I was certainly not prepared for how fast her offspring would grow, and soon it became clear that it was getting a bit crowded in Sophia’s kennel, big though it is.

 Several years ago we turned the large space under the front steps into a dog house for Sophia to use during the day if we were away; Costa would put her into the house at night. We had the cement floor tiled, installed a heater for winter, and ordered a dog door over the internet. It certainly is very comfortable, but Sophia preferred to use the kennel on the porch if she wasn’t inside the house with us.

Over the last few years we put a large pallet inside the understairs space and placed several olive crates with blankets on it. In there the many and varied cats who seek refuge here, and which we provide food for, could get shelter from the miserable winter weather. (We have seven much-loved pet cats who sleep inside the main house).

Last week we took all the cat beds out – the hanger-on cats are not sleeping there now as it’s warm – and arranged bedding for Bella, who was not made aware of the new accommodations. We went to Volos for the day, intending to introduce her to the new home when we returned. The kennel was empty when we got back and I panicked for a moment, but would you believe – Bella and family were stretched out in there! How she got them in I have no idea. They are far too big for her to pick up, so we can only assume she pushed them out of the kennel, and then rolled them into the new apartment. She loves it in there. That dog is not stupid, that’s for sure.

Ron was anxious about not having a kennel for the ‘wild’ cats to use if they wanted to, so while we were in Volos, he bought another kennel of the same brand, but smaller. These are made of cedar wood, stand on legs and are wind and water tight; very nicely constructed.

Well, no sooner had he assembled it and placed it on the porch than Bella took her ease in it.

Got to hand it to that dog – she knows a good thing when she sees it. When she’s not feeding her pups she has a choice of three spots to relax in, and she all but grins.

 The pups are walking about in their house-under-the stairs – not that they’re awake very much – and it can only be a day or two before they’ll get out into the yard. We’re having to give some thought to containing them. It’s certainly going to get very lively around here, and I will literally have to watch my step.



  1. That is hilarious! I believe Bella is quite happy with her property portfolio! What good care yall are taking of Bella and her brood! She is so smart! I love that she has her very own private mama kennel to contemplate life! So, if you put in another shelter for the cats, I’m guessing Bella will just keep assuming they’re for her! Hope Ron isn’t too worried about the kitties! Perhaps he’ll have to have a talk with mama Bella. Such cute dogs!

    1. Poor Bella is tired, worn out. The pups are eating four full meals a day, but they still try to suckle, and although we’re taking the best care we can of Bella, the fact is she wasn’t in good shape when she arrived here. The pregnancy and nursing have really taken it out of her. This was clearly not her first litter – so we have no idea what her situation was before.

    1. Bella’s getting so relaxed around the puppies too. Bit worrisome. I’ve begun weaning them, and Bella’s rather determined to stay away from them. Mama’s contemplating her navel in her kennel on the porch most of the time. The pups are adorable. Just too cute for words.

    1. Yes, too much at home…we have to find other homes for them. They are going to be really nice dogs. Well-adjusted and friendly. Fingers crossed!

  2. Your caption is hilarious. Those pups look utterly gorgeous and huge. I wonder if the sire was a larger specimen than Bella. Soon you will need to use a walking frame enhanced with a ‘cowcatcher’ to avoid having them under foot. Can just imagine you shuffling about surrounded by heaving masses of dog. I suggest a gate at the bottom of your stairs to keep them at bay.

    1. They are absolutely gorgeous, I have to say. Butterballs. The softest and cuddliest of butterballs. Three weeks old today and full of opinions. Best I can tell, the white-collared one’s a boy, so I’m dubbing him Zeus. He’s super confident and already seems to be the leader. The one with the tiny white tip on the tail begs to be called “Tip” if male, and “Tippi” if a girl. Most of the cats are quite disgusted with them, not surprisingly.

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