Lisa Nelson was sure her dog Bello would pass the test to become a therapy dog. He failed in the first five minutes. The King Charles Cavalier was such an active dog, he couldn’t sit still when the proctor threw a ball, just waiting to be chased. Instead of working, Bello spends his days playing with his humans. Bello, which means “beautiful” in Italian, grew up with Nelson’s children, Gia and Luka. Both kids learned to walk holding their snacks in the air so Bello wouldn’t partake. The 11-year-old dog may have snatched a few Gold Fish, but there are no hard feelings. Gia still likes to play fetch in the backyard and take him on walks around Stonewall Terrace. “I like that even though he’s on the older side, he is still really active,” 9-year-old Gia says. Bello had a tough year in 2019 as his health declined. He had a few seizures, but he always bounced back. “We weren’t sure he was going to survive,” Nelson says. “But he comes back with an abundance of energy like he wants to be a puppy again.”

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