Adventures Of Bella And River

When Bella was reflecting on her past week, she couldn’t get her new friend River out of her mind.

It was a normal Saturday morning. We dashed off early to get our errands done so we could spend private alone time on the beach. As we arrived at the Halsey Neck entrance (7 a.m.), there was one other car in the lot. In the distance, I could see what appeared to be a young golden and his father heading out for their morning walk.

For most people, an early walk on the beach with their best four-legged furry friend is a priceless time of bonding and reflection. Bella and I share the same sentiment. But, we also are open to meeting new friends and just letting the day come as it may. That said, what’s a puppy to do when he sees a potential playmate? [expand]

River quickly introduced himself. Bouncy and all full of puppy energy, River tried to engage Bella’s attention. Well, when there is a calm sea and I’m carrying one of her favorite sticks, Bella has one thing on her mind—swimming and retrieving. The 7-month-old River, who had not yet become familiar with more than putting his big paddy paws in the surf, patiently waited for Bella to bring back the stick.

Bella has always been one to share and teach, so when River wanted a part of the stick, it wasn’t a problem. I introduced Bella to Roger, who gleefully told me he reads Bella’s column. “What an honor it was to meet Bella, a dog who cares so much. It was easy to see why Bella is the face of SASF…she is so kind to River…treated him like a little brother as well as his lifeguard.”

While fetch was going on, I had a chance to meet River’s father. As a new dog owner, there were lots of questions. Roger was also a new resident of the Hamptons and a foodie like me…more important, Roger was just a kind man who also devotes his time to animal charities and their fiscal welfare. Here we were, two men connected by their dogs, and now connected by our passions.

Bella and River continued to play as we walked up the beach. I told Roger about the book signing we were going to at BookHampton celebrating Karen LeFraks’ latest book, Best in Show. We discussed the Southampton Animal Shelter in great detail as well as the new thrift shop and their need for donations. It’s a hit, but we need everyone to look deep within their closets, attics, garages and storage units. The thrift shop constantly needs new items, especially for Bella’s Picks.

Of course, Bella reminded me to invite River and his family to the Unconditional Love Benefit on July 16. It’s a must-attend for all animal lovers…a way to make new friends, enjoy the beauty of the Scarborough home overlooking Lake Agawam, and make a difference. A rare combination of all things good!

By accident, our morning dog walks collided again on Sunday. It was the perfect moment for Bella and me to thank Roger and Breanne, his sunny daughter, for attending the book reading. We all had a great time. Karen is an entertaining and passionate reader. What child or adult or dog, for that matter, wouldn’t want to listen to Karen as her almost-human Gem sat with her while we all followed along.

Bella already had the late-night party recap of the opening of Zita Davisson’s portrait show at the Southampton Historical Society, and then a glorious cocktail party hosted by George and Patty Kraus kicking off the Southampton Hospital Summer Party. Bella wants to know when these stunning women will donate some of their summer party dresses to the thrift shop. What a donation that would make! A real two paws up!

As a final wrap-up, Bella received a wonderful pat on the back as well as a note from Roger and River. They and their family will be attending Unconditional Love. Bella has a date with River and will be introducing dogs, cats and all to one another.

Wishing all of you sun-filled days on the beach!

As always, Love, Bella—Many thanks to all who contribute and love animals.

For information or to buy tickets go to,

or call the Southampton Animal Shelter at 631-728-PETS (7387). [/expand]

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