If you have ever set foot on the Dickinson College Farm (or maybe even if you haven’t), you definitely know this staff member. Undoubtedly the best-loved and most recognizable member of our farm staff is Bella, the farm dog and mascot.
Bella (pronounced BAY-uh) is an 11-year-old Australian Shepherd mix. Bella is a rescue pup who travelled from West Virginia via the Aussie Rescue Foundation (ARF). She took to the Dickinson College Farm like a natural and has been a constant smiling face ever since!
Bella’s favorite job is pest control. She is a ruthless groundhog slayer, and also keeps down our populations of opossums, mice, and other rodents. You can frequently find her riding in the back of the solar wheeler or gator, scouting for any intruders. She also loves joining the crew on harvest days, even if she hasn’t quite figured out what everyone is looking for among the plants. True to her shepherd roots, Bella will help herd escapee chickens and stray calves back to their proper places.
A few years ago, Bella developed an infection in her eye and had it removed, leaving her with a permanent wink. Luckily, this didn’t set her back one bit. She is still readily able to chase farm vehicles and take excellent naps.
Bella’s other special talents include official farm greeter and professional smile producer. Despite her perpetual farm dog smell, no one can resist when she requests pets or belly scratches! Bella definitely not shy about her desire for attention. If you stop petting her, she will (politely) paw at you to remind you of her presence. Bella also loves to join the farm crew for celebrations. The jury is out on whether or not Bella loves or hates the Happy Birthday song, but either way, she always joins in with copious barking!
We asked Bella to share a little more about herself, and here’s what she said (arf’ed):
|Eating peanut butter (straight from the jar), watermelon, and compost (that might explain the smell).|
|Dead groundhogs||Live groundhogs|
|Her personal eau de farm||Baths.|
|Chasing the gator, solar wheeler, and farm truck|
|Cat food||Cats, when they are stealing attention|
|Attention||When people stop petting her|
|Belly rubs||Any time she is not getting a belly rub|
|Sleeping under cars and trucks||Hot weather|
Next time you come out to the farm, be sure to give Bella a belly rub in thanks for all she does!