It is with great sadness that we share news of the passing of BC Cancer – Vancouver therapy dog Bella on September 30, 2021.
Bella was known for her ability to calm anyone who gave her a couple of minutes of time and a lap for her to snuggle in. The 12-year-old Maltese Chihuahua was full of love and excitement for life. Although only 5 lbs, she was the one who protected everyone in her family – her mom Maggie, dad Chris, brother Sam, and human brother Caden.
L to R: Sam (Bella’s brother) and Bella at BC Cancer – Vancouver.
Her time spent at BC Cancer – Vancouver were some of her favourite moments. She would visit each floor, wagging her tail and popping into rooms to say hello to patients and staff. She volunteered her time at BC Cancer in support of her dad's battle with testicular cancer and grandfather's battle with lung cancer.
Bella brought a smile to so many faces. Her dad Chris describes her as a happy outgoing dog who loved people. She touched many lives at BC Cancer, at senior's homes, and the family and friends she had the opportunity to connect with.
“Bella had brought much joy to all who had interacted with her at the Vancouver centre. It was amazing to see faces light up instantly when Bella did her rounds at the centre. Patients and their family members would smile from ear to ear, even amongst the distress of coping with cancer. Bella’s calming and delightful presence made a difference in the patient and family experience of care,” says Joyce Lee, provincial lead, patient & family engagement, BC Cancer. “We are truly grateful to patient partner Chris, and Maggie, for sharing Bella with us. Bella will be missed.”
Bella was known for her love for life and had a natural ability to bring comfort to patients and families.
Bella’s larger than life personality will be missed by all of us.
Due to the pandemic, volunteer services at BC Cancer centres, including pet therapy, have been paused to ensure the safety of our volunteers, patients and families. More information on the resumption of these services will be shared when available.