Minto Belle, tale of a ball thief


We had planned to go out to the coast today. But you know, some days the best laid plans of mice and men go straight to the dogs. About a month ago Minnie got called into the e-vet to donate blood. Last night the e-vet called back saying that the same dog needed blood and even though it had only been a month, I felt that Minnie was healthy enough to handle another donation. Because this was the second donation even though she is a universal donor, they have to type and cross match the blood. It involved a different test. Her blood wasn’t going to work, so I took her home and grabbed Mickey.


Mickey and Minnie are the last of our universal donors, all of the other greyhounds have aged out of donating blood. Mickey’s wasn’t going to work either. It was really sad for us, we couldn’t help this time. Not a good way to start the flipping new year.

By the time I got home, it was noon and a trip to the coast didn’t feel warranted.

We thought we would try to find a new place to shoot the sunset and headed down to Minto Brown Park in Salem. Every path we headed towards was closed due to high water and flooding. Minto Brown is well known in Salem for it’s dog park and we decided to just walk over there.

I hit pay dirt! There were millions (ok, a slight exaggeration) of happy dogs just running around.

Enter Minto Belle, the grand dame of ball thieves.


A drop-dead gorgeous five-year old golden retriever, was thrilled to see a camera to capture her beauty.

When she first approached us, she had an orange ball completely slobbered up. Her mom Dee laughed when she admitted it wasn’t Belle’s ball.

Note that this time Belle’s ball is not orange. She managed to confiscate some other pups ball.

Clearly Belle had no shame for her ball thievery, although I don’t think the other dog’s owners were thrilled with the trade. I found the entire event completely amusing. Greyhounds do not steal balls. It’s gotta be a lab thing.

I was like a kid in a candy store at the dog park. The people we met were fabulous and all of the dogs rocked my world.

Yep, this is the way to start a new year. If you want to see what a few of Salem’s other wonderful dogs look like, you can see them at

7 Replies to “Minto Belle, tale of a ball thief”

  1. (cough) Golden Retrievers aren’t Labs (cough). I’m not sure my goldens understand the concept of “mine” and “yours”. It’s just not in their inclusive, everybody-should-be-best-friends, kumbaya nature. To them, all items are viewed as community property unless physically held, and it’s even OK try to remove something from another’s mouth if you ask nicely. Besides, it’s a ball. Lovely shots of a pretty lady. 🙂

  2. MIckey and Minnie gave it their best. Hopefully the dog that needed it is doing ok. Just checked out the link, and what a wonderful variety of breeds at the dog park. And a nice sunny warm glow so everyone looks their best.

  3. She’s quite the pretty little Golden lady! Sorry Mickey and Minnie didn’t get to give it their best shot this time, but maybe they’re going to be needed for someone else soon. You never know why Fate works out the way it does sometimes!

  4. You’re right – Labs definitely don’t understand the concept of “ownership” when it comes to balls or other retrieving objects. When we lived in the city, we’d go to dog parks. Some naive people would bring their dogs fave toys to the dog park and then get bent out of shape when Labs (not mine, of course 🙂 would “borrow” them. Regulars learned that dogs parks always have a lot of tennis balls lying around and never bring their own…. because of the Labs and Goldens!!!

    At least you tried with your blood donations. So sorry that it didn’t work out. I hope that the dog in need is okay.

    Love the photos… Wow!

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