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Texas Belle - The Inspiration

A ‘heart dog’, is that one dog (or pet) that absolutely changes your life and captures your entire heart. Every pet lover has at least one.


Dr Pratola’s heart dog was her beloved boxer, Texas Belle. Dr Pratola adopted puppy Texas when she was in her undergraduate studies at The University of Guelph. Texas and Dr Pratola were inseparable.

     Fortunately, Texas was able to travel to Scotland with Dr Pratola when she was in school, she came to the library with her every night to study; walked all around the gorgeous campus estate, and of course, came to the local pub with Dr Pratola on Friday afternoons as was the tradition.

     Texas was a bit of legend around the veterinary school because she was goofy, loving, sweet, adorable and deaf. Texas was a white boxer, and as genetics would have it, white dogs are commonly deaf. She responded very well to sign language (most of the time), she hardly ever barked and she was the most intensely sweet dog anyone could ever hope for. Professors, librarians, and peers all knew Texas Belle and loved her almost as much as Dr Pratola did.

     Texas travelled more than the average person. When Dr Pratola did her internship in England, Texas was right by her side. Then when Dr Pratola moved to Bermuda, Texas Belle clearly had found her happy place! Every day she got to would go for gorgeous walks on the oceanfront trail, runs on the beach, or swims in the ocean.

     When Texas turned 12 years old, they moved back home to Ontario, and for two more years, Dr Pratola and Texas Belle had the most amazing adventures together. They went for walks every day, snuggled every night, went camping every summer and hiking when possible.

     Unfortunately, in 2017 Dr Pratola noticed a growth on Texas Belle which required emergency surgery performed by the wonderful team at The University of Guelph, OVC The Ontario Veterinary College.  They found a tumour on her spleen that needed to be removed but it was too late, cancer had spread. Dr Pratola tried her hardest to rehabilitate her beloved Texas Belle but as time passed Texas was taking a turn for the worse, thus having to make the incredibly difficult decision to end Texas’ life with ease and comfort which she so deserved.

     Dr Pratola is passionate about palliative medicine as it is what will keep our beloved pets comfortable during their most difficult moments. Not a day goes by where she doesn’t miss her Texas Belle and that drives her hopes that she can help guide other clients on options to care for their pets in sickness and in health.

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