Special Friends: Lee and Richard Bell

Lee and Richard Bell live on a farm at El Paso. Lee is a farm manager and animal caretaker.

Richard is president and chief executive officer of Bell & Company. Most of their pets are rescues.


Izzy is a 9-year-old “Speagle” — half English Springer Spaniel and half beagle.

She was born on the farm. Her mother was a black and white English Springer Spaniel. Cricket had a heart murmur, so the vet didn’t want to risk her having surgery, so we didn’t spay her. She was 10 years old and one day she went outside to take care of business and had a visit from the neighbor’s Beagle. A few weeks later Cricket and Lee “birthed” four cute little black and white pups. Cricket was really too old for this, so she was really proud of her babies. Lee found homes for the other three and kept one.

Izzy has the coloring of a Springer Spaniel and the hair of a Beagle. When she opens her mouth to “talk,” the Beagle comes out. She is the best hunter of all the dogs.

When Ruckus gets “lost” she usually helps find him. She also loves to go out on the trail, but when she gets tired, she heads for the house or the barn.


Jessie, 10, is a rescued Pinto-horse. A family owned him that didn’t know how to take care of him. He didn’t have anything to eat and kept running away from home to find food. I told my hubby, Rich, about this, and he suggested we just buy him and find him a good home. I already had three horses and didn’t need another one.  

At first the person would not sell him because he was a gift to the wife, but he finally decided to. Jessie was a 5-year-old stud with no papers. He was very skinny; you could count his ribs, and his hips stuck out.

His mane and tail were so tangled it looked like they had never been brushed. You couldn’t walk behind him without taking a chance of getting kicked. The first thing we did was to have him vaccinated. He had been ridden a few times, so he wasn’t wild but didn’t know anything.

I kept him by my house so I could go out and visit with him several times a day, and the bonding began. The good home I was going to find for him ended up being with me. He won’t be going anywhere. I have had several people help me with his training, and he has come a long way.

Richard asks when we are ever going to “graduate,” but we keep going to clinics and lessons and try to learn more. I told him it was continuing education.   

We have been trail riding in three different states. He has done some competitive trail competitions, and he has become a special buddy to me. What I like most about Jessie is his attitude. He puts up with me and all the crazy things I ask him to do. Hopefully our future together will have many more trail rides and many more years of all the other fun things we do together.


Rosco is a 6-year-old lab mix. I met Rosco one day when I was out trail riding. He and a couple of other dogs just showed up on the trail. He was covered with ticks and pretty skinny. I really didn’t want him to follow me and get with my dogs because he just didn’t look healthy. Other dogs parted before we got back home, but he stayed with my dogs.  

I wasn’t going to feed him hoping he would go home, but Rich called me on it and said he couldn’t believe I wouldn’t feed that poor hungry dog. So I fed him and got him cleaned up. He started putting on weight and was looking pretty good.  

A couple weeks later I found out he belonged to a neighbor. Even though we were starting to get attached to him, I couldn’t keep him, so I took him home. The next morning, guess who was back at the house? After talking to the owner, we decided if he liked it at our place, he could stay with us.  

Rosco is really Richard’s dog. Rich is the one that wanted me to feed him, and Rich named him after Rosco P. Coltrain (“Dukes of Hazzard”).  

Rosco is so laid back. My friend, Patti, says Rosco never stands when he can sit and never sits when he can lie. I’ll never forget about the time I was working in my office and Rosco was lying beside me then he just jumped up on my desk so he could be closer!  

My favorite thing about Rosco is his smile. Every time he sees you he shows you how happy he is to see you with his smile. Rosco of course loves to go on the trails with Elvis and the horses.


Elvis is a 9-year-old German Shepherd and another adopted member of the family.

He just showed up at a neighbor’s farm. They had cows and didn’t want a stray dog around that might chase the cows. I went trail riding one day and the daughter of the farm owner rode with us. We did our ride and dropped her off at her farm, and Elvis kept following. Dropped the next girl off at her place, and Elvis kept following. He came back to the barn with me. I told Rich I would just keep him until I found a good home for him (heard that one before?).

I didn’t tell Rich (until later) that another adopted dog, a lab named Eve, didn’t want to share her new home and chased him off. He went back to the other farm, and I drove over to get him. I figured when I picked him up to put him in the back of the truck, if he bit my face off, I wouldn’t keep him. He was scared, but no meanness in him, so we made it back to the farm.  

Elvis is such a gentleman! We didn’t know his story or where he came from. When I let him in the house, he would stand right inside the door so you could wipe his feet off if they were muddy. He never had an accident in the house, so I guess someone housetrained him. He had also been taught to lead on a leash, but they hadn’t taught him to sit, shake or lay. He does all that now.  

Sure wish I knew his story. Hope whoever lost him or gave him up knows he has a good home now. He was about 6 months old and not neutered. Of course, minor surgery and vaccinations happened pretty fast.  

One of the things I love about him the most is his loyalty. He wants to be everywhere I am. He is so sweet and loving, but I’m pretty sure he would take care of anyone that would try to harm me. He loves to go trail riding with me. He waits patiently while I brush and saddle my horse, but once he sees me put the bridle on, he’s up and ready to go. He also likes to go on short errands with me because he knows we will drive thru McDonald’s for a cheeseburger.


Chubby is a 17-year-old Palomino Paint. He really belongs to my daughter, Jennifer, but because she is working so hard, I help take care of him and get to play with him more. Chubby is all about getting attention. He will just hang around in hopes of getting a rub or a treat. He belonged to a good friend, Alice, and when she got him and I saw how awesome he was, I told her if she ever decided to sell him she had to keep him in the “family” and sell him to me. She rode him all over the United States, but after a few years she ended up with more horses than she could ride, so one needed to find a new home. We jumped on the chance to get Chubby.  

Chubby can be grazing in his pasture and Jennifer will go out to his pasture barefooted. He will see her and come over to the fence to “pick her up” and get his treat. She will get on him without a headstall or saddle, and they will walk around until he thinks it’s time for her to get off. Then he takes her back to the fence.  

One of his funny moments is when you are out riding him on the trail and he sees a bush that’s just the right height for him to scratch his belly on. He will walk over it and sway back and forth, scratching his belly. He will make a great grandkid horse when they come into the world.


Ruckus is a small dog that also belongs to their daughter, Jennifer.