Bell made sure her caterpillars made it from pupa to chrysalis, to the skies.
One day, we saw our pit mix, Bell, sniffing and gently pawing a branch on one of our milkweed plants. She then began to whine. When we went over to investigate, we noticed there were Monarch caterpillars munching on our bushes. With regular visitors to the backyard like wild birds, squirrels, and the neighbor’s cat, we decided to transfer the caterpillars to butterfly habitat.
My young daughter raised the caterpillars that summer, but Bell decided it was her job to protect them. She followed the butterfly habitat from the house to the yard and would sleep under the table it rested on at night. We have no idea why she had become so attached to the butterflies, but she had.
When they metamorphized and my daughter released them, Bell seemed to understand this was part of the lifecycle. However, she became worried when the last one didn’t fly away. She very gently put her nose to the reluctant butterfly, who then crawled onto Bell’s nose. She pointed her nose northward and audibly sighed, which the butterfly took as a cue to begin migration.
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