Bella Beckering’s love of animals is shown through her care of her unique pets


Bella Beckering

Bella Beckering enjoys spending time with her lop-eared bunny named Beckham

Reposted all over Snapchat during the height of quarantine was a picture of senior Bella Beckering’s duck on Zoom, captioned ‘duck on zoom.’ Mr. Duck may have experienced a rise to fame on social media, but his hilarious personality is notorious elsewhere.

Mr. Duck was quite the star among Bella’s friends, from chilling with a glow-stick necklace at a Halloween party to posing on people’s shoulders. Though ducks may seem like wild or farm animals, Mr. Duck was quite the social butterfly and got along seamlessly with people.

“You wouldn’t think that ducks are such social animals; that’s the main thing that surprises everyone,” Bella said. “When quarantine started, I would always bring my duck [into] my house, and he’d sit in my lap, and he’d be in the Zooms. If you quacked at him, he would quack back—big personality for a duck.”

When quarantine started, I would always bring my duck [into] my house, and he’d sit in my lap, and he’d be in the Zooms. If you quacked at him, he would quack back—big personality for a duck.

— Bella Beckering

Sadly, due to complications with predatory animals around Bella’s house, she had to give Mr. Duck and his fellow ducks a new life on a farm. However, the shed that Bella had renovated as a home for her ducks didn’t go empty for long.

Soon enough, Bella became a friend to two new friends—a pair of bunnies: one mini lion head and one Holland lop. Bella’s bunnies aren’t short of spice either; while perhaps less unusual of a pet, they are nonetheless quite expressive.

“My bunny [has] classic bunny behavior,” Bella said. “He likes to jump on my bed and stomp his foot when I’m not giving him enough attention. My room is upstairs, and he has a cage, but he just roams around my room. He goes in his cage if he wants. Sometimes, when I go downstairs, he’ll start hopping down behind me.”

Although Bella has a plethora of animals, she didn’t always have such a herd of critters by her side. It wasn’t until she was fifteen that she got her own pets outside of her family’s dogs that had been around since she was born.

While with a friend, they picked up her first hamster, Teddy, and the pair was completed when his friend, Theo, was brought home. Since she makes sure to do research on her pets, Bella gets many of her animals in pairs or more due to their social personalities. This was also the case when she returned home from a trip with her boyfriend to Tractor Supply Company with two fuzzy ducklings.

“Let’s just say my dad wasn’t happy with the hamster,” Bella said. “He was very angry about the ducks. They lived in my room for [about] two weeks, [but since] they grow so fast, I built a house for them in my shed.”

Since Bella would go as far as to renovate a home for her animals, it is obvious that she cares about them very much. The fish, dogs, hamsters, bunnies, and ducks that have gone through her care undoubtedly have had a surplus of affection.

On the other hand, Bella’s love for animals is so strong that it can get in the way of future career options.

“I have always really liked working with animals,” Bella said. “When I was younger, since I was seven, I have always thought about going into being a veterinarian. But then, I realized that you have to put dogs down.”

Although veterinarians surely have their fair share of job difficulties, especially emotionally, Bella has yet to rule that out as an option. For now, she will stick to caring for animals in her own home. Regardless, that kind of caring can still be difficult.

It is a commonly known fact that owning animals can be an overwhelming amount of work, at times very demanding. However, Bella doesn’t seem to mind the work as long as it means she can be happy with her pets.

“[Animals provide] good companionship, and they’re super cute,” Bella said. “They get an attachment to you, so if I get them to love me, I’ll love them, and we’ll be together forever.”