A new beginning in Portugal

Where to start? So much has happened in just the last 2 months that there is a lot to write about.
That’s why I thought a blog would be best to share all of this with you.
Let’s start with the beginning. Our fundraiser. Although I think we even need to go further back in time because it all started with Little Belle.

Most of you will know her and her story, but for the people who just started to follow us; Belle lived for almost 12 years in horrible circumstances in a puppy mill in Portugal before she was rescued. I adopted her in 2011. From being very sick and fearful she changed into a happy little girl who loved life so much. The way she was, her courage, bravery, resilience, and amazing (inner) strength have touched and changed my life in so many ways. I wrote a book about her and her inspiring story: www.littlebelle.nl

When she passed away in April 2017 I was heartbroken. Life was not the same anymore. Of course, my little girl knew how I felt and guided me to Portugal. That’s when I fell in love with this beautiful country. There I met Kintana and together we had 2 amazing weeks close to the stunning coast. When I was there I felt so deeply that I wanted to do more for the dogs in need, especially the senior ones and the differently abled dogs. So back in the Netherlands, I started with Little Belle’s Magical Sanctuary, a non-profit organization, that gives a forever home to senior and differently abled dogs. All in memory of my very special girl.

After my experience in Portugal, Robert and I knew we had to explore this country more to see if we could live there with all the animals. So later that year I traveled to Portugal again, this time with Kintana and Emi, and stayed for about 2 months in a rental home in the south of Portugal. I found out that this wasn’t the region for us, it just didn’t feel good.
In 2018, back in the Netherlands, intense things were happening at home which made it a really hard time. At one point I realized that if I didn’t do something, even the Sanctuary would be in danger. That’s when the fundraising for Little Belle’s Dream started and the amount of support from the beginning until now has been so incredibly beautiful and heartwarming.
Because of you, the Sanctuary was able to buy a property in Portugal.
Because of you, we can continue with our important work and mission to help the dogs in need, especially the ones who need extra care.
I hope you realize that you are such a vital part of this and that you are making a big difference for each dog that is already part of our family and Sanctuary or will join us in the future.

There only needs to be one thing done before we can continue with our work. The property needs quite some work and for this, we also needed to start a fundraiser at the beginning of September. You can find it here: Inzamelingsactie van Little Belle’s Magical Sanctuary : Help Little Belle’s Magical Sanctuary in Portugal (gofundme.com)
I can also give you a beautiful update on how much we’ve raised so far:
GoFundMe : 7318,00
PayPal : 6149,46
Bank : 495,20
Total : 13962,66 !!

It’s running for a few weeks now and again, the support is amazing! Thank you all so much ❤️
We’ve set the goal of the GoFundMe fundraiser at € 32.000 (around $34.000) just to get started, but the whole project will cost a lot more, around € 60.000 ($ 63.500). So we need to keep the fundraiser going and we really need your help.
I strongly believe that together we can make this happen. This is one of the things that Little Belle taught me. Your and our love for animals is so deep which is such a strong power. We all want to help the ones that need extra care, the ones that are waiting for so long, the ones that are already really old and don’t have much time left. To give them a truly beautiful life filled with joy, adventures, and love, is what’s Little Belle’s Magical Sanctuary is all about.
Your love and support for the Sanctuary, your love for all the dogs, and your faith in us, are so deeply touching. This also gives me extra strength to keep going and to keep following my heart ❤️
~ Irene

9 thoughts on “A new beginning in Portugal

  1. Susan Colley says:

    You are doing amazing, and on your next journey in your life, so many adventures to be had, I wish you all, health and happiness in your next adventure… Lots of love to you all and knowing its because of Little Belle,

  2. Maria van den Brink says:

    Ik denk elke dag aan jullie, lieve Irene. Het doet me zo goed dat jullie eindelijk, eindelijk Little Belle’s droom waar kunnen maken. En ik weet zeker dat het allemaal gaat lukken.

    • LittleBelle says:

      Wat lief, Maria, dankjewel. Ik weet hoe lang je ons al volgt, zoveel mooie herinneringen ook aan de contactmomenten die we hadden.
      En ja, nu eindelijk Little Belle’s Droom kunnen waarmaken voelt zo bijzonder ❤️

  3. Poi Poh Wong says:

    Thank you for the beautiful blog, dear Irene. You deserve to have such beautiful and magical support from all friends around the world. We all love what you have done and are still doing for the senior and differently abled dogs. I’ll continue supporting Little Belle’s Sanctuary for sure. Much love to you all.

  4. Robin says:

    Irene ,
    Once again I have very happy tears in my eyes. You and your family , including all the angels that you have given love mean the world to me .
    You are truly amazing, between your inner strength and what precious Little Belle has instilled in you . Yes this sanctuary in Portugal had begun to become a reality and I know with more help it will be .
    Little Belle’s Dream is most definitely true and magical . I will be here to continue in anyway I can help.
    Much hugs to you my friend .❤️

  5. Lisa & Watson says:

    Happy 1st y’all! Lovely Irene, it is your patience with joy I admire so much. Thank you for the fresh blog and update today. Simply fabulous. 💛🐶🇺🇸

  6. Barbara LaGaipa says:

    Irene, The sanctuary is beginning to become a reality. I hope the repairs on the house and the construction of the fence will be completed soon so Robert and the rest of the family will be able to join you. Y prayers are with you and I’m sending hugs your way.

  7. Ellen McCann says:

    The blog is wonderful, and youre doing an incredible job. When you first mentioned you needed to find a home for the sanctuary I thought it was a very difficult task..but a nice dream. I cant believe its almost a reality (just some fixing up). Im so happy for you!

    ps. I miss seeing Twix and Jessie…just thought Id say that lol

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