The Norman Transcript


September 29, 2013

Bella Mae’s experience, recovery after being quilled makes it into new ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not!’ book

NORMAN — In July, Bella Mae the bulldog found herself in quite the prickly situation.

Being the curious bulldog that she is, Bella Mae decided to take on a fight with a porcupine that had wondered onto the property of her owners, Jerry and Allison Noles, for a quick drink out of the a pond adjacent to their Blanchard home.

The results? The porcupine fought back, leaving Bella Mae stuck with more than 1,000 porcupine quills in her face and the front part of her body.

“We were out of town. My mom called me and said, ‘I think Bella has been attacked by a porcupine.’ I said, ‘Can you send me a picture?’ It was very frightening,” Allison Noles said. “Because she’s a bulldog, it’s not like they just get in her nose; she got them in her head. At first we thought a few quills.”

Following the incident, Bella Mae was rushed to the Animal Emergency Clinic in Norman. From there, she had multiple surgeries, some lasting as long as three hours, and lots of doctor visits.

“Quills came out for probably three or four months. They continue to work their way out of your body. We still, here at home, had to remove quills. She had staples on her face, neck and foot,” Allison said.

The Noles have owned Bella Mae since Christmas 2009, but they never expected what would happen next to their beloved bulldog.

Video posted by Animal Emergency Clinic staff immediately went viral and could be seen on local television newscasts, BBC,, MSNBC and YouTube, where more than one million viewers saw Bella Mae’s prickly face.

“We had people from Europe sending us care packages for the dog,” Jerry Noles said. “It was amazing the number of times it aired.”

After a few weeks, media attention died out for the 4-year-old Bella Mae. But now, her story has resurfaced. Bella Mae is featured in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Dare to Look!,” a 256-page book featuring a collection of bizarre and amazing true stories from around the world.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Norman resident honored as volunteer of the week

    Each week, we recognize a volunteer who is making a difference in the lives of veterans and surviving spouses in the area. This week’s volunteer has been making the trip each week to Goldsby for the last five years. I’m proud to say that ...

    April 23, 2014

  • Air travel tips for seniors with special needs

    Dear Savvy Senior, I would like to fly my elderly parents across the country next month for my daughter’s wedding but have some concerns about the flight. My mom has trouble walking long distances and my dad has COPD and needs an oxygen ...

    April 22, 2014

  • Couple with autistic children lead Thorn Bush Autism group

    For Leah and Christian Eisenbeis raising two children with Autism is not only a challenge but it’s been a blessing, too....

    April 20, 2014

  • Free pressure canner checks offered

    With warmer weather trying to get a grip on April’s temperatures, it’s time to get the dial on your pressure canner checked. This is a free service provided by the Cleveland County Extension Office, 601 E. Robinson St. in Norman....

    April 20, 2014

  • Norman artist pledges to continue painting until colors fade

    About five or six months ago, I came across an article in The Norman Transcript about local artist Almira Hill Grammer, who had a display of her work at the State Capitol....

    April 20, 2014

  • ‘Blood moon’ rising

    I guess we all have one thing in common right now. We survived a “blood moon.” What a whirlwind of a week. It seemed that, like Hillary Clinton, the universe was just tossing shoes at me left and right. Maybe it was a sign I need to slow ...

    April 20, 2014

  • What to know about use of BVO

    Q: I’ve heard about Brominated vegetable oil recently. Could you provide some more information? A: Brominated vegetable oil, also called BVO, is a food additive that is often used to keep citrus flavor emulsified in sodas and sports ...

    April 20, 2014

  • Blessing opens demo garden

    A blustery, gray day didn’t mute enthusiasm for the first Saturday of the spring season April 12 at the Cleveland County Master Gardeners demo gardens and the Norman Farm Market....

    April 20, 2014

  • OHCE members receive awards

    Cleveland County’s Oklahoma Home and Community Education members Carol Doner and Megan Doner were award winners at a recent OHCE District meeting in Mustang....

    April 20, 2014

  • Book signing set

    Author Jerry Webster, of Edmond, will sign copies of his book, “What Brings a Soldier to His Knees,” from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Hastings Books, 2300 W. Main St....

    April 20, 2014