When Tracey first told us the name of her dog, Andy and I both yelled “Steeeeelllllaaaaaaa!!!”
“Everybody says that when we tell them her name!”
So we explained the Marlon Brando famous movie line to her.
One of my first memories of Stella was her playing with the sprinkler:
She loved the water.
Just like a puppy.
As she got older she would also run around our yard occasionally in “puppy zoom” mode.
She was always a happy dog.
Tracey took Stella everywhere with her.
To our house, to work, to the dog park, everywhere. Stella loved the car.
She also loved being in the driver’s seat, which is where she would always wind up when she needed to stay in the car.
While at work, Stella used to hang out in the VCA emergency reception area.
Tracey told me that everybody told her Stella should be a therapy dog. The doctors would go out and just sit with her to feel her calmness after the stress of the emergency room.
Stella’s life was saved at this same emergency hospital when she became septic after giving birth to her puppies. It was touch and go for awhile. The day this picture was taken was when when I drove Tracey back to the hospital after she had left for the day (it was an hour away from home). They called her back in because Stella was going downhill. We weren’t sure she was going to make it that day. It was a long ride.
But she made it! Stella was a determined dog with strength of will. (Which showed up at other times, like when you were eating dinner and she wanted some.)
But let’s go back in time from that day to a happier time. The day Stella had her puppies:
And here is the official picture, taken a few days later:
Although she had to leave them at 4 weeks when she got sick, there were still 4 here when she got to be with them again:
And then there were two:
That’s my Columbus in the middle, and Rosie, her mini-me on the right.
Columbus was lucky to still have his mom in his life. As were a lot of other puppies she helped raise as a foster mom. This guy, in particular…
(That’s her and Oscar at the dog park in Connecticut. Photo by Kelly Samoiloff)
Stella lived with us for awhile while Tracey was home. Here’s a picture from that time. I wrote a post about it.
Once Tracey moved out, every time she came back home Columbus and Koda would run to the car to welcome Stella (and Tracey, but mostly Stella). So excited to see her. They actually overpowered her, jumping on her and just being their own high-energy selves, so we would give her breaks from them.
Here are some other great photos of Stella. Tracey took many of them….
Andy loved Stella. He used to say, “here’s a dog I can finally pet. I can’t even pet our own dog.” (Koda wouldn’t stay still long enough.) Andy’s love for Stella is why we had puppies at our house. And it’s why we have Columbus, now. And this is actually Andy with Stella, although she and Columbus look A LOT alike. If I didn’t know when the photo was taken, I would have thought it was him.
Today Stella left us, hit by a car in the prime of her life. Such a sad day. My heart is breaking. All our hearts are breaking. But Stella will not be forgotten, and she lives on both in our memories and in her puppies (and 12 puppies Columbus recently fathered, born this past week).
Goodbye, Stella. You were a beauty. Thank you for all you were to all of us, but mostly for how you blessed Berto and Tracey, who loved you fiercely and will miss you forever.