To Stella. With Love.

Stella parkThree weeks ago today we had to say goodbye to our original Stella Shopper, Stella. I’ve been quiet on the blog about it because to be honest, I’ve been too sad to know what to really say. She had an aggressive cancer and we did everything we could to keep her comfortable in those few short months that she was sick. While my husband and I and Mingus are still devastated over the loss, I don’t want this post to be about that. Stella was the queen. She was most definitely the one in charge. The hierarchy in our house went Don, Stella and then it was a toss up between Mingus and me. Mingus tried to take charge, but he never had a chance.

She was bossy. That pooch could sass you like I’ve never seen a dog do before. She had swagger when she walked. She could stare you down with those big brown eyes so intensely that I was pretty sure she was trying to mind-meld me. She could love you literally with her entire body. She would throw herself on you and lick your entire face from ear to ear. She had so much love to give. Every night she'd give me a smooch, give Don a smooch and then crawl under the covers.

All of those traits are what made Mizzie and me name the blog after her six years ago. I remember the moment she walked into our living room with those little hips swinging and her sparkly pink collar from Lucky Pup. Mizzie said, “What if we call the blog Stella?” And that’s how it happened. Over the course of the years, it really did become just as much her blog as mine. Even though she really wanted to go bed when Don and Mingus went upstairs, she would always stay with me until I was finished for the night. There would be some heavy sighs. There would be the occasional jumping off the couch to stare me down and bark at me, but in the end, she always stayed with me. It’s why I say I was the Lois Griffin to her Stewie. I knew in that little head of hers she was probably figuring out a way to kill me off so she could go to sleep earlier.

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Stewie to Stella 2

There was nothing like that little toothy smile though.  It lit up her entire face. I could go on and on. I’ve already written five pages of things I love and miss about her. But that’s saved for Don and me.

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I listen to music a lot at home and at some point I started turning just about every song into a pug song. Rap songs in particular. For some reason I felt like Stella liked hip-hop. Whenever she and Mingus would run upstairs after a bath in their robes (no judging please), I would sing Outkast’s “So Fresh. So Clean.” I’d get the toothy grin and then a puppy sprint across the couch every time.

Stella Lucky Pup

Then there was "99 Problems, but a Pug Ain't One", "You Can't Play with my Boo-Boo"...you get the picture. I'm sure she thought I was crazy, but I could always get her and Mingus going when I did that. Those are just a few of the best and funniest moments we shared.

In honor of all those amazing memories and staying true to my 80’s/90’s roots, I’ve made a playlist with those songs. I hope they make you smile like they make me. (And if that smile is because of the absurdity of me singing these songs to a pug, then I’m totally okay with that.) I will love that little lady with all of my heart until the end of time. I know one day she will greet me again with that husky little Pall Mall smokers bark, giving me the Stewie stare-down from the top of some eternal staircase saying “What took you so long woman?  I’m hungry.”

This is for you Stella. With All My Love…

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IMG_5770Stella Knarr. June 14, 2004-March 24, 2014.