Most people don’t know it but I actually gave birth to Stellaluna on December 4, 1999. You may not believe it, even I didn’t know, until that moment on a cold winter night. Our new puppy needed to go outside for the umpteenth time for a potty break. I’m standing outside with her, dressed in my black & white tennis shoes, black pants, black leather coat with a fur lined hood and my brown hair blowing around my face. After she finishes, she toddles over to me, crawls onto my shoes, curls into a ball and looks up at me. At that moment I realized that to her I actually WAS her mother…and since then she was a momma’s girl through and through.
Her best friend, Zoe, came to us 2 years later and they became inseparable. They sounded like race horses when they chased each other around the yard. We tried landscaping one year and gave up afterwards. Our design areas seemed to always overlap with their play areas. I loved just watching them play together. Zoe got cancer when she was six and Stella never got over the loss of her. I felt so sorry for her.
It’s been hard the last 2 years to watch Stella slowly get old. Her joints gave her grief and the meds seemed to only give mild relief. She would get anxious whenever I’d leave and not eat. I recently found out that when I would go to work she would lay in the chair by the window all day until I came home. Sometimes she would howl in a soft, low, eerie way that freaked out the kids. Her love for me was intense and sometimes overwhelming yet unconditional. Our love for each other was deep. I feel sorry for people who never experience the love of a pet.
When we came home last night Stella was in the back hall, sitting but in a goofy way. She had urinated and when I helped her stand up realized that her back end was paralyzed. All my fears of this moment hit me full force. We called the 3 girls that don’t live at home and then waited for #2 & PoohBear who were 5 minutes from returning home. We decided on an emergency room in the city that #3, #4 & my eldest sister live in so they could be there; #1 lives too far away. We spent an hour with Stella, petting her, crying, reminiscing of all the wonderful memories we have because of her. I’m so grateful that I have Gary, my girls, my sister, my family…and the Simply Sleep sleeping pills that kept me asleep all night.
I’ll miss how her mouth would go up into a smile when I would come home and her obvious joy that I was back. I’ll miss her companionship. I’ll miss her meeting me at the door. I’ll miss her on our camping trips. I’ll miss all the things that have become habit with her & me. I know she’s with me. I wish it didn’t have to hurt so much. I know she was in pain…and now she’s not. I know she’s with Zoe and they’re racing & happy again. It’s just all so bittersweet…
I’ve never had a time in my life that there wasn’t a dog in it. I loved all of them and each was special in their own way but Stella was the closest thing I can imagine to having a soul mate in a dog. My heart feels that she will be the last dog for me. So thank you for the unconditional love Stella, Zoe, Madison, Minka, Gypsy, Brandy, Pixie & Katie.