Thursday, December 22, 2011


(this is sad)

She wouldn't make eye contact but when the shelter worker took her and us to a fenced in pen, she galloped and jumped up like a happy horse. We didn't know until later that for some reason she must have willed herself to do that, her with her broken back and still recovering from Lyme disease.

Stella was found by animal rescue on a rural street in a rural town. Most likely her owner had dropped her off somewhere around there and she had been lost for weeks, maybe several months. Before we took her home, the shelter told us she should be on a ltoeash because she was part hound, but in the seven years she has been part of our family, she has not required a leash at all. She stayed close and she obeyed when we told her to stop. She obeyed when we asked her to lie down. Or come. Or, although a bit reluctantly, to kiss.

She was around seven years old when we brought her home. She was stiff and obedient. For the first year she hid whenever she could, willing herself to be invisible. Slowly she began to let us touch her, to softly sigh when we massaged her body. Slowly she stopped being afraid of the men who came to our house, although with Jessie, our carpenter, she lay outside with him two feet from his buzzing circular saw. Maybe because she was more than likely tied outside most of the time, in her life before us, it was amazing to watch Stella listen and observe. She was quiet and patient, she did not rail against circumstance. She watched and she listened and she accepted. Slowly she came to ask for cookies and chicken and ear rubs. It took her six years, but finally she began to bark.

She perked up when we shook out sheets to fold. She loved nothing better than to be wiped down when she came in from the rain. We had bought her an orthopedic bed because of her back injury, and she settled into that bed with safe comfort. She did not know how to play with toys. She just sat in that bed and watched and listened.

We walked Stella most days in the park behind our house. She never managed the same happy horse gallop but when we reached the gate she came close. We'd walk a long mile and her tail wagged the whole way.

We learned about Stella's history from an animal psychic. She said Stella told her she was a loyal dog and she loved the man who owned her. She said she didn't know how she came to be on the streets alone. She said that was the past and she did not want sympathy. She wanted us to know it would take her some time but she hoped we would be patient because she would be a loving and playful dog.

Stella lost the ability to use her back legs about six months ago. At first she would stumble, later she would fall, and now she cannot walk unless we hold her elegant tail and accompany her outside. She's gone from shorter walks to no walks to room service meals bedside. But not just that. Her eyes are tired. She can't get comfortable. She still eats and loves her cookies and she has great joy when we rub her ears. But none of this is enough.

In a matter of hours her special vet, who will share our grief, will come to our house and we will say goodbye to our sweet Stella with her old soul and tender heart. I can't fathom it, really. All I can really know is how much we all love each other and that it is time.

I have no photo of Stella to offer up here. My laptop has died and I won't question why. I will instead tell you that this brown and black 14 year old dog with honest eyes has had half a wonderful life and she has appreciated all of it.

I want to believe that she, along with Rosie Girl, will be waiting for us in the world beyond worlds.

One more thing: it's Christmas and I am very grateful. I, whose emotions sweep me up like a high powered vacuum cleaner, want to appreciate the next few days, want to celebrate my family and the chances to love that I have been given. I love this dog and I know she loves JB and me. If I'm able, I will hold that fact very very close to my sad thankful heart.

love kj


  1. May you be surrounded and comforted by those who care deeply and may it help you transition to loving Stella on a different plane now.

    If you ever love an animal, there are three days in your life you will always remember…The first is a day, blessed with happiness, when you bring home your young new friend. You may have spent weeks deciding on a breed. You may have asked numerous opinions of many vets, or done long research in finding a breeder. Or, perhaps in a fleeting moment, you may have just chosen that silly looking mutt in a shelter – simply because something in its eyes reached your heart. But when you bring that chosen pet home, and watch it explore, and claim its special place in your hall or front room – and when you feel it brush against you for the first time – it instills a feeling of pure love you will carry with you through the many years to come.

    The second day will occur eight or nine or ten years later. It will be a day like any other. Routine and unexceptional. But, for a surprising instant, you will look at your long-time friend and see age where you once saw youth. You will see slow deliberate steps where you once saw energy. And you will see sleep where you once saw activity. So you will begin to adjust your friend’s diet – and you may add a pill or two to her food. And you may feel a growing fear deep within yourself, which bodes of a coming emptiness. And you will feel this uneasy feeling, on and off, until the third day finally arrives.

    And on this day – if your friend and God have not decided for you, then you will be faced with making a decision of your own – on behalf of your lifelong friend, and with the guidance of your own deepest Spirit. But whichever way your friend eventually leaves you – you will feel as alone as a single star in the dark night. If you are wise, you will let the tears flow as freely and as often as they must. And if you are typical, you will find that not many in your circle of family or friends will be able to understand your grief, or comfort you. But if you are true to the love of the pet you cherished through the many joy-filled years, you may find that a soul – a bit smaller in size than your own – seems to walk with you, at times, during the lonely days to come. And at moments when you least expect anything out of the ordinary to happen, you may feel something brush against your leg – very, very lightly. And looking down at the place where your dear, perhaps dearest, friend used to lie – you will remember those three significant days. The memory will most likely be painful, and leave an ache in your heart. As time passes, the ache will come and go as it has a life of its own. You will both reject it and embrace it, and it may confuse you. If you reject it, it will depress you. If you embrace it, it will deepen you. Either way, it will still be an ache.

    But there will be, I assure you, a fourth day when – along with the memory of your pet – and piercing through the heaviness in your heart – there will come a realization that belongs only to you. It will be as unique and strong as our relationship with each animal we have loved, and lost. This realization takes the form of a Living Love – like the heavenly scent of a rose that remains after the petals have wilted, this love will remain and grow – and be there for us to remember. It is a love we have earned. It is the legacy our pets leave us when they go. And it is a gift we may keep with us as long as we live. It is a love which is ours alone. And until we ourselves leave, perhaps to join our beloved pets – it is a love that we will always possess.

    ~ Written by Martin Scot Kosins, Author of “Maya’s First Rose” ~

  2. Oh, I am so sorry. I'm glad I had the opportunity to meet Stella - I know she will be sorely missed. My heart is with you.

  3. Oh No, ♥♥ it's always too soon,,,,even when it's not.

    I feel like I know Stella of the soulfilled eyes. Love, oh yes Lord, of the very best kind! You to her, and she to you.
    I don't need a photo of her, I can close my eyes and see her image very clearly.Pure love.
    My prayers are for you and JB to have peace filled hearts soon, in the remembering what a great life you've been able to give her.
    I am very, very sorry, kj.
    I know your hearts are ripping.

  4. The Eclipse GT gets standard stability control, hid lighting ballast and a large rear spoiler. All Eclipse models come standard with four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and electronic brakeforce.

  5. Kj - My thoughts are with you and JB today. How hard this is. I have no words, really. Just love to you both, and to Stella. xox Pam

  6. Oh, Karen, I am with you and JB in my thoughts this sad day. No need to say that this special dog Stella has had a lot of love and care from you two. We all know that as petowner you can do this mercyful last thing for your beloved dog (or cat). But it is hard, so hard......

  7. I know your pain.
    take care
    big love
    Merry Christmas xx

  8. My Dad lost his little "Brandi" this past year and he and my step-mother are still taking it hard.
    That little creature was so loved and gave THEM so much joy.
    I will be thinking of you and your family.

  9. If the dog is in pain and will never have anything close to the quality of life she had once knew then it is time. Accept that you are doing her a great service and not being greedy for your own desire to have her with you.

    You'll be OK kj.

  10. such a beautiful and sad story. farewell Stella. Hugs to you KJ and JB. You gave her a wonderful half of life.

  11. O wise Teri.....she stated just how it is when you have a beautiful creature like Stella in your life.

    I can say I was fortunate to have met Stella, kissed her and even took her for a long walk on a gorgeous Autumn Day last year.
    We both enoyed it.

    Stella, with her beautiful, eloquent eyes and delicate lady-like paws, brought a lot of warmth and love to you and JB. She is LOVE....

    Sending love to all of heart will be at #9 all day today. I'm burning a candle for her now.


    ♥ Robin ♥

  12. Oh Kj, You know I know how this feels. Awful, heartbreaking, but you are doing the right and good thing. Stella will thank you. Ask her for a dream, all my furbabies come to me in dreams and it is sweet. I am very sad to hear this news. I had to go through my losses alone, but you have JB, hang on to her tight.
    And when you are ready another dog does wonders to heal your heart, it does not take the pain away, but it does add joy to the mix.
    Kisses and giant hugs.xoxo

  13. I am in tears for you. I am so sorry and there are no words. Much love mim

  14. :(
    It is time KJ, it will be difficult but this is the right thing to do for your sweet Stella.
    Stella is very special indeed I think she has an old soul. And I loved her. She had such loyal eyes. Such a gentle spirit.
    So hard for you and JB just before Christmas but it would have been selfish to wait , so respect KJ.
    Take care and celebrate X mas with her spirit nearby.
    love and BIG hugs

  15. You are so brave
    Stella is brave too.
    Your love for her and hers for you will remian forever and ever and ever.
    I think this is a pefect time of the year for her to go to the 'doggy kennel in the sky' (we used to tell our kids this when a well loved pet died).
    Lots of heartfelt love at this time for you and JB. xxxx

  16. I want to get that book that Teri always quotes from.

    You know how I feel because we talked last night.

    You and JB gave her that final gift, the promise of no suffering.
    How brave and unselfish of you both.

    I'm here if you need me.

    Love to you both, and of course to Stella on her journey.


  17. Dearest kj, I am so very, very sorry that this time has come. My heart goes out to you and JB. . . I know how much you loved Stella.

    Sending you big hugs and lots of love,
    Angela (and Beau)

  18. i am so so sorry for your loss, kj --- thanks to you and jb, stella's life was filled with happiness and love. i remember a photo of her earlier this year and her eyes were full of soul - everything showed in them. may she rest in peace and may her memory bring comfort. goddess bless you all.

    with love,


  19. hugs, ♥, tsups, and thanks to each of you. it helps to know this sad deep feeling of longing and loss is so easily understood. i know it's all about love. i don't want to lose sight of that. today i baked an apple pie and made bread and brought my Mom here to my house to sit on the couch with janet and me and laugh together. i wrapped presents.

    in between, i cried. xoxo

  20. I have always believed that our heart is divided into many rooms, and some doors never close and some never open.

    But there is a door that opens and through it walks the very essence of Trust and Unconditional Love and we learn, we learn to wait, we learn to show our feelings, we learn not to argue or be resentful when we don't get our way, we show love without reserve, we learn much that otherwise we would dismiss if taught by another human.

    Go peacefully Stella, the land of quiet, no cars and maybe some rabbits to chase for the heck of it is waiting. You have earned your rest and now after the tears and the fear of never being able to love another "Stella" JB and Karen will be alright. How do I know? because the heart has many rooms and yours will always be there to remind them that the things that live in our heart never truly die.

  21. I'm very sorry to read about Stella KJ. We love our pets in such an uncomplicated way and it runs very deep I think. It's an incfedibly loving thing to do to let Stella go before life became a hardship for her. Warmest hugs to you. xx Jos

  22. I am wiping tears after reading the post with photo that followed, and then reading more fully about Stella's history here in this post. What a love, what love. I am so grateful you found one another and shared these moments on earth together. I, too, so hope that we are able to reconnect with our animals later. But Stella is there in your heart forever. And ever.

  23. I was without internet access when Stella died. But I have been back for awhile. I couldn't come here and read this, because I knew you would have written about Stella in your own incredible manner. And I knew I would weep, as I did this morning, for all the hurting animals out there who have no one to take them in. And for dear Stella, who I never met, but had the honour of looking deeply into her wonderful, wise eyes through photos.

    I mourn with you, kj, many animals have walked a ways with me before passing on...each time it does not take me long to realize that the animal is still with me, only I can't see her. After a time, I can feel the energy when it is close by. You will as well. Death is a beginning, too.

    Much love to you all...xx