Losing any one of our dogs has been extremely hard. Some were with us for so long it was hard to let go. Some were younger and that made it harder as it was unexpected. Stella was a link in-between all of the those dogs and the dogs we currently have. She, who was once the baby became the senior. She too lost all of her siblings and had to adapt to change with bringing in new dogs. She did so graciously and was always kind but stern, when she needed to be, with her new furry family members.  
I was unable to tell you the story of how we met. I was walking outside of North Hill Mall and I saw a lady walking Stella (then Jax). I went running over and asked if I could pet her. She said I could. Stella (approx. 11 months old) immediately started licking my face and we both fell in love. When I asked the lady if she was up for adoption she looked at my with a funny look and said yes she is. How did you know? I really don’t know how I knew, maybe I was just hoping. Petcetera was located in the mall and Stella was an SPCA dog that was staying there. The lady told me that a man had his name on her and that I could go on the waiting list should he not adopt her. I almost died. I called Randy in hysterics and he said to put my name on the list and maybe he would not adopt her. (At that point we had 4 dogs and I just knew she had to be my fifth).

I went to visit her every day. On about the third or fourth day when I was sitting in her pen a man walked in. Stella was sitting on my lap and he looked at me and asked if I was the person that had my name on the waiting list behind him. I told him I was. He said that he had been in every day to try to get her to come to him but she just sat in the corner and shook. He said he would take his name off of her and I was free to adopt her. It turned out that Stella was badly abused by a men and was much more comfortable around women.
I adopted Stella and from that moment on she was my shadow. I could not move without her following me. She fell in love with Randy too but it took years for her to be comfortable around other men.
I always felt that I would not know when it was time for Stella to pass. I prayed that I would not have to make that decision, especially as we had to make that decision three times in less than 3 years with Justice, Grissom and Scout. At night I would hear her get up and pace around the house and I would think to myself, she’s uncomfortable, she’s breathing heavy, today is the day. When we would wake up she would be happy and she appeared to be fine. Stella loved food almost more than she loved me. Over the last few months we tried everything to get her to eat. This I trust was another sign. On the day I decided to make the appointment with you Stella was dragging her back legs and I knew what we had to do.
The morning of our appointment  I was sick about my decision but I knew if we didn’t do it on that day I would only prolong the inevitable and I would only be canceling for us.
When each of my dogs passed (and my Dad) I have felt a sense of relief. I almost felt like I could feel them in my chest as they passed. (I know that might sound odd). Sadly I did not feel that with Stella. Closure has definitely been harder because of this. Maybe it’s because she hasn’t really left yet. Although I hope she does soon because there 7 other dogs waiting to see her and my Dad was another man she did love.  I’m sure he’s waiting for yet another grand dog to visit.
If there was one thing Stella hated it was going to the vet. We would sit in the waiting room and people would look over and ask if it was her teeth clanking together that they heard and it was. That is how hard she would vibrate. We knew we would never take her to the vet when it was her time to go. This is why we are so thankful you both were able to come to her. She was calm, at ease and with the people and pups she loved the most in her home that she cherished. That is the best gift we could ever give our pets when we say goodbye.
Getting Stella’s ashes back in the beautiful back with a flower and an “S” charm (that I now wear on my necklace) was incredible special.
We can’t thank you both enough for coming into our home to help us say goodbye. It is never easy but it is “easier” when you are here.
From the bottom of our hearts thank you.

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