A Dog Named Stella

Stella reminded me how to persevere and stay resilient now matter how uncertain things can seem.

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Earlier this year, our sweet Boarder Collie passed away after a valiant effort to keep her zest for life and show us her love until her last day. That in of itself was an example of strength and courage.

Flash forward several months and my wife was becoming emotionally ready again to consider another dog. Rescue Boarder Collies were the last two canines that captured her heart and her search began.

We walked into a pet store one weekend that was hosting a foster/rescue event and were greeted by the head of a mid-size white dog with floppy brown, black tipped ears, mascara like eyes, and an odd bushy white curly tail similar to that of a squirrel. She was a breed we had never heard of before, a Canaan. The foster rep asked my wife to take her for a walk and that somehow led to Stella coming home with us as foster parents. I was reluctant and had never done this before.

Stella was perfectly behaved with us at first but then we noticed some aggression toward other dogs and unfortunately people too. It was fear aggression and there was no telling what she had been through. Her original owners turned her in and the last people that tried to adopt her gave up on her after a month saying she was too aggressive. Stella was one day away from being euthanized when she was rescued. This was a big concern since their were two teenage boys in our house impacted as well and I could not forgive myself if something happened. But she loved them immediately upon being introduced.

She was very protective of us, her new family, and territorial of her home. Poor girl, it was as if she was trying to prove her worth. During this time, I began a career transition after 18 years. She became my companion during the days and I would say to her that the two of us will find a new home. She needed a chance, I needed a chance. We hired a trainer to work with her feeling that even if she did not end up with us, we would help her cause. It was rocky at first, but she began making positive strides.

We decided to make Stella a family member recently and while she is not perfect, we are not either. Stella reminded me how to persevere and stay resilient now matter how uncertain things can seem. That alone made me feel she needed someone to give her a chance. She had so many great qualities and we needed to put our faith in those and help her to see the world is not out to get her. She has brought love and happiness into the home and filled the void in my wife’s heart. Second chances, third chances, call it what you want, we all need them and that’s the gift we can give to one another.

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