This sweet older gal?arrived on Friday from Shreveport, Louisiana. A lady?named Sherri M. had first contacted us almost a month ago when she’d seen this blind dog show up in the local shelter. Because of her disability and age, she was considered unadoptable, and Sherri and a group of other kind-hearted folks who work to save dogs at that shelter were trying to get her out before she was euthanized. She was turned in to the shelter by her owners, and when they filled out the’surrender form, under “Reason for Surrender,” they wrote: “We want to get a puppy.” No, really.
To add insult to injury, they didn’t even bother to write down the old girl’s name, so she showed up nameless. Sherri had spent some time with her and decided to name her Stella. We agreed to take Stella, but she needed to get out of the shelter right away, so we boarded her at a very nice vet clinic that Sherri recommended. Sherri picked Stella?up from the shelter and took her to the clinic for us, and even offered to?pay some of the boarding fees. The group of people who rescue?dogs from’the shelter also collectively made a $300 donation to us for her care. Stella had a lot of big hearts helping her.
Our pet transport company wasn’t able to get to Shreveport for three weeks, so Stella was at the vet clinic for quite a while in her private “luxury suite” (it was very comfy, even had a webcam so we could check in on her!). She was emaciated, had lots of worms, and was heart-worm positive as well. The clinic dewormed her, gave her a bath and a good grooming, and fed her as much as she would eat. (We decided with the vet to delay her heartworm treatment until she got here.)
Stella was very timid and unsure when she arrived on Friday; she seemed kind of lost. We walked her in and out of the house on a leash, showed her the ramps and water buckets, and let her explore the house at will. But most of the time she stayed huddled by the front door in the hall way, not really wanting to venture forth. We’d get down on the floor, wrap our arms around her, and hug her tight. We could feel her relax when we did that. But she was still nervous about everything, and understandably so.
By early Saturday afternoon, though, she had developed some confidence and was starting to get around. By Saturday evening, she had managed to find the ramp and ended up at the front door, ready to come inside. That was a big step! On Sunday morning, she was starting to go everywhere, both inside and outside. She soon figured out where food was served, and realized the kitchen should be her focus. This unnerved Darla, who was definitely miffed at Stella’s arrival in the first place and could not believe we were making over Stella’the way we were … let alone allowing her into the kitchen.
Yesterday evening I was in the kitchen working on their dinner, and was soon cornered?by two Labs:
Darla began barking at me, as if to say, “Stop taking those dang photos and start serving up dinner!” The commotion brought more dogs into the kitchen, which led Darla to jump up on me:
“Enough already with the camera! Serve up!”
I told Stella, “Please, please don’t model this behavior.” As you can see in those photos, Stella is very much a part of everything now. She’s happy, smiles a lot, and perks her ears up when she hears us. And she loves to be hugged — she’ll press her head into our chests, wagging her tail the whole time.
It’s hard to understand how anyone could turn in a sweet old dog like this and want to run out and get a puppy instead. Even harder to understand when you realize they weren’t feeding Stella adequately or providing basic care. Given that?Stella was?neglected her entire life, it’s sadly ironic that the best thing her owners could have done for her was to turn her in. Now she gets another chance at a new life.
Here’s another shot I took yesterday afternoon … she was?following me around the living room, and couldn’t understand why I kept one or two steps ahead of her:
I’ll be taking her to Peak in Burlington tomorrow for a complete work-up, so we’ll have a better understanding of her health issues soon. In the meantime, please join us in welcoming this sprightly senior lady to the farm! (Darla says: “Wait … you mean she’s staying?”)?
2014 Shelter Challenge Underway
The second round of the Shelter Challenge for 2014 is underway. You can vote every day at?http://www.shelterchallenge.com/?To search for us, type in our name, Rolling Dog Farm, and Lancaster, NH 03584. We’ve won thousands of dollars in the previous contests, so your daily votes do bring in serious money for our disabled animals!
Please note that I cannot help with technical or voting problems. I also do not have an inside track? to anyone at the Shelter Challenge, and I don’t know any more about the contest than anyone else does. So if you find yourself having issues, please consult their FAQ page here and their Rules page, which is a pop-up you can find linked on this page.
Thanks for your votes!
Diane Borden, Chehalis, WA says
Welcome STELLA!! Please forget all you’ve learned about humans in your previous life. You have a couple of wonderful ones at this point. Stick around and you’ll probably find a doggy friend or two as well!.
Of all the dogs I’ve ever adopted, the older ones really steal my heart. They embrace our love and trust us fully, even after all they have been through.
Karla Ritten says
?Reason for Surrender,? they wrote: We want to get a puppy.
Unfortunately, this is all too common for any shelter. That or turning in an elderly cat so they can get a kitten. The elderly animals have a much harder time in a shelter environment and to be turned in after a life with a family. It just angers me. Knowing that the chances in a shelter aren’t good for elderly animals we brought up two elderly (16 and 14 year old) cats up to our place when their owner, a relative of my husbands, moved into assisted living. They both has health issues and we knew would be the first to go in any shelter environment.
I hope Stella does well at RDF. It looks like I am taking a 9 year old lab turned into the shelter here in Helena on the 5K Don’t Fence Me In walk on Saturday. Hopefully, someone will show an interest in him so he can spend his retirement years in a home. Danny isn’t quite as gray as Stella!
Barb Ribinski says
Welcome Stella! I have a soft spot for older dogs and she’s a gem. There’s nothing nicer than to give hugs to an old timer. I can imagine how happy she is with you guys. She’s getting feed and hugged and has friendly companions. I hope her health issues are few and she comes through the heartworm treatment well. It’s a shame to think the people who gave her up and going to go out and get a puppy and not take care of the new dog any better than they took care of Stella. Shame on them. Oh, and that photo of Miss Darla with her tongue out waiting for dinner with Widget in the background – totally cute!
Anita Maloney says
Stella is beautiful and I am so thankful for what you are doing for her.
Miranda Brooks says
I’m glad you named her Stella. The first thing I thought of was the song Stella by Starlight. She obviously meant nothing to her previous owners but that’s all different now and the song fits that.
Stella By Starlight
“The song a robin sings,
Through years of endless springs,
The murmur of a brook at evening tides.
That ripples through a nook where two lovers hide.
That great symphonic theme,
That’s Stella by starlight,
And not a dream,
My heart and I agree,
She’s everything on this earth to me.
That great symphonic theme,
That’s Stella by starlight,
And not a dream,
My heart and i agree,
She’s everything on this earth to me.”
Welcome home Stella.
Shirley and James says
Feeling so emotional reading your blog. Sweet and lovable Stella welcome to your forever home at RDF. Thank you Sherry M and those who had the courage to rescue this Senior Gal—I salute you. So important to keep spreading the word about RDF and send whatever $$ you can spare to save more Stella’s, Darla’s and the rest. We love and respect you guys so much!!!
Sharon K. says
I was surprised to see that lovely older face when I opened your blog. I’m glad to read Stella has made wonderful progress. I am meeting a 10 year old, female, arthritic black lab tomorrow afternoon to at least foster. I don’t understand how people dump older pets at kill shelters because “they want a kitten” or “we’re moving and don’t want to take her with us.”
Phyllis Snow says
Thank you, thank you for taking Stella! She looks like she is a very sweet dog and deserves your attentions. Finally she will get good care. I hope her health checkup comes out good. Poor thing.
Tonya Allen says
What a heartbreaking story. I pity the poor puppy who is going to be unfortunate enough to be chosen by those people. But Stella finally has a chance for a great life. I love older dogs and she looks so sweet. She looks like more of a snuggler than a jumper, so hopefully Darla won’t teach her any bad habits.
Shelly Entzminger says
You stole my heart in just 4 pictures. Live large at RDF. You will get the best care ever!!
Nancy Thomas says
My eyes are filled with tears. I have had several golden oldies and the thought of dumping any one of them at a shelter is unfathomable. They were with me until they took their last breath; as it should be.in the shelter of my arms. God bless everyone atRDF for what you do!
Colleen and Wes says
Stella has just won the lotto…big time!!! When you think about her history and why she was turned in your heart just breaks. Thankfully she is not with those people anymore.
We have just brought an older girl and a young pup into our family and the three who they are joining are having about the same reaction as Darla. It’s been 1 week and we’re definitely on the upswing now:-)
I’m with Tonya – I feel sorry for any animals those people adopt. Stella is stellar! Wonderful work done by everyone to bring her home!
Welcome home Stella.
Stella, I love you. I imagine you have been giving love all of your life and you will continue to do so, but now it is your turn to be loved.
I wasn’t on my computer for a day or so and when I came back today, I saw this! What a great way to make me smile. Stella, you beautiful girl, welcome to RDF where you will live your life being loved and cared for. You couldn’t have ended up in a better place 🙂
Welcome, Stella! I’m so happy RDF rescued her. No more neglect – Stella will have love and companionship for the rest of her life. A couple of years ago, my 10-year-old Border Collie mix lost her sight due to glaucoma – but blindness hasn’t slowed her down one bit! Stella looks like she’s going to have lots of fun on the farm. What a great story.
Susan Kenney says
Welcome Stella! 🙂
Now Miss Darla……as much as I ADORE you……me thinks you have gotten just a wee bit spoiled at RDF and jealousy is not too becomming on such a lady! You need to welcome Miss Stella…..s sweet Southern soul who needs some TLC like you did. We readers hope to see more graciousness and manners befitting your beauty in the future. We have already see the yard guarding and now this! My, my, my……….
Lori Fillion says
Welcome Stella! How anyone would choose a puppy over you Stella is beyond me, your in a better place now!
Oh, Stella….she is a beautiful soul! My guess is that she already knows how very lucky she is to have landed at RDF. Love her!!
Just wanted to say I just got the Newsletter and it’s so awesome! Will share with friends. Have a wonderful weekend!
Jennifer McRoberts says
My first thought was how much she reminded me of my beloved Gabe. I fell in love with his face. He was my perfect big handsome boy. A priceless gem who I wouldn’t have taken all the money in the world in exchange for him. Stella is absolutely beautiful. Please give her some big hugs from her California cousins.
With love from the McRoberts Family
Lynn (in Louisiana) says
My condolences to you and your family Jennifer. I had seen another post that seemed to indicate that Gabe had passed. Thank you for giving him what I’m sure was a wonderful home. He was one of my favorites at the RDR and I remember when you and your husband adopted him. I hope Ella is well.