Celebrating Stella

On November 22, 2015, a fire at the Sweetpea F.O.R. Animals shelter took the lives of many animals. Thanks to heroic efforts by firefighters, a few animals were found alive and rushed to nearby veterinary hospitals for treatment. Eight years later, we’re celebrating the survivors and today we’re sharing Stella’s story.

Stella was born in 2012. Her start was a bit rocky and there are a few gaps in her history. She was in a shelter In North Carolina as a 1 year old. She appeared again in a Pennsylvania shelter and then in a Connecticut shelter that was closing when Sweetpea reached out and took her in.

The first of Stella’s many angels was firefighter Tom Savage who rescued Stella from the shelter building. The fire left Stella with life-threatening medical issues. She had inhaled hot gases that damaged her throat and left her lungs with irreversible damage. Her prognosis was 3 year life expectancy.

She remained in the hospital from November of 2015 till August of 2016. And the folks at Sweetpea worked tirelessly to find the perfect human to give Stella an amazing life that would supply her with medical care and the furever home she deserved. The angels at Sweetpea found Stella an angel for a Mom. Bonnie.

Bonnie was relocating back to Massachusetts and while looking for a home, she began to visit Stella at the hospital. She was given permission to take Stella out on play dates any time she was in state. They enjoyed car rides and quiet bonding time together away from the hospital setting. The adoption was made final, Stella was released from the hospital and Stella’s favorite people were waiting for her to welcome her to her new home and celebrate her new beginning!

Sweetpea founder Richard Clark with Stella on her first day home

Stella was still recovering. She slept for the first 3 months at her new home and her energy was very low. The following 6-7 months is when the hidden Stella came to light. Stella would raid the pantry, find the granola bars and hide them under the couch cushions during the work week! She ate a box of dry pasta. She would get into mischief when Bonnie was at work. Bonnie’s detective skills were put to the test and she suspects that Stella’s love for people and routines were turned upside down when Stella left the daily care at the hospital and was now alone during the day.

So Bonnie found a pet sitter/angel and Stella’s BFF, Jess. On days when Bonnie is in the office, Jess stops by to let Stella out and hand out a cookie and the best belly rubs! When Bonnie travels, Stella and Jess have their BFF sleepovers! They can be found on the couch under a blanket and getting caught up on Netflix. Or out for a ride in the car. Or in the yard, enjoying the sunshine. They also take selfies of their adventures to amuse Bonnie with!

Stella on a car ride with her BFF Jess

The 2nd year after Stella was released from the hospital, Stella’s routine X-rays showed the lung damage had stopped progression. She will be on daily medications for her lifetime. Bonnie is in tune with Stella’s lungs, breathing, cough and has become an integral part of Stella’s medical team. This year, air quality issues from the wildfires have been a challenge and resulted in Stella’s pneumonia diagnosis. Bonnie’s vigilance has been key for Stella! Although there is concern that carcinogens from the fire could lead to cancer, Stella is still cancer free on the 8th anniversary! She has exceeded her 3 year life expectancy and is living and loving her life! Congratulations on an amazing journey, Stella!

Fun facts about Stella:

Stella adores people and being the amazingly smart pup that she is, she has created different routines with each person!

Stella demands at least 1 car ride a week (or she blocks Mom from leaving the house).

Stella’s favorite toys are either squeaky or chew toys.

The way to Stella’s heart is through belly rubs!

Stella has her own Facebook page! You’re invited to follow her page, Stella’s Story, and catch up on all things Stella!