Yesterday marked exactly one year since we brought our little fuzzball of a puppy, Stella, home from the animal shelter, not fully aware of the beast we’d just tied our lives to. She was just 2 months old, wiggly and small and timid about being in a new house. Now, a year later, she is wiggly and huge and still growing, and only occasionally timid about much of anything.
The shelter had identified her as a lab-mix puppy. Shortly after we had adopted her, though, they further informed us they had discovered that the father was a combination Newfoundland-Bernese Mountain Dog — two huge breeds. And we realized those too-big paws really did indicate we’d gotten a bigger dog than we’d planned on.
But when you’re committed to adopting shelter dogs, you kinda get whatever you choose. Or, whichever puppy chooses you, as the choice is generally quite mutual.
So, we love our almost-gentle giant. She’d love to be gentle for real, but she seems to have no idea how big she really is nor any concept of human personal space. She and our cats have mostly worked out friendly parameters, although Stella still thinks they’re trying to play chase whenever they try to walk through a room she’s playing in.
She’s doing a great job on one of her lifetime assignments: getting me out for daily walks. That was challenging at first, as she pulled pretty hard on the leash and I worried for my poor shoulders, but nowadays, she’s pretty well-behaved. She still tends to get a little too over-enthusiastic whenever she sees someone who will let her overwhelm them with puppy love.
Mostly, I enjoy telling them, “She’s just a puppy,” to see the look on their faces. She no longer looks like a puppy — but she’s still capable of acting like one.
Stella’s new tire toy — after she chewed up & ate a smaller one over a period of weeks
She is, in fact, the largest dog I have ever owned. And she’s still growing.
Love my Stella.