She eyed me warily as I entered her house. It was the eyes I first noticed about Stella, they contained a hint of fear.
But as she saw me accepted by her other family members they changed to an intelligent mischievous look.
I knew I had become part of her family when she presented me with one of my socks. Thus, I learnt to keep my small clothing items safely away from Stella and she would bring me her duckie instead.
Stella and her animal cohort were my housesit family in November 2016. She was a Lagotto Romagnolo – an Italian water dog. Stella absolutely loved the water and regularly visited the Lower Shotover River where she would swim and chase sticks. The temperature of the water was not a factor in whether she was in or out of the water.
Cream of a Joey
Brown of a Coco
Under the dogwood a Stella doth lay
Upon a bed of petals a pink
Swathed within a linen a white
No more the Shotover Lagotto will play
Stella was young and athletic, loved to hunt and chase the abundant rabbit population of Queenstown. It was the love of the rabbit hunt that was the end of Stella – the best exploring spot was the gully across the road. The lure of the rabbit hunt was too much for Stella one day. Jumping the fence from her orchard enclosure, she bolted down the driveway and into the path of an oncoming car as she crossed the road.
Christine and Tim gave Stella the best chance for a recovery but the injuries were too much and they decided to let Stella pass on. Stella was a loyal and loving dog once she let you into her circle.
My condolences go to Christine, Tim and Stella’s other companions – Joey, Coco, Magic, Gibbston and Clyde. She will be sadly missed.