The Stella Series, Part III
For Stella, the water bowl is always half full
By Samantha Pearsall
Since Stella surprised me up at school in Beverly almost 2 months ago, she made her fair share of messes, caused me much frustration, and left me absolutely exhausted day after day. She’s also lived up to her role as man’s (or girl’s) best friend. She keeps me company while I do schoolwork late into the night, cheers me up after a tough day, and is a great snuggler while watching movies. Her fascination with simple things, like pine cones and cardboard, reminds me to appreciate the simple things in life too. She’s got hundreds of dollars worth of toys and accessories, but sometimes just a toilet paper tube is plenty.
But as my final semester begins to wind down, the workload continues to become more intense, so for the past few weeks Stella has been staying at home in Falmouth. I was concerned that she would feel neglected and that I was being too selfish by sending her home to be bounced around between Mike’s house and my family’s. Would she get confused going back and forth? How would she remember the rules of each home? Would such an unstable environment stunt her development or hinder her learning? And most importantly, would she still recognize me when I came home for Easter?
As it turns out, she learned a whole lot while I was gone and wanted to show me all her new tricks when I got home Saturday morning. She now helps do the dishes by hopping right up on the open door and licking all the silverware and dishes—whether they’re clean or not. She tried to assist with the baking of cheesecake too Sunday morning, but she very quickly discovered that the door to the hot oven is slightly different than the door to the dishwasher. Stella has become much more consistent with letting you know she need to go to the bathroom, and if you don’t hear her soft little grunt, she will pop a squat and go right where she is—even if that happens to be on your lap. There’s nowhere else she would rather be than laying on your lap while you’re driving. She paws the steering wheel and jumps up to give kisses, totally obstructing your view of the road ahead. With her sweet little eyes she wills you to roll down your window regardless of the temperature—rain or shine—and then tries to jump out!
Stella certainly has learned a lot. She even found her innate taste for nice jewelry. She really enjoyed gnawing on my 3/4K diamond Journey necklace. Mike, however, did not enjoy it as much when he found it in a tangled mess in her bed. Yesterday my mom found her on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator chomping down on a head of lettuce. She was just trying to get her daily serving of veggies. Mike and my mom even taught her to sit, but now every time you have any edible hunk of anything she walks over ever so politely and sits down at your feet, expecting to be rewarded. Stella, just 3-months-old, has even become a myth buster! Yesterday she grabbed a shaving razor from the shower and blasted around the upstairs with the entire blade in her mouth. She was just fine, no cuts or blood. So what were all those parents worried about on Halloween years ago?
Her newest trick she learned Easter morning: How to drive a car. I was headed down Brick Kiln Rd. in East Falmouth and Stella came bounding at me from the passenger seat, sprung up on my right arm that was clutching the wheel and almost steered us into a cluster of mailboxes. I then overcompensated to correct our direction and then we were aimed at an oncoming truck. The driver had to weave to the other side slightly to miss us. Irritated yet relieved, I plopped her onto the passenger seat.
Just as I thought our near-death Easter morning experience had ended, another close call occurred. Now we were on Sandwich Rd. going about 45 mph, and suddenly the RPMs jumped to 4,000, but my speed steadily dropped. I stepped hard on the accelerator; the RPMs climbed higher but I continued to slow down as we headed down a hill and bend in the road. I was sure my car was dying on me right here and anyone could come whizzing around the corner to rear-end me. Then, I frantically looked down to find Stella pushing on the stick. She had shifted me into neutral. I quickly threw it back into drive and pushed her back to her co-pilot position. She sat there looking at me with those remorseful eyes. I just couldn’t resist. I smiled and started laughing at the situation. Her little black tail began to wag and she squeezed her way through to my lap where she passed out resting on my driving hand until we arrived home for Easter. She might be a driving hazard, but I just love having my co-pilot back.