Stella at her forever home.

Stella at her forever home.

Stella is a foster dog, probably part Shih Tsu.  I am an adoptions coordinator and foster for For the Love of Dogs/Vermont Dog Rescue. Stella arrived on a pet transport last July. Something about her seemed wrong and after about a month of testing the diagnoses was bladder cancer. We decided not to put Stella up for adoption but to give her as good a life as possible for the very few months we expected her to live.



Stella has exceeded all length of life expectations and we at the rescue often affectionately tease her about bouncing along beyond what we ever thought. Because I expected her time to be very short she is spoiled rotten and now she expects me to respond to various demands throughout the day. These involve throwing a ball which is picked up but never returned, ambulating about the front yard, getting massages and yummies and so on.

Each time she refuses a meal as she did this morning I worry because, of course, she has become a much-loved family member.

Stella was obviously horribly neglected because her right knee cap slipped out of place at some point and nobody ever fixed it. When she came here last July, I took her to Roy [Dr. Hadden, Valley Animal Hospital], and we talked about it. It was a side issue. “She will not be out of pain if I fix it,” he explained.  Luckily her cancer drugs –  the NSAIDs – seem to have helped.

Anne Pfarrer lives with Stella (and three other small dogs) in Waitsfield, Vermont. When asked how she became involved in dog rescue, she replied:

I have been doing this for decades…I was on the board of Faces Dog Rescue in Massachusetts and I also fostered…I finally met Carole Moore, and we’ve become good friends. I am Adoptions Coordinator. Carol Crossman is very active in this, too.

How many dogs do you have?

Right now I have four, two of them are mine. Normally I have three. Because Stella has held on for so long, I thought I’d better start fostering again.

[Stella interrupts by barking.] This is how Stella is spoiled rotten. She lets me know when she wants one of her demands met during the day. The demand probably is because it is close to 9:30 and at 9:30 we take an ambulation around the front lawn.

With that, the photo session began as Stella and her companions explored the yard.


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