I’m really excited that Stella has agreed to be my guest today. I’m sure you’ll enjoy hearing about her and her home in Canada. Put your paws together and give her a warm Clowie’s Corner welcome!
Clowie: Thank you for joining me today, Stella. Let’s begin with you telling us a little about yourself.
Stella: I’m a Great Newfenees. It’s a name Elizabeth gave me because, like it, I am 1/4 NEWfoundland and 3/4 GREAT PyrENEES. Although my breed says I’m from Newfoundland and the Pyrenees Mountains of France/Spain (It takes a very big dog to have three paws in Europe and another in North America!), I am actually a Manitoban dog. At least, I was born in Vita, Manitoba and lived there until my two-leggers brought me to my current home in the Boreal Forest on the shores of the Winnipeg River of Northwestern Ontario.
C: The name describes you very well. How did you come to live with your family?
Stella: One day, Elizabeth and Kay just arrived at the house I was living in. Elizabeth put a beautiful blue collar around my neck and said, “This is the one I want!” I was just 8 weeks old. When she got me out of the house, she put me on a lead and set me down on the grass. I was so completely overwhelmed that I just stood there. I couldn’t move. Then the male two-legger who sold me to her explained that I’d never been outside before. I’d never seen, smelled or felt grass before. I really like it now. I even eat it sometimes.
C: I used to graze on grass when I was a puppy! What was your journey to your new home like?
Stella: I cuddled with Elizabeth for a while, then I wanted to be somewhere alone to sleep, so I crawled under her seat in the car and slept. Hard to imagine I could ever have fit under it when you look at me now!
C: I don’t think you can even get your head under the seat now! Do you have a favourite game?
Stella: Oh, I like several: Find Benny (he’s my hedgehog stuffie at the bookshop), Alpha Dog (Elizabeth and I try to prove ourselves boss), Toss the Toy (self explanatory, really)….
C: Yes, and fun!
Stella: I think my all time favourite game though was Slide Down the Hill in Bud’s Water Bowl. Unfortunately, Bud’s water bowl is in his two-leggers’ garage now, and I can’t play that one any more. It was fun! The two-legger house is built on a steep hill above the river. One winter day I found Bud’s water bowl – a metal mixing bowl, Elizabeth says – and brought it home. He was in Winnipeg so he didn’t need it here. I was playing Toss the Toy with it at the top of our hill, which in the winter, I should add, was covered with lots of snow. I pounced on it, and both my front paws ended up inside the bowl. I was at the crest of the hill, lost my balance a little and the bowl started sliding down the hill.
C: That sounds amazing! I’d love to try that.
Stella: My first run was a bit awkward, but it was fun, so I carried Bud’s bowl back up the hill and went down again. And again… The bowl disappeared after I came in for the night. It wasn’t until next summer that I saw it back at Al and Joanne’s place again.
C: It’s strange how things disappear when you’re not looking. Do you have a favourite book?
Stella: My favourite book is Beautiful Joe. It’s all about a real dog who lived in Canada, even though the author changed the story so it was set in the USA, and it was written for young two-leggers who aren’t quite teenagers yet. Beautiful Joe is a puppy who is rescued by some young two-leggers who catch his owner chopping off his ears and tail.
C: What a horrible thing to do!
Stella: Yes, he’s a really wickedly mean two-legger. But the young two-leggers take Beautiful Joe home, give him his name so he’ll feel better about himself, and together with him raise awareness of animal cruelty and the need to prevent it. The story happened in the late 1800s, I think. I like the book because Joe tells the story for his mistress, who he knows loves animal stories. He loves her for helping him through life so much, and he wants to say thank you in the best way he can for her.
C: I haven’t read that book, but I think I’d like to.
Thank you very much for being my guest today, Stella.
If you’d like to read more about Stella, you can find her on her blog: Stella the Great Newfenees
You can click on either of the Book Paws photos to go straight to its details.
See you next Wednesday!