When I refer to Miss Stella being small or little, they think I am crazy. I know she is big. But I have to admit that being with her daily most likely distorts my view. I do not see the subtle changes. I do not see the widening of her girth, the lengthening of her stride. Her big ol’ gorgeous head still seems to be such a puppy face that the breadth of her brow does not faze me as it does others. When walking Miss Stella and we meet someone new, or run into someone who has not seen her in a while, usually the first thing is clarifying that she is indeed a dog, not a bear or a horse. In addition, clarification is required that she does not eat us out of house and home, and yes she is an inside dog. We chat for a while, she practices how to stay calm (usually plants herself in a prone position across my feet, tail splayed across the pavement in a fan of beauty on display with her paws stretched to the four corners hoping for some serious belly scritches), and discuss my hopes and dreams of being able to take her into nursing homes one day soon to visit the bed ridden and elderly in honor of my father.
It is when I take one of the ‘marker’ photos, those on her birthdays or ‘marker’ days, that I see some of her subtle changes. How even her tail seems to be a little fuller, her stance somewhat broader.
Crazy though I just may be, Miss Stella is still just a sweet little pup in my world.