And Baby Makes Four!

I’ve been holding in this news since late on August 31st, when I found out that we would be having a new addition to the family:

stella bella(A web cam photo is better than nothing, right?)

Yes, it’s another one with four legs, and her name is Stella. That’s “star” in Italian. Get it? Luna=“moon.” We’re so celestial.

So does Stella look familiar? Just in case you forgot (how could you?), here’s Luna:

Digital StillCamera

Well our mini-Luna seems to have been abandoned by some vacationers. For those who don’t know, it’s quite common for Italy to experience a dramatic increase in stray dogs around holiday time–some people just can’t be bothered lugging their pets around or making proper arrangements for them apparently.

Disgusting, I know.

Anyway, aside from the fact that I can’t comprehend why someone would leave their dog at all, I really don’t get why they’d let this cutie loose at the end of holiday. But she was found by the side of the road with a collar, so it seems that’s what happened.

P got suckered in pretty darn quick when he saw the Lun-essence, and although I didn’t really *want* another doggie around, she’s warmed my heart too. She’s quite sweet, very lovable, and look at those ears!

Even Luna has taken to her, although Stella is sometimes still a reluctant playmate. She’s a bit skittish, understandably, and has huge separation anxiety. At first she wouldn’t let P out of her sight, but she’s doing a bit better on that front. And she has also learned to sit (most of the time) and give me her paw (all the time where food is involved).

And if you’re wondering about how big sister Luna is adjusting, I have to say that she’s been really great through all of this; Luna’s normally pretty aggressive toward other females, but within the first 24 hours of Stella’s arrival, Luna was ready, coaxing her to roughhouse a bit. So cute!

I can’t help but feel like a proud doggie mama who did something right in the last two years. You think that’s overstating it a tad?

I just can’t wait for the day when they’re snuggled up together so I can snap a photo. I’m confident that day will come.

It’s just a matter of time.

Benvenuta Stella Bella &
Happy Love Thursday everyone!

P.S. Remember that today we’re on Spaghetti Strike! Read more here.

58 Beans of Wisdom to “And Baby Makes Four!”
  1. odessa

    they’re both adorable. though i’m not really a dog person (i know, shame on me), i still can’t understand why people would just abandon their dogs. that’s too cruel.

  2. KC

    Congratulations! What an adorable pup. The two of them must be so cute together. Good for you and P for rescuing her!

  3. Gil

    How strange that you find two strays about two years apart and they look like they could be closely related. Good luck with the puppy.

  4. sognatrice

    Odessa, I can understand not being a dog person (kind of)–but like you said, abandonment is just cruel 🙁

    KC, thanks! I can’t wait to get photos of them together; they look so cute when they’re running off ahead of me and all you can see are their little matching doggie bums 😉

    Gil, Luna actually wasn’t a stray per se although the family that had her (from the next town over) tried to make her one–dropped her off in the mountains (!) and she actually went back to their house on her own!

    They already had too many dogs (Luna’s mom was their original and she had pups), so they were looking to get rid of her and P obliged.

    But the timing is odd–we got Luna on August 8, 2 years ago. And their resemblance? Stella has white on her head and tip of her tail as well as a bit more on her paws. And darker eyes.

    Not that I’ve looked closely or anything 😉

  5. Ashley

    She is so cute! That is so nice of you to take her in. Ollie was abandoned before I got him (under 4 weeks old). Luckily there don’t seem to be too many strays around Siena.

  6. Judith in Umbria

    I appreciate the heck out this. More kindness, and let’s all say vergognoso every time someone abandons, drowns or neglects a pet.

    Talk to your vet, too. They’ll help if you see cruelty.

  7. sognatrice

    Ashley, we don’t really have many stray dogs here either, actually–someone always ends up taking them in. But Stella was the only stray that ended up here this summer as far as I know. But someone did steal one of the town’s dogs–he wasn’t much of a wanderer (very timid but would go with anyone). Was actually Luna’s pseudo-boyfriend 🙁

    Judith, I completely agree. It’s so horrible to see the scrawny dogs and cats around–although in my town, they’re all pretty well fed even if no one lets them in their houses except me 😉

  8. Elle

    Ohhh gorgeous. Just gorgeous. One of the many reasons that we couln’t move permanently outside of the city centre to a house, is that I would fill it with dogs, as many as I could find – and 3 is quite enough for me right now!

    Bambi our youngest (2 years) and Milly (4) hated each other when Bambi first arrived, there was quite a bit of fighting, and lots of attention seeking, to the point whereby one of us mentioned to the other we may have to look at rehoming B.

    Then one day, something just clicked, nothing in particular to explain it, just now they cannot bear to be seperated (will actually cry for the other),they sleep in the same bed, follow each other around constantly.

    It’s been so lovely to watch their relationship develop, slowely sitting closer to each other, one following the other until yesterday nearly 2 years later Milly started cleaning Bambi’s ears for her. Very sweet.

    OK Elle, stop, enough about the dogs already!!

    Emjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

  9. Giulia

    Am I the only one who thought you were announcing that you were pregnant?!?!?!

    I thought the first photo was of Luna and you posted it to make us readers understand that besides being a mommy to Luna,the new addition would be a baby. I think it’s wonderful that you took her in. How sweet… Luna and Stella. Just don’t name your first child sole, ok?! lol j/k 😉

  10. Giulia

    Just to add to my last comment in case anyone misreads it. I was in NO WAY intending disappoinment that it wasn’t a baby announcement… just that I am a goofball and got easily sidetracked after reading that title and first sentence! lol
    So, I was just wondering if I was the only one that fell for it, that’s all. 😉

  11. My Melange

    That is disgusting…..being a doggie lover and mama myself..I can’t imagine doing that!!!! How nice of the both of you to take Stella in! You both have good hearts! She couldn’t have gone to a better home. I will wait to see the picture of the 2 of them together…. Chris and I want a second dog(a french bulldog)…gotta wait till I come back from my trip!

  12. sognatrice

    Elle, ooh! Ear cleaning! Can’t wait! Btw, when I wrote the part about Stella’s cute ears, I did think of you…you are an doggie ear gal if I recall correctly? I am too now with all these cute ears around 🙂

    Giulia, I have to admit, I was trying to be a little tricky there. See, this will end up being like the girl who cried wolf….I hope people are still excited if/when I am announcing a little human in the works 😉

    Btw, just about everyone here, when I tell them about “Stella,” say that now we have to get a masculine dog and name him Sole–so if we don’t do that….

    Robin, I think Stella’s happy here, and I’m now happy that Luna has a playmate. It’s so fun to see them together to know that when we go out, Luna isn’t just here by herself 🙂

  13. janey wan

    I can’t stand irresponsible people, espically when it comes to dogs. I have four! Mom, dad and two of their pups. They are a great joy for us. We don’t travel much because of them. I would never consider leaving them just to travel, of course parents have been know to do that with the kids so it doesn’t surprise me how they can turn away from their pets.

    Michael Vick is a PIG.

  14. Caroline in Rome

    I’m a cat person. But no, not nice to abandon animals.

  15. stefanie

    Are you KIDDING me?? People take their pets on vacation and then LEAVE them there?? Oh my word; just when I think I can’t get any more disappointed in people… 🙁 Good for you for taking her in.

  16. sognatrice

    Janey, I’ve debated on whether to write something about Vick or not; still haven’t decided. Too emotional.

    Four dogs! Party at your house!

    Caroline, I love me some kitties too (I’ve had a few of those in my lifetime when apartment living prohibited dogs), but for me, dogs are just the best–I like ’em silly and sloppy 😉

    Stefanie, I know what you mean. One could never generalize and say this is an Italian thing, but I’ve honestly never heard of this happening in America–and certainly not on a mass scale (although we all don’t take vacations at the same time either). There are, at least, campaigns now in Italy trying to convince Italians that this is wrong.

  17. The (Mis)Adventures of a Single City Chick

    Oh, that melts my heart. Poor little pup standing by the side of the road. Just makes me want to cry. I don’t have any pets, myself, since it wouldn’t be fair to leave them alone for 14 hours each day, but I LOVE dogs! So glad you both have generous hearts to adopt another one. I just don’t get how people can abandon something that is like a member of the family. So sad, but such a good thing for Stella since she got YOU! 🙂


  18. The Other Girl

    Awwww, she’s a sweetie. Between her and Luna, I’d hate to see the crowd outside your house this next mating season. All those wistful looking boy dogs …

  19. Kathy

    Oh my goodness, I love her! And Luna looks so regal in that photo!

    I cannot even begin to fathom people leaving their dogs. It makes me so ANGRY!!!!!

  20. flutter

    Oh what a doll, I cannot imagine having left her behind!

  21. Sharon

    We have tons of stray dogs in this town. They are fed by local families but no one seems to think about placing them in homes. It is too bad for me that my husband is afraid of dogs…in a big way. He was attacked by a pack of dogs as a child. People who take in or rescue animals are a special type of person.

  22. Mallow

    Wow – those ears are something else!

  23. sognatrice

    Christina, reading what you wrote made me start to tear up knowing how reluctant Stella is to leave us out of her sight. Thinking of what she must’ve felt as her heartless owner drove away…ugh…

    TheOG, believe me, we’re going to do all we can to prevent a hostage situation (me being the hostage).

    Kathy, Luna was definitely posing that day–the entire set of her are her looking off into the distance, ears up, so cute! And Stella was just sitting on that chair daring me to take a photo 😉

    Flutter, she’s a cutie huh? I can’t imagine looking at those eyes and driving off. *sigh*

    Sharon, I think because we’re up on a mountain we don’t get as many strays, but since I’ve been here, the few that have wandered in (or been dropped off, as it were) have all been adopted by families–they don’t stay in the house, per se, but they all have little areas of their own outside the house, often on the balcony. One even has a full-fledged dog house 🙂

    It’s good there aren’t more strays around here, or else we’d have a house full. I’m such a sucker for those eyes!

  24. sognatrice

    Mallow, aren’t they just too cute?

  25. Dana

    I thought you were going to announce that you were pregnant too you sly woman! 🙂
    That is disgusting how cruel and thoughtless people can be with their beautiful pets. In this case though, their loss is definitely your gain! What a beautiful dog!
    And I have to agree with Kathy about how regal Luna looks in that photo!

  26. mental mosaic

    I don’t understand how anyone could abandon their animals, but I have gotten 2 cats that way; they were just dumped by their owners. Stella is certainly better off now with you, Luna and P!

  27. sognatrice

    Dana, sneaky aren’t I? Hee hee….

    MM, aw, stray kitties melt my heart too. All skinny and scrawny. Glad you gave them a good home 🙂

  28. Karina

    Aww…congrats on the new pup, she’s beautiful (as is your Luna).

    I’ve always been a cat person myself, but recently have become a dog person too…unfortunately I can’t have a dog in my condo, so I’m waiting to have a house before I get one. But my brother just got a pup (a pitbull in fact) and he’s a complete teddy bear, so I get to play with him. My Wordless Wednesday this week was a picture of him, in fact (the dog, not the brother).

    Congrats on the addition to your family!

  29. Wanderlust Scarlett

    She’s lovely… and I’m so glad to see her.

    What a perfect addition! It was in the stars….

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

  30. jennifer

    Hats off to you. I could never stomach the abandoned dog season in Italy. Our Lucky was also an abandoned puppy!

  31. Jeni

    I’d be very hard put to turn down a nice, friendly and really cute dog! She probably sensed you’d love her and want her to live with you, don’t ‘cha think?

  32. Enza

    awww she is so sweet! Congrats!!

  33. Maryann

    Congrats. It was nice of you to take the puppy into your family. I love rescue stories as my dog is a rescue too 🙂 Your dogs look just like a dog we once had named “major”. What a resemblance!

  34. nyc/caribbean ragazza

    stella è bella!

    congrats on the latest addition to your family.

  35. Princess Wild Cow

    I am so jealous…I want another dog, just like her!

  36. Deb R

    Aaawwww, she’s beautiful! Great name too!

  37. sognatrice

    Karina, Rocky is adorable! I hope you’ll be able to get a doggie soon.

    Scarlett, there are those stars again. Funny how they follow us 😉

    Jennifer, and your Lucky sure was fortunato! Terrible “tradition” they have here, isn’t it? Blech.

    Jeni, when P first brought her, she was cute, yes, but I was thinking of what it would be like to have another being to take care of, blah blah…I had hoped at that point that we’d find a different good home for her. And then about four minutes later I was in love…two weeks on and I can’t imagine not having her here 🙂

    Enza, thanks! Unexpected surprises are always the best 😉

    Maryann, what a cute name!

    NYC, thanks, and thanks. I think she’s pretty cute too.

    PWC, well it certainly seems that this “look” is kind of common around here, so I’m sure we could find you something 😉

    Deb, thanks. The name was all P–he named Luna as well. See, so he’s really the celestial one 😉

  38. Jen

    Enjoy! And very funny because our first two guinea pigs were Moonbeam and Sunshine, and when Sunshine had babies they were Starlight and Firelight – nice, cosmological names (except for Firelight, but she’s bright red, so that seemed the right kind of light for her)

  39. sognatrice

    Jen, aw, that’s too cute! So we’re not the only celestial family I see 😉

  40. Eryn

    I don’t know if you remember, I have a dog, Saci, that looks just like Luna (and Stella). I wrote a blogpost about it months ago…..crazy!!!!

    I love their big ears!!!

  41. sognatrice

    Eryn, yes of course I remember! Who knew there were even more Sacis and Lunas in the world? And that one would find us here?

  42. Sparky Duck

    looks like a darn wonderful addition. I always have a soft spot for strays and abandoned furry things, which is why the two furbabies here are rescues from a cat shelter

  43. sognatrice

    Sparky, yay for strays being rescued!

  44. The Passionate Palate

    Che bella! I know that “proud mama” feeling. Congratulations on your new addition. I felt exactly the same way – I couldn’t wait for my two to get close enough where they would curl up with each other. Now they do – 2 years later! Dogs love to have playmates, so Luna will be a much happier and healthier dog because of Stella.

  45. Taffiny

    I had no idea people did that, just left their dogs.

    I am so glad you have taken her in, and she is becoming a real part of the family.

    Stella is a real cutie, thank goodness Luna is taking to her. (maybe having a sister will help her get over her missing boyfriend).

    We got our cat from a shelter (I often wonder how he ended up there). It is emotional walking through one, all the animals seem to be begging “take me, take me”.

    I was thinking of Celeste (for celestial) for the two legged kind. What does sole, mean?

  46. sognatrice

    Jeni, aw, I’m sure that’s so cute! They’re getting along better everyday here 🙂

    Taffiny, oh, I can’t do animal shelters. Just too heartbreaking! Good for you for adopting your kitty from there!

  47. Sara

    Yay, happy ending story, with cute cute cute dogs. Aroooooooooooo!

    Snuggles and pets all around.

  48. Currier Quinn Balent

    Congratulations on your newest family member. She looks a lot like your Luna and my Paolo… so freakin’ adorable! Do you talk to your dogs in English or Italian?

  49. Cynthia Rae

    Congrats on your new baby. Love the names!


  50. Rebecca

    yep, those ears are just asking for a cuddle!!!

  51. sognatrice

    Sara, you wouldn’t believe the sheer amount of snuggling and cuddling around here these days. Thank goodness that’s a good thing.

    CQB, I saw another dog the other night who looked a lot like all of them as well, only a lighter color. Really pretty! P speaks to the dogs in Italian or Calabrese and I use a mix of those and English. Stella is still in a confused state but getting better every day, I think, but Luna is fully trilingual 🙂

    Cyn, thanks!

    Rebecca, and Stella *loves* her ears rubbed, so we’re all happy 🙂

  52. Leanne

    Ma che bello! How lovely is the new member of the fam.

  53. SabineM

    I am catching up as I haven’t been “here” in a while…. HOw cute!
    And how sad that people treat such great “friends” like that!
    I have seen in happened! It is just cruel! Glad that Stella found YOU!
    She must know how lucky she is!!!

  54. JennieBoo

    I have always loved Luna.

    Now I love Stella.

    What sweet babies you have….even if they are four-legged! 🙂

  55. sognatrice

    Leanne, thanks! We think she’s pretty cute too 🙂

    Sabine, glad to see you around here again 🙂

    Jennie, four-legged babies are so fun, aren’t they?

  56. Erin

    What a sweet addition to your family! Congratulations.

  57. sognatrice

    Thanks Erin 🙂

  58. Lizzie

    oooh, thank goodness for kind people like you and P. When I visit my boyfriend’s relatives in Sardinia we often see stray dogs wandering around the village and find it heartbreaking. As much as I love Italy, to say they don’t all treat their dogs like ‘fur babies’ is an understatement. We adore dogs and would rescue about 20 if we didn’t work such long hours! Good for you :0)

    I hear you! If we had more land, I’d be running the village doggie shelter 😉

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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