Rescue Dogs: Meet Stella Bella Superstar

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Editor’s Note: This is the third of a series by Tomatoes about their rescue dogs. If you missed the first two, click the links: The Joy of Rescue Dogs  and Rescue Dogs: Meet Corey

In June of 2020, a new love entered my life and instantly my family and I were totally smitten.   Her name was Lia, a lovely and gentle super mutt with the sweetest face. We welcomed Lia (the name the shelter gave her) with open arms and gave her a new life and new name…Stella. I like to call her “Stella Bella” and she’s a Superstar.

Stella’s timing was perfect as myself and my family were reeling from the loss of my very special aunt, my family’s precious doggie “Vinnie” (aka Lavinia) and finally the loss of my dear Mother in the short span of 4 months. Those personal losses of loved ones left me heartbroken and depressed which, of course, was compounded many times over by the Covid Pandemic.  Yes, Stella Bella Superstar, who originally came from the LA streets, is a Pandemic Dog and she brought with her oodles of profound joy to lift our hearts.

I made a promise to myself, in my 20’s, to always adopt a homeless dog. And so came “Fido”, “Petey”, Harvey, Porshee, Vinnie, Zoey and now Stella. During the beginning of the pandemic in Los Angeles, many pet rescue organizations were short of dogs for the public to adopt. Pretty unheard of but these were not normal times which made my search online more prolonged and difficult. But one day, in the blink of an eye, Stella’s adorable face popped up and I knew immediately she was… the one.  I had to jump into action fast so I could be first in line to adopt her. Though there was a horrible moment of doubt when I realized I was in second place…be still my heart… in the end I moved to 1st place and won that stage of the race. It was love at first sight when my family and our wonderful 13-year-old doggie Zoey finally met Stella. We passed the muster and were approved by Mia Gysander, aweome founder and owner of Blue Man Dog Rescue, as Stella’s lucky new family and home.  It felt like Christmas, Mother’s Day and all of our birthdays rolled in to one! My family and I are forever grateful to Mia for allowing us to adopt Stella. We went through an adjustment period and with the help and training from Blue Man Dog Rescue Stella finally stopped looking at us with those… “Do I really get to stay with you?” eyes.

Today, Stella is a wumbly, mumbly, bumbling and goofy sweetheart. She walks a little funny and her run/gallop is a little wonky. I call it Glomping and so she continues to glomp around as if she doesn’t have a care in the world.  Oh right…she doesn’t.  Stella was probably a cat in her previous life because she purrs, rumbles and grumbles with deep satisfaction at the slightest stroke of love.  She playfully maneuvers back and forth between standing legs hoping her target doesn’t topple.  She expects anyone sitting on the sofa to rise to the occasion with legs up in the perfect position so she can weave squish and scrunch underneath their knees.  If that isn’t a cat move, I’ll eat my hat.  She’s constantly gleefully wagging her tail and only in a dead sleep does that tail get a rest. I tire just watching that tail. In equal measure, Stella loves walks with my son Trevor, her main squeeze, and loves her long…long…daytime naps on Trevor’s bed. Stella saves bedtime for her parents (moi and the hubby) sleeping steadfastly between our legs and snoring up a storm. Yes, big ear plugs are a necessity. Her immense tongue is always ready to give your face a good washing with slobbery kisses. Stella is a very gentle and wise soul, and this pure gem of a dog brings delight wherever she treads. Stella’s kind heart is a daily tonic that reminds us that even in the worst of times the love of and the love for a dog shines a bright light on all that is good in the universe.  Along with her contagious joy and charm, Stella brought us a spark of hope and healing to our lives at one of our most difficult chapters. That is why she is and will always be our Stella Bella Superstar.



  • Debbie Zipp

    The Three Tomatoes LA Life editor, Debbie Zipp is your friendly guide to the best of everything in LA with a tomato style perspective. Debbie is an actor, producer, and writer. She is best known for her recurring role as Donna on the CBS series "Murder She Wrote" starring Angela Lansbury. She has had many other TV and stage roles and has starred in over 300 national TV commercials. As head of In The Trenches Productions, Debbie produced, directed, acted in many short films for her company. Her book, The Aspiring Actor's Handbook: What Seasoned Actors Wish They Had Known was recently published. Buy her book: The Aspiring Actor's Handbook: What Seasoned Actors Wish They Had Known

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