amy chaplin

celebrating the art of eating well


POSTED ON August 7, 2012

My favorite photo of Stella taken last summer in Provincetown

I know you may have seen glimpses of Stella, our beautiful rescue dog, over the years. The truth is she was a huge part of Coconut and Quinoa; ever present, watching me write, cook, photograph — and sometimes even sample — every single recipe I’ve posted. She had many favorite spots from which she observed me working: several with a good view of the kitchen, a few at my feet, and then my favorite, on my lap as I toiled at the computer.  She followed me as I moved throughout the day from room to room, settling anywhere I stayed and ending everyday curled up in bed beside me.


Stella was my constant companion.  She saw me through many changes and challenges these last 8 years, and it’s been hard to cook without her soothing presence in the room. She effortlessly filled the house with love.

She died just over a month ago after a long and valiant battle with chronic renal failure.  She was at home with me, basking in her favorite spot on a window seat in the afternoon sun.  The hole her loss has left in the fabric of our everyday lives is more enormous than I could have imagined. I am so grateful to have met her and I shall miss her forever.

stella and me

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  • Kate says:

    Two years ago in March we had to put down our 17 year old cat after a cancer diagnosis played itself fully out to the bitter end. The grief I felt at his passing was powerful, heaving at my heart for months on end. I’d had that fluff since he was 4 months old, when he picked me by gleefully snagging my leg through his cage at the rescue shelter with his paw. It was love at first sight and still, more than two years later I think I see him walking regally through our house, or glimpse his face in shadowy moments of memory. I still can be driven to tears in thoughts of him and I don’t see it as weakness, or an inability to move on but as a testimony to the great and unconditional love that a pet can bring in to our lives. I hope to never be far from those thoughts of him.

    Be well in your grief. I so know how you feel.

  • Nik says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, Amy. Thank you for sharing these memories of Stella – she was lovely. Big hugs to you.

  • mackenzie says:

    we had to put my cat down about three weeks ago, very suddenly, and i still think about him every single day. i can remember (and always will) the way he felt, sounded, looked, his little mannerisms…when we found out we had to put him down, i tried to make his last morning at home as lovely as possible for him.
    i’m so sorry about your loss of stella. she must have been a beautiful, loving friend.

  • Sophie says:

    i’m so terribly sorry for your loss. stella sounds and looks like such a sweet, precious, beautiful creature. thank you for sharing your memories with us. she will live forever in your heart. sending lots of love your way.

  • judith scott says:

    i know this experience all too well. my heart goes out to you and your loving familiar. after their departure,there is the sudden realization that the love they gave was truly devotional,uncomplaining and totally unconditional. may stella find her peace and lots of park to roam in the great beyond. and stella,please say hello to homer for me. oh,we love our animals so.

  • Maggie Calloway says:

    Hi Amy
    All I can say is the loss is brutal. My beautiful rescue dog Friskie who was with me night and day for eleven years, died in my arms on July 27th. The hole in my heart, my life, is beyond description.
    Please know good thoughts are wafting your way from Ruskin, British Columbia

  • Vicki says:

    Oh beautiful Amy,
    My heart goes out to you!
    I know how much you loved Stella and, having spent a little time with her last year, just how lovely she was.
    Thank you for saving her and giving her such a loving home.
    With lots of love,

  • Maree says:

    My heart bleeds with you Amy …it is so hard to let our pets go ..they become so much a part of our lives and they love unconditionally. You have beautiful memories of Stella that will stay with you always she was your own special dog.

  • pam says:

    stella was just beautiful and an inspiration to all who have viewed your wonderful website. i am sorry from the bottom of my heart. peace.

  • Sharon says:

    Sending you light and love.

  • Laura says:

    So many of us have experienced the great unconditional love a pet. None of mine shall I ever forget just as you will not forget dear Stella. Rest in peace.

  • carol says:

    from the very bottom of my heart, and through my tears, I am sorry for your loss. our beloved pets do not stay with us forever and it is so unbearably hard when they go. many of us have walked the path you are on and we send you our support, our empathy, and our hope for tomorrow.

  • Natali Gill says:

    What a gorgeous dog. I am about to start crying here. So sorry for your loss.

  • toni says:

    I’ll always remember stella as…
    the tough one
    if human she would be smoking cigarettes and swiggin bourbon
    taking no shit from no one
    all bark and no bite
    cool as a cucumber
    the local thug.. but not really…
    a little bit of stella still lives in my heart… she will be missed.

  • Shannon says:

    That is the picture of true love in the last pic posted…on your face and hers!

  • Bonnie says:

    I have a lump in my throat……reading all your memories of Stella brought so many of my own back.
    I miss that sweet girl so much.
    She really was your true companion. She wouldn’t even take her eyes off you for a minute (or let me take her for a walk without you).
    We miss you Stella!!!!

  • Bea says:

    I feel for you so much, she looks like the most gentle little soul and that she totally adored you. She would have been soooo grateful that you rescued her and gave her a wonderful home of love ( and no doubt tit bits of your beautiful cooking). I have literally come back into the house from finding one of our beautiful chooks outside her bed sleeping….know it’s not the same, but our love for our animals ( or in your case and my dog – “child”) should not be underestimated… know that I need to spend every minute with my pup being extremely grateful for her unconditional love. Thank you for the lesson and sharing xoxB

  • Lynda says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. 13 years ago I had to put down my “baby”, a wonderful Rottweiler/Shepherd, Chuey. I’ve had many pets over the years, but not one has been as special and dear to me as my Chuey. Your Stella sounds as though she was one of those very special pets – more akin to family.

  • Jillian says:

    Sweet beautiful Stella. Embodiment of unconditional love and what presence. It’s grace that she was in your life and heart. She’ll always be with you Amy. Much love to you.

  • Julianne says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Our furry children are our children none the less, and she was a lovely looking girl.

  • maxine whiteside says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful stella with us. What a sweetheart (both of you)

  • Lori says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Stella will always be in your heart. What a sweet, beautiful girl who gave you unconditional love.

  • Tracy Johnson says:

    Thank you for sharing Sweet Stella with us Amy. She’s as happy in heaven as she was on earth with you.

  • Vidya Singh says:

    Hi Amy,
    So sorry to hear about Stella and the loss you’ve had. I really wanted to say that she was a lucky pet and you both obviously from the photos bought a lot of joy into each others’ lives.
    Thank you for sharing.

  • cheri says:

    Dear Amy,

    It’s hard to see the screen as I type through my tears. Bless your beautiful Stella. I’m sure she’s looking down on all and savoring the time she had with you. It is sometimes harder to lose a pet than a person, strange as that may be.

  • Samantha says:

    Thank you for sharing about Stella (talk about beautiful and cute!) I know you will miss her forever. She was just as lucky to have you and you were to have her.

  • dolly says:

    So so so sorry to hear about Stella. xx

  • Lucie says:

    So sorry, Amy. What a wee love Stella was and how you must miss her. Smiling as I look at the photo of her blissfully asleep on the couch, paws crossed xx

  • diane moser says:

    Your writing is sooo beautiful about you sweet stella, as I read your story tears streamed down my cheeks. What a special gift & great loss, your in my prayers… maybe another sweet soul will come to you. hugs~diane

  • C says:

    The loss of a loved pet is so deep and painful…I am sorry for your loss, but I know I eventually was able to focus on the great blessing it was to have had the beauty of an animal in my life…I still miss them, but know that I am better for having their spirits with me now and as you say forever…Take time to grieve and celebrate her life…

  • My eye filled with tears when I read of your loss. After losing my Scarlett this spring, I know all to well how it feels to say goodbye to such a special companion. Stella will always be in your heart.

  • Maria J says:

    Amy, so sorry for your loss of such a sweet friend and companion.

  • Magdalen says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I will be praying for you!

  • Emma says:

    I’m so sorry your darling dog died! She looked such a beautiful being. Pets are truly one of the family.

  • Kelly says:

    Stella certainly looked like a noble beast. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Cayce says:

    What a lucky girl to be loved so deeply while she was here. Lots of light and love being sent to you.

  • Una says:

    It brought tears to my eyes and heart to read about your beautiful, sweet Stella. I know exactly what kind of beloved and faithful companion she was to you, for I have one such too, and lost another. She will always have a cherished place in your heart. However much it hurts when they are gone, how could we imagine life without our beloved and loving animal friends! Thank you for sharing your her with us through your photos and words. May you be comforted in your loss. God bless you.

  • Kelly says:

    My heart aches with yours. You do not grieve alone. Blessings and Hugs

  • Sasha says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that. She looks like an absolutely stunning dog.

  • Tracey Pettingill says:

    Hi Amy,

    I stumbled upon your blog searching for vegan recipes….and saw your photos of beautiful Stella. I send my heartfelt condolences. It is overwhelmingly painful. Stella looks like she led a full and thoroughly contented life…obviously loved to pieces. She surely left this earth with this love very close to her heart. She surely left this world fulfilled. Boy was she a little beauty.

    Thank you for sharing her with us.

    Kindly, Tracey Pettingill

    p.s.~ All of your photos are fantastic. I will delve further but wanted first to send my regrets.

  • John says:

    I realize it’s been three or four months now since Stella passed, but I just came across this post and it made me tear up.

    We had a Stella come through our animal rescue months ago. She was also adorable and very popular.

    Here’s a picture of our Stella (a little smaller than yours):

    Dogs can be such incredible companions. I’m very sorry for your loss.

  • elise says:

    I really feel your pain, its so hard to let them go… i feel it in my throat right now, after reading this post…
    I’ve lost my cat from cancer and renal failure, its going to be 2 years next month and i’m still grieving, 10 years of living together, like soulmates. Life itself sucks without them. Their presence is unique, all these moments of affection we have to cherish.
    Your Stella, she was lucky to have you. Look at her, i mean how can she be not happy all these years with you?
    Our dearly animals are gone, but the memory and the love itself is forever. Lots of love.

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