• Christina Hunger

Lessons from Stella

“Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.” – Albus Dumbledore

Giving Stella the ability to express herself has truly opened up a window to her mind. Everyday we learn more about what Stella thinks, likes, dislikes, and knows. Here are some of our favorite Stella quotes and 7 lessons we’ve learned through her words. I hope you enjoy them as much as we have!

Lesson 1: Stella is funny!

1/29/19: Stella said “Good Stella” and then rolled over for a belly rub.

1/27/19: I said “Stella…Stella…” sternly while she was getting into trouble. Stella walked to

her device and responded “Christina…”

3/2/19: Just like a little kid, Stella insisted “Jake, Jake, Jake, Jake, play” while Jake was busy working at my desk.

2/8/19: I was getting a bath ready when Stella snuck into the bathroom, drank the bath water, and announced “Water good.”

Lesson 2: Stella has good ideas

4/23/19: On my lunch break I had just finished making food when Stella suggested “Eat, outside” and sat in front of the door staring at me. I took her advice and proceeded to bring my food and Stella outside where we had a lovely time sitting in the sun.

2/7/19: I was making rice and then went to the bathroom. The rice began boiling over when I heard Stella say “Help!” right before she ran in front of the stove whining. Thank goodness for Stella looking out for us!

Lesson 3: Stella hates goodbyes

12/29/19: We were getting ready for a hike the day after we picked up Stella from boarding when she said “Come, come, come, come, love you” then sat right in front of the door. I think

she was worried we were leaving without her again!

1/8/19: While grabbing my things to leave for work in the morning, Stella said “Love you, come” while looking as sad as can be. It was never harder leaving for work!

2/26/19: About 5 minutes after Jake left for work, Stella said “Jake, bye, love you.” Then she said “Help” and sulked by the door.

5/3/19: We came back from the airport after dropping off our visiting friends. Stella sniffed the air mattress and then said “Bye, bye.”

5/1/19: Our visiting friends reported that Stella said “Jake, Christina” several times right after we left for work. We missed her too!

Lesson 4: Stella knows our routines

2/23/19: At 5:45 on the dot (the usual time of our weekday alarm), Stella jumped out of bed

and said “Jake, Jake, Christina!” I don’t know why we think we need an alarm clock!

3/10/19: We made dinner way later than usual tonight. Stella said “Eat, no, eat.” Since she also consistently says “eat” while we’re making dinner, I think Stella judges time in the evening based on when we eat dinner.

2/1/19: Stella commanded “Jake, walk, bye, Christina” right before going on a walk with Jake in the morning.

3/22/19: Every morning we leave Stella with her Kong toy filled with some peanut butter. I ended up being home longer than usual this morning. Stella said “Bye, Stella, eat” then whined. She was ready for me to go so she could get her peanut butter!

Lesson 5: Stella has opinions

1/29/19: Stella said “Outside.” I said “Hang on Stella…” and she immediately responded “No.”

Stella waits for no one.

3/2/19: Stella chugged some water from her dish and then declared, “Water, good”.

1/24/19: Stella said “Play” so I gave her a toy, and she clarified “No, eat” to request her ball filled with food.

2/16/19: While my sister and brother-in-law were visiting, Stella kept cuddling with them on the couch, jumping off to say “Love you,” and running back to cuddle more.

Lesson 6: Stella pays attention:

5/3/19: I modeled these buttons on Stella’s device: “Stella, Jake Christina walk” and Stella

replied: “Come, outside” and then nudged her leash.

5/3/19: I said, “Good girl Stella, good Stella” several times verbally. Stella walked over to her device and repeated “Good.”

4/29/19: Stella saw Jake sitting in his car on the phone and told me “Jake, outside” while looking out the window.

Lesson 7: Stella calls us out!

2/15/19: Stella: “Outside.” Jake to Christina: “Can you take her?” Christina to Jake: “Yeah one second” [a minute went by] Stella: “Christina…”

2/21/19: Stella said “Come, outside” early in the morning before we had gotten up. We didn’t move but Jake started talking so Stella said “Jake!”

1/27/19: During a busier week, we hadn’t gone to the beach in a few days. Stella said “Beach” seven times in a row while staring at us. We can always count on Stella to make sure we take advantage of living by the ocean!

Stella has a mind of her own, and I feel so lucky to get a glimpse into a few of her thoughts. I can’t wait to teach Stella more words so she can continue to express herself and we can continue learning. What do you think your pet would say to you??

Christina Hunger, M.A., CCC-SLP


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© 2020 by Christina Hunger, M.A., CCC-SLP