This Pup is an East Coast Role Model

By Taylor Huestis

This sweet pup may look familiar to you. She is often the face modeling cool East Coast Lifestyle gear, Atlantic Canada’s largest clothing brand. But did you know she actually had a tricky start before becoming Nova Scotia famous?

Stella was one of three pups brought to safety at the SPCA. At just a few weeks old, they were covered in fleas and all suffering from roundworms. Roundworms are dangerous because they rob the growing pup of vital nutrients. The pups needed medical care – and fast.

To help them recover, Stella and her two sisters, Jiggy and Butterball, were given dewormer medicine and flea treatment. Plus, one of the most experienced SPCA foster families brought all three pups home to work on socialization and training. It worked! By the time they were 8 weeks old, they were confident and healthy puppies ready for adoption.

That is when Stella locked eyes with Taylor and Alex.

“We met Stella at the SPCA booth at the Ideal Home Show in Halifax and immediately we knew she was the one,” smiled Taylor. “Alex always grew up with dogs, but I came from a household where we only ever had a cat. After I saw Stella’s face, my whole world change and I knew at that very moment, I had just become a dog lover.”

Although Stella and her sisters all looked super similar, Stella stood out and stole Alex and Taylor’s hearts. “I couldn’t tell the two apart but Alex knew he wanted Stella and swore they had a bond,” Taylor remembered. “Needless to say, he was right and I’m glad he was.”

Stella settled in with her new family and began showing off her incredible intelligence right away. She learned tricks quickly, including one that is always a crowd favourite. “Stella’s favourite trick is to sit pretty,” laughed Taylor. “She stands up on her back legs and front paws completely lifted off the ground and holds it until she gets the treat. It’s a fun one and the kids always love it.”

Because Stella brought Alex and Taylor so much joy, they were inspired to give back to help other hurt and homeless pets. They designed an East Coast Lifestyle pet bandana and donated the proceeds to the SPCA. To date, they have generously donated more than $3,000 to help furry friends in need.

Stella, being a proud SPCA alumni and super adorable, modeled the pet bandanas, naturally.

Knowing Stella was a great teacher, Alex and Taylor knew she would make a great role model to another pup. They welcomed Nova into their family and Stella got to work on being the best big sister possible.

“Stella and Nova are two peas in a pod,” said Taylor. “Nova follows Stella around the house and copies absolutely everything she does. Stella has taught Nova to be more patient when waiting for treats and showed her where the best windows in the house are located with perfect views to the street so they can people watch together.”

“My favourite though is that she taught Nova to nestle under the covers and cover her eyes when the sun is rising in the morning,” Taylor continued. “When I wake up, all I can see is their noses poking out to breathe some fresh air.”

Not only is Stella a great role model for East Coast Lifestyle, the SPCA, and her little sister, but she is also an inspirational model for how to truly live life to the fullest.

“It’s really nice that she is aware of how we are and will force us to slow down when needed,” Taylor shared. “She is our weighted blanket and has taught us to slow down and enjoy life more. When we’re sad or stressed, she crawls right up onto our lap. Yes, she is 90 pounds and still thinks she’s a lap dog haha.”

And that may be Stella’s best trick of all – teaching others how to live in the moment and love unconditionally.



Taylor Huestis

Taylor is the Communications & Development Officer with the Nova Scotia SPCA and proud adoptive fur-mama to Bonnie and Boy. She is passionate about raising awareness and funds for local animals in need. Connect with Taylor at or 902-222-0378 today.