On February fourth, 2022, Dalia and I drove to our usual astrophotography spot in the desert to do some imaging and record two videos. When we left home, we had no idea we would come back with a dog!
We shared a lot of what happened on our Instagram stories, but we thought we would make this post to tell you all about Stella (the name we picked for the dog) in case you do not have Instagram OR have Instagram but decide not to follow us because you're mean.
We hate asking for donations but we are determined to keep Stella and give her the best possible life, sadly the timing couldn't be worse. Antoine just underwent surgery for his heart, and the medical bills are hitting us hard, making a huge hole in our finances. Also, Dalia is highly allergic to dogs so getting her professionally groomed with sensitive-skin shampoo at least once a month will be crucial.
First Encounter with Stella
The moment we found Stella, and why we canceled our imaging session
Bringing Stella Home
First Day in the House: Getting to know her past
Second Day: Some Improvements!
Life with Stella so far
First Encounter With Stella
Our imaging spot is about 50 minutes away from our home using the freeway. We then turn on a small dirt road that leads us deep into the desert, away from the road. It is on that road that we spotted Stella in the distance. She was running towards us very fast and ended up sitting in front of the car and crying. We were a bit shocked and had no idea what to do, we also were a bit scared because she looked like some type of Pitbull and we weren't sure if she would bite us or not.
We stayed there for a few minutes without moving the car... until she decided to run again, past the car and towards the road. The highway was still very far, but we wanted to be sure that she didn't get hit or cause an accident if she eventually reached it, so I stepped out of the car and called her. I couldn't see her because her fur is the same color as the ground so she blended perfectly in the desert! I didn't really expect her to come back so I went back into the car and started driving again... And that's when we saw her chasing the car in the mirror!
It was just so sad to see her running after the car desperately, not knowing where else to go. This is the moment when I felt heartbroken for her and decided we would take care of her for the night.
We found a clear spot to park and gave her some water. Luckily, we also had some salami, madeleines, and two ham sandwiches. Those were supposed to be Dalia and I's dinner for the night, but desperate times call for desperate measures 😅
We came here for a reason though, to record two important videos before the end of Winter because we needed the nebulae to still be high enough in the sky! So we set up our equipment and started recording. We quickly realized that this would be challenging as the dog was constantly crying and trying to run toward the highway. She looked like she got waves of hope whenever she saw a car on the road as if she was hoping it was her owner...
We gave up on imaging and recording after about 45 minutes. There was simply no way to pay attention to both the equipment and the dog. We decided it was best to just pack it all up and take the dog home with us before she freaked out too much out there. Also, it was 32 degrees Fahrenheit and was slowly dropping over time...
Since we were unable to record these videos, here are what we were going to cover:
Astronetics V2 - An improved version of the Astronetics mount for Rokinon/Samyang 135mm f/2 lens owners. This attaches around your lens and allows you to easily mount a dovetail, a guide scope, an ASIAir (or another device) as well as the ZWO EAF. It's really handy for people who often do astrophotography with this great lens!
Trying an Astro-modified mirrorless camera. We were going to try an affordable Canon 200M that was modified by Astrogear and compare it with our unmodified DSLR camera. Luckily, we were able to gather footage from another night to make a video and a full review of it. If you would like to modify your camera for astrophotography or purchase a pre-modded camera, click the banner below!
Bringing Stella Home
Getting the dog into the car was a challenge! It took us a good 20-30 minutes to carry her inside, and we are glad we had the ham sandwich to help us!
The ride home was quiet, she cried a few times but quickly fell asleep on Dalia's lap, who was sitting in the back seat with the dog. Before getting to the house, we stopped at a pet shop to buy dog food, a collar, and a leash.
When we got home, she met the queen of the house, our cat Gilbert, and gave her a little kiss. We expected Gilbert to hiss or even hit the dog as soon as she saw her, but things turned out much smoother than expected!
We gave Stella one bowl of dog food and she ate it all! She was definitely hungry.
We then placed a blanket on the living room floor so that she could go to sleep for the night. We spent a good hour petting her as she slowly fell asleep.
She looked very sad overall, which also made us sad, but we hope to turn her depressed face into a super happy one over time 😀
First Day in the House - Getting to Know her Past
Our first full day with Stella! 🥳
When we woke up, we went downstairs and found out that our slippers and some shoes were on Stella's bed! She seems to have grabbed the shoes overnight to sleep with them... Luckily, she didn't chew on any. I grabbed one of the slippers so I could put it back where it belongs, and I called her so I could pet her and say hello.
As soon as Stella saw me with a slipper in my hands, she started crying and shaking, and ran back to her bed... She would not approach me for a good 20 minutes after that, despite putting the slipper away and calling her with open arms and a huge smile... It is pretty obvious to me that she was beaten in her past.