The wonderful thing about all my dogs is that they are never bothered by what I look like. Even if I have had a tough day, they greet me with delight, tell me to take out them for a walk and, rather like boomerangs, bounce out with enthusiasm but keep coming back to check I am still walking with them and that I am alright.
Stella has been a star since she was a puppy with quite a lot to say for herself and she in particular has always focused on what I am doing and where I am. She and her sister have hardly ever been apart and seeing them sprawl on their beds, a paw across one another just to check, brings a relaxing smile to my face each and every time.
If, however, you take an “l” out of her name you get a different sort of “Stela”. This sort of stela is an ancient tablet, usually with a curved top, which was often used to record royal decrees. The ancient Egyptian term for a stela was “wedj”, which originally meant “command” and stems from “wedj-nesu”, “royal decree”.
Funerary stelae recorded the names, titles and representations of the dead in order to keep their memories alive and we have probably taken the “design” of tombstones in a church yard from them. As usual in any civilisation, they were part of the attempt to understand death and commemorate and remember the dead.
Stelae were also used to mark boundaries and the earliest ones have been dated to 3,400BC in southern Egypt. The writing on the Stelae proved a puzzle for many centuries and added to the mystique, wonder and superstition of the ancient Egyptian civilisation. The Greeks called these “characters” hieroglyphs, a word meaning “sacred carvings” but it was only just over 220 years ago that two men, the English scientist Thomas Young and the French linguist Jean-Francois Champollion, began to deduce that the signs were phonetic as well as ideographic, representing concepts.
Their key to deciphering the signs was of course the Rosetta Stone written in three languages along with Champollion’s thorough study and knowledge of Coptic.
Hieroglyphs are beautifully executed and almost a form of art. History was important to the ancient Egyptians and hieroglyphs recorded the past, written all over the inside of temples, tombs and monuments. The arrangement of the symbols is sophisticated and the fact that so much has lasted, carved in stone for painted on a wall, for all of us to wonder and admire in succeeding millennia is testament to how much care they took with their records.
The names chosen by the Pharaohs are equalling telling, reflecting representations of the solar cycle and the concept of light and eternity. Just like today, rulers were expressing the concept of their royal authority over the order of the world and surrounding cosmos.
Back to my Stella, dogs were clearly also part of everyday life in ancient Egypt. The word for a dog was iwiw, an onomatopoeic reference to its bark and they were painted into everyday life, sitting underneath chairs and given names. In one case, a royal guard dog called Abutiu received an elaborate ceremonial burial in the Giza necropolis as a beloved dog of a pharaoh who lived some time before 2280BC though which one is not known.
The Egyptian god Anubis was represented either as a recumbent jackal or hound or with a jackal or hound’s head on a man. He attentively helped conduct the dead into the afterlife just as dogs guard and herd in everyday life.
Stelae offer such a window into how the Pharaonic civilisation thought and lived whilst my lovely Stella ( and friends) remind me every day of the important things in life, of taking care of those we love and paying attention to our surroundings, they are my treasures…
Lady Carnarvon, nothing but a superb story today. When I saw that the story was called Stella, I thought oh no something has happened to her in a bad way. Not so, all is good and that means another great day to celebrate life. Cheryl.
She is very fine I am pleased to say!
Thank you again for your lovely reflections. Although I am not a dog pet parent, I do love dogs but have always been more of a cat person when I comes to sharing living space and am currently between horses but looking, although my last horse still lives in my barn and now has a new mother, and plenty of treats from both. However, loving animals and their companionship goes beyond species and your Stella sounds exceptional. I recently lost my 13 year old rescue Tonkinese to a fast moving face cancer that seemed to come out of nowhere. He was the last of three rescues and why anyone would have turned him in to the Animal Rescue in Des Moines, IA, USA was always beyond our comprehension but also our gain. I still expect to see him sometimes or momentarily forget and think I need to get out the cat food or clean the kitty box. I know your Stella story is happier, but especially the ending brought everything back. We should have had him longer.
On a happier note, although I did not get to see the Egyptian collection at Highclere when I visited in 2016, (with the exception of the pieces I bought in the gift shop) we have begun to travel again with a trip to the UK next week (heard it is really hot right now) and a trip to Egypt scheduled in October. Really excited about Egypt, although admittedly, somewhat more apprehensive as that will be a lot more ambitious than anything before with somewhat more Covid regs to deal with as well. However, the Pyramids await. Thank you for adding to the anticipation.
I am glad you are travelling and exploring – I think that is life!
I love the stories about your dogs. They always bring a smile to my face.
I so much enjoyed reading this. Being a dog lover, I always look forward to the pictures of yours. Combining your Stella with the history of stelae made for a lovely read. Thank you!
Great blog, I’m a dog lover too and enjoyed reading about your dogs, Stella and also learning about Stelae. I am also grateful to have and appreciate and love and cherish my loved ones, thank you so much
Treasures indeed. And how happy your Stella is!
She is .. a positive person, her sister Freya is more shy
I love how you include history along with the wonderful glimpses of life at Highclere. Thank you for sharing.
I enjoy reading your stories every Monday morning (I am in GA USA). Each word, sentence, paragraph is very thoughtfully and clearly written that one cannot look away until it is all enjoyed to the unfortunate end! I am always wishing for more! I love that you take current daily experiences and very easily take us back in history and provide us with some education without our even being aware that we are experiencing your daily life AND at the same time learning about history! Thanks for your Monday morning experiences and lessons!
Agree with your comments 100% Karen!
I second that!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
I couldn’t agree with you more – dogs are such treasures, and we are so fortunate to have them in our lives. Thank you for the fascinating history and information, as always. Hope you have a lovely day!
Trying to stay cool – doing ok!
Lady Carnarvon, Like you and your pack, I have a pack, 4 English bulldogs, and 1 dachshund. It is their company that allowed the Covid lockdown to pass by with barking, naps, snoring, chewing, hugs, & lots of love. We are 2 very lucky women, Carolyn
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
lovely post today. Your dogs look are definitely part of your life jigsaw, and I agree that at the end of the day (or lunchtime today, in my case) they make all the troubles go away, and are such a comfort and joy. Thank you for sharing.
Monday morning Greetings from Florida Lady Carnarvon (and her Monday Blog family!),
Your knowledge, sensitivity, generosity and appreciation are so impressive.
As are your photos as well.
As I had a wonderful black Labrador for 15 years and studied Ancient Egyptian history back in college and visited your exhibit and the ancient ones in Egypt years ago I can relate to your comments and agree with them.
Thank you again for a lovely early Monday morning read while having my morning cup of tea. Remain well everyone.
I just look for them and miss them…
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thanku once again for an enjoyable & educational piece – I love the photos of you & Stella, she’s a beauty & my favest dog of all, as I have a weakness for yellow Labradors!
Your information about the tablets & hieroglyphs was fascinating – I went to Egypt in 2006 & marvelled at how beautiful they were – on the Tomb walls in the Valley of Kings & on the earthenware pots in the Cairo Museum, wonderfully preserved after thousands of years.
Enjoy the Summer my Lady, & stay cool,
Love from Caroline x
Love the name Stella. Wanted to name our current dog Stella… husband said he wasn’t going to the door to holler STELLA. Reference to marlon Brando movie. So I let my granddaughter name our dog. She chose Sadie. Next dog will be Sally. Thank you for the history. It helps me learn. I look forward to Monday morning blogs.
Lady Carnarvon, I would love to have one of your pups. I live alone, fence in yard and I need some happyness.
Dogs are such wonderful reminders of unconditional love. Thank you for sharing your special friends and for the history lesson.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
Thank you for sharing the wonderful stories of your beloved Stella and beautifully connecting it all to the incredible Egyptian history. I marveled at the Egyptian Exhibit at Highclere and understand the deep connection of family ties, whether 2-legged or 4-legged. Our pets love us unconditionally and remind us everyday of loyalty, kindness and devotion. It’s obvious that you and your family return it to them many times over! I love the photos!
Stay cool in the challenging heat wave and thank you for another wonderful Monday morning read. Be well.
Charlotte Merriam Cole
I hope the dogs have a good life!
I love dogs, the more the fun in life for me!
I have a suggestion, Why don’t you put ALL of your dogs on one of your letters, and after each picture of the dog tell us his/her name, so when you comment about your four legged friends we will which one ou are referring to!
Have a GREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAT DAY,
John l Roberts
Tonawanda, N.Y. U S. A.
Thank you I try to share them on Instagram too!
We recently had to say “goodbye” to our sweet dog Riley. Oh my – we miss him dearly. What a joy to read about your dogs (especially Stella) this morning! Plus your creative tie-in with the history of a stela. Love the photo of you with Stella on your lap and both your beautiful smiles!
Thank you for your lovely stories. You are most gracious.
Thank you for reading them!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
You have your ‘stelae’ and I have my ‘awards’ in the form of Oscar and Emmy (who earned her wings in 2019). I’ve always wanted to win and Oscar and an Emmy (and I still just might!); however in the meantime, I’ve named my cockapoos aka treasured pleasures after these iconic awards. Hoping to visit Highclere next year. Will leave the pups at home, though.
Such beautiful words, gorgeous photos and interesting Egyptology. “Taking care of those we love”: so important, you look after them and they, you, in turn. Thank you for all that you are, and all that you do, Lady Carnarvon, with all good wishes.
It amazes me how you weave your stories! From Stella, your ‘little girl in a doggie dress’ to ancient writings honoring the royal Egyptian dead and their beloved – marvelous stories inspiring me want to study more.
Thank you for another very interesting read to begin the week!
… their beloved dogs….
Lady Carnarvon lovely pictures of Stella did you have and lord Carnarvon have a nice weekend and l am fan of Downton abbey thank you for the email and dogs do not like the hot weather
Just returned home from a fabulous Canada/Great Lakes trip aboard the Viking ship “Octantis” where I saw the gorgeous plaque commemorating your gift of a Labrador puppy! It was a lovely surprise that made me feel so connected to all parts of the globe.
I feel the lucky one too..
Lady Carnarvon lovely pictures of Stella did you and lord Carnarvon have a lovely weekend and l lovely to visit highcelere castle thank you for the email and dog do not like the hot weather
No but a quick shower and a cold floor help
It is amazing to me how you weave your stories – from sweet Stella, a ‘little girl in a doggie dress,’ to ancient writings, headstones, and homage to the royal pets of long ago pharaohs – thanks again for providing readers with pleasant teases for additional reading and learning while enjoying our own dear pets.
I learn every time I write –
Dogs are the absolute best! Thanks for giving us a special glimpse into your love for Stella.
What a pretty lab you have. I had one that looked like her twin. I miss her.
What a cool introduction to a history essay. From Stella to Stela My dog’s name is Tristan as in Tristan and Iseult, a medieval chivalric romance based on a Celtic legend.
I know the Romance well!
Love, love, LOVE the photograph…..it speaks volumes .
Thank you for a happy welcome to Monday and the week.
Your érudition is amazing and your story telling compelling. I therefore look forward to each of your posts. Thank you from France.
Thank you !
I love how Stella is smiling in this photo with you. Dogs as well as other pets seem to read our moods and feeling better than humans. thanks for sharing all your wonderful animals and their stories.
They do read our moods!
Dear Lady Carnarvon
So enjoyed reading your blog today ,our canine companions ,bring so much joy and strength ,especially when life is not so easy ,All good wishes to yourself ,and the beautiful Stella .
Fiona I am the person from the Caribbean who was in your receiving line at the Highclere Castle Gin event in Peabody, Massachusetts. My father was an American agronomist who worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the Caribbean based in St. Croix. One of my fathers friends was former Governor of the British Virgin Islands Col. Henry A. C. Howard. We only knew Henry but he was the son of Esme first baron Howard of Penrith and brother of Francis second baron Howard of Penrith. The Howards of Penrith were close relatives of the Herberts of Carnarvon. Esme was the nephew of Henrietta wife of the third Earl.
My grandfather Marshall Bond was a mining engineer in various mining towns. He owned the real life dog his former employee Jack London wrote fiction about in “The Call of the Wild”. There is a picture of my grandfather holding the dog on the Smithsonian Magazine website. The article is “Gold Fever! Deadly Cold! And the Amazing True Adventures of Jack London in the Wild” November 2019. My family are also the basis for the Judge Miller family and their Santa Clara winery estate in the novel’s opening page. London visited my grandfather after they both attended a lecture on Herbert Spencer in San Francisco.
Thelma who previously lived in Newbury, now residing in North Devon
I too am an animal lover, and have a part Vistula dog also called Stela. No I haven’t spelt Stela wrongly, she is a rescue dog from Romania and that is how her name is spelt on her ‘Passport’.
When it was my husband and my 50th wedding anniversary four years ago, there was nothing we really needed, and so I asked our daughter if she would contribute towards getting Stela over to the UK which she happily agreed to. Stela arrived a month or so later, and we drove up from Devon and stayed with our family at Wash Water and then went to collect her from the car park at junction 13. She was with about 15 other dogs and a few cats. She was rather subdued at first, we later found that she suffered with car sickness, so the rather prolonged journey across the continent must have been hell for her. She is much improved now thankfully.
When we let her out into our families garden she went to the gate to try and escape, being unable to do that, she started exploring the garden. Our other dog, a Labrador called Dexter, also a rescue from the UK this time, started to try and play with her. Although by now she was more settled she was rather confused at being let free in the garden, we realised that although she had been very well looked after in the rescue kennels she had been in, she didn’t know how to play.
Thankfully, dear Dexter who although now 8 is still a puppy at heart and he soon taught her about playing. It is an absolute joy to see them together and to see how Stela came out of her shell. She must have been beaten at some point in her life, if we were to raise an arm for any reason she immediately dropped to the floor looking terrified.
Six years on she is a different dog, not only is she always wagging her tail and ‘smiling’ she now often instigates the play, and teases Dexter with toys.
We will be returning to the Newbury area soon, illness and age has crept up on us and we require a smaller garden and house and want to live closer again to our family, we have loved living in the middle of the Devon country side and being a mile off of the mail road safety for our animals. So the next move will include two dogs and 8 rescue cats, 5 from Romania and 3 from the UK.
Our daughter and son-in-law have recently taken in a Ukrainian family, a mother and her two daughters while her husband remains in the Ukraine mending military vehicles.
God bless you , Thelma for rescuing your wonderful Stela. My lab is a rescue from here in the USA, and my daughter has rescued 2 golden retrievers from Turkey. Best of love to you and your fur babies.
All these dogs and photos are magical. Will keep it on file for any rainy day to cheer up. Thank you.
Good morning from Fort Worth, Texas. While reading that your dogs don’t care what you look like, I was reminded of something one of my cats did to make me smile. I was having a pity-party one day, feeling old and unattractive. I asked Big Red, my orange tabby, if he thought I was pretty. He stared hard at me, slowly blinked his eyes, and said “yeah.” It actually sounded human. So I figured it out: if we want a positive answer, just ask a cat.
I love your posts. It’s so inspiring to see your beautiful property and grounds. Thank you!
Lady Carnarvon lovely the pictures of Stella did you lord Carnarvon have a nice weekend and lovely to visit highcelere castle and thank you for the the email and dogs do not like the hot weather
Dear Lady Carnarvon
What a wonderful text.
I have a truly love to dogs as well – They don’t mind how you look like and they are just happy to be with you.
If you have a bad day they will be there for your in their way of empathy
Thanks you so much for your allways wonderful texts
I absolutely LOVE reading stories and seeing photos of your precious dogs. And I also love seeing the photo of the actual Rosetta Stone! Thank you for brightening my Monday morning! Our two Pomeranian puppies, Valentino and Beau, born on Valentine’s Day, 2021, are yipping “hello” to you, Stella, and the rest of your lovely dogs. I showed them Stella’s photos and also the group photo of all the dogs and you together. What a lovely photo that one is … frame worthy, I would say! Our pups thought this post to be absolutely GREAT and voiced their immediate approval when they saw all the photos that included a dog. Thank you for making my day brighter!
Truly poetic and informational. The one thing that I have always told my children is that they teach us how to live; with boundless joy, they teach us how to love; always forgiving and faithful, and ultimately, how to say goodbye; with tears and smiles and memories of the loved and lost only until we find each other again.
And you need to out them first –
After “meeting” Stella on some of the Viking Videos previously, it was lovely to read about the history. Having visited the Cairo museums several times, you provide a lot more perspective that I wish I would have known then.
So looking forward to visiting Highclere the end of September 2023, do hope that you will be accepting visitors at that time of year.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
I’ve really enjoyed reading your article as I’m a dog lover and a lover of Ancient Egyptian history.
Your touching description of your sincere friendship with Stella reminded me abou the indestructible relationship between Ulysses and his faithful dog. ” The dog possesses beauty without vanity. Strength without insolence. Courage without ferocity. And all the virtues of man without his vices. ” (Lord
Byron ) What a pity that humans are not dogs … Long live to dogs and fidelity !!!
What a lovely picture of you and Stella!❤️❤️
Dear Lady Carnarvon……it should be noted as a fella i do also enjoy your wonderful words.
I have yet to visit Highclere but have viewed your lovely home many times from the air being based at Popham Airfield just to the south of you.How about a visit some time?
My late wife and i always had Irish Red Setters.
All the best.peter milner
I do love Red Setters!
Hello i am new to this blog and so happy to see how many dogs. That you have. Either people understand or they don’t. I recently lost my 16 year old Hound mix, and while still having 4 others, there is still a hole in my home.
I am hoping by next year to have a home with a yard so they can run around. Too bad I can’t afford a castle with lots of land lol. But thank you for including your dogs in today’s blog. Every day with my animals are precious.
Have a great day!
My husband and I had the pleasure of “dog-sitting” for Bentley, who looks very much like your Stella.
We do not have a dog of our own, but it sure made me want one.
He just shook with delight when we would see him, like Stella.
What a joy!
Dogs are truly remarkable, having been in human’s lives for, probably, over 10,000 years. Dogs, are far as we know, are the only animals that have the ability to look at something that a human is pointing at. Not even apes have this ability..!
It was wonderful reading about , and seeing pictures of your dogs. More dog pictures and stories of the animals at Highclere , please!! Fascinating read !
There are some on instagram today!
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
From Lakeside, Montana
Again you have written another piece with history and love ( dogs of course)! Your dogs are always with you and they are lucky to have you!! So informative, love your mind and extraordinary talent for both writing and the ever importance of history.
Thank you, Thank you,
Is Viking ever going to reprise those visits with you exploring every bit of Highclere Castle?
Hope all is well with you and all at Highclere!
Warmest wishes to you and your whole family,
You can also explore Highclere through Friends of Highclere..
Lady Carnarvon –
Thank you for this lesson today. I had a Schipperke (a Belgium sheepdog) by the name of Anubis many years ago. She had the head which resembled Anubis, hence her name. She was a wonderful animal and I miss her dearly. Here in the United States, they only breed in black. She and I especially bonded over the birth of my son. She seemed to think that was her son. She slept close to him every night. If he moved, she jumped up and watched him until he settled down again before she would settle down next to him.
Please keep the wonderful stories and teachings coming.
M’ Lady Carnarvon;
It is a small pleasure that remains in our lives that we seek the uninhibited love from our friends of the pet nature, I too am graced with this , as my Calico cat shows me everyday.
I enjoy everyday I get to read your blog M’ Lady, as I find inspiration in your words of kindness, caring and wisdom.
Being of the Herbert linage, I can’t help but feel an attraction to your blogs, it helps.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
I’m so happy to read about all your dogs. I especially am enjoying my Teacup Schnauzer, since I’m a young widow. They do bring so much joy to ones life. Her name is Beatrice Alexandria Mary. She is quite the little diva and so smart. We spent part of the day reading your latest book! So enjoying it. We live in the hot humid South Louisiana. Can’t wait to find your gin here. It’s time for a gin fizz with a splash of cranberry and a twist of lemon! Cheers!
Thank you – you can buy it in the USA in every state from the web site http://www.highclerecastlegin.com
Such a wonderful essay. Although I don´t make comments all the time, I do read your work. They make me relax. God bless you.
You are kind!
MY DEAR LADY CARNARVON,
GOOD MORNING FROM BRAZIL,
MILADY, IT REMINDED ME OF CATS, ( “I LOVE CATS “), IN ANCIENT PHARAONIC EGYPT, SUCH AS THE “BASTED “CAT FOUND IN THE BURIAL CHAMBER OF PHARAOH TUTANKAMON. THEY WERE CONSIDERD SACRED BECAUSE THEY WERE KEEPERS OF THE BARNS.
LOVELY ROT SUMMER IN HIGHCLERE CASTLE. VERY GOOD. IN THE WINTER IN BRAZIL
34 ° DEGREES CELCIUS IN MY CITY- RIO CLARO – SÃO PAULO. VERY ROT FOR WINTER.
RIO CLARO – SP
P.S. LOVELY HOT SUMMER VERY HOT FOR WINTER.
Dear Lady Carnarvon,
When I see you write about your dog’s or horses, I make a point to stop everything and read them.
We are traveling in Italy right now and currently in Rome, which by the way is extremely hot. I am taking a slight siesta and enjoyed reading your post.
Take care and thank you,
Thank you – I love Italy – have a lovely time
Dear Lady Carnarvon!
To have a dog is The most wonderful way to get The best friend ever! I loved to read about sweet Stella!
I once had a beautiful collie named Kim! He was my heart! He understood Almost anything and Now I can even say that he was important for my health! No matter how I felt, he always cheered me up! So, having a dog is a Great gift!
Swedish greetings from Lena
I have a beautiful yellow lab who looks very much like Stella. (we call them English Labs in America-the stockier labs) Her name is Abby and she is my “Heart Dog”-so devoted to me and I love her so much. Abby would love to run around with your dogs at Highclere!
❤️ we had a lab named Abby as well. Lost her at 16 years last year. And yes you are right…we do call them English labs here
What a beauty is Stella. God bless her. The innocence of these intelligent animals is amazing. Everyday I learn something new with our little shit zu Charlie. And how interesting the history of ancient civilizations. So important to know.
Merci, de ces nouvelles informations très instructives.
J’aime beaucoup la dernière photo de Stella sur vos genoux, assise sur le canapé, elle semble nous faire un grand sourire pour la photo ; trop charmant.
Très bonne semaine, à bientôt.
Dear Lady Carnarvon:
Thank you for this Monday’s blog with accompanying photographs.
What a great story and comparison to the spelling and usage of the name/word “Stel(l)a.
I would have replied sooner, but we were host family for two teenage [music] students from Alsace-Lorraine, France/Germany for the period 07/17/22 through 07/22/22. The days passed very quickly, and I lost all track of time.
Until next week, keep enjoying any down time with your dogs.