We were in the square of Paliano, a town nestled in the Ciociaria and there was this big ball of black and white fur that ran through the streets, among the people.
It was not a dog, it was part of the crowd: no one in its path was knocked, nor had to dodge, indeed everyone addressed a greeting just as you do with a neighbor.
We were watching Stella – so called – going unhindered to church, when a man told us her story: abandoned, when the school teachers in the town decided to adopt it.
Since then Stella has become a character of Paliano and everyone has got to know her, because she was able to reciprocate the trust. Remember Nana, the dog-nanny of Peter Pan?
Here is one example of Stella. Every morning she takes the children to school and waits for them at the entrance for their exit. The truth is that Stella is a special dog, out of the ordinary, extraordinary. Every dog is loyal, grateful, good, any dog would be happy with people who give a pat or give a kind look.
What is great is the attitude of the community that welcomed, cared for, respected and protected Stella.
The image portrayed in this picture has crystallized a very high level of humanity. The boys were setting up the chairs for the music festival in the square and Stella slept exactly in the middle. No one wanted to move her away, so the chairs were placed around her not to bother her.
The community has adapted to the dog, not vice versa.