There’s no bond stronger than that of a man and a dog he did not want. That’s exactly what happened between Jay ( Ed O’Neill) and Stella, a French bulldog who happened to join the Pritchett family. We first met Stella on an episode of Modern Family dubbed ‘Good Cop, Bad Cop’, where she was with her owner, Guillermo ( Lin-Manuel Miranda), who was seeking business advice from Jay. He’d brought in Stella to help with his pitch, and had to ditch her to go back to school. Stella found a new home, and even though Jay didn’t like her at first, their bond grew at the expense of Jay’s relationship with Gloria ( Sofia Vergara). These are times when things got a little heated:
1. The Time Stella Fell Into The Pool
The tension between Stella, Jay, and Gloria manifested in different ways. In one such case, Jay made his way into his house, and instead of saying hi to his wife first, was quick to look for Stella. “ Gloria, is Stella up there?” Jay asked without so much as a greeting. “ No, but I am. Why don’t you say hello to your wife when you come home?” Gloria asked. In response, Jay told Gloria that if she wanted a greeting, she’d have to meet him at the door while wagging her tail. He proceeded to look for Stella, calling the dog sweet names such as ‘honey’. It didn’t take long before Jay caught sight of Stella in the pool. He dashed towards the pool and jumped into it fully clothed. Upon hearing the commotion, Gloria rushed towards the pool area. “ Why are you swimming in your clothes?” She asked. Jay sarcastically pointed out that it was because he was self-conscious about his body, all while holding Stella in his arms.
2. The Time The Roles Were Reversed
Stella had an appetite for chewing shoes. Not just any shoes, but Gloria’s in particular. Jay often blamed Gloria for that, since she left her shoes lying around. One time, however, the roles were reversed. Gloria caught Stella chewing a piece of her undergarments. “ Stop eating all my things you stupid animal, “ She scolded. Gloria decided to offer Stella something else to chew on: Jay’s shoes. “ Look at this delicious man shoe. Eat it!” She persuaded. But Stella wouldn’t fold. The French bulldog kept pacing about and was not in any way interested. Meanwhile, Gloria had assumed a position on all fours, with Jay’s shoe hanging from her mouth. As she continued to coerce Stella into taking the shoe, Jay and Manny ( Rico Rodriguez) walked in to find her on all fours. “ Drop it!” Jay declared. He proceeded to give Gloria instructions as he would a pet dog. “ Gloria, Sit…Good Girl!” Gloria, on the other hand, was offended that she had been reduced into ‘a person who eats a shoe’.
3. The Time Jay Had A Dream About Stella
The bond between Jay and Stella was not only limited to real life. The pair also collided in the world of dreams, and Jay had to lie about it. It all began when Gloria was mad at Jay about something, but couldn’t let him know. She finally revealed that she was mad because she thought Jay was having dreams about another woman. The main suspect was a waitress at the club, whose car had crashed, but Jay only helped her because they had a fun game going where he ordered a salad and she brought him French fries instead. Jay let Gloria know that he’d had a bad dream about their son Joe ( Jeremy Maguire). Joe had gotten himself up a tall building and Jay couldn’t get to him. “ I was very upset. I think I might have cried a little in my sleep which might have sounded like sex to you, which I don’t love. That’s the baby I was talking about,” Jay explained. When Gloria was not watching, Jay let the cat out of the bag. “ I’m not proud of this, but the dream wasn’t about Joe. It was about this little baby right here [ points to Stella].”
4. The Time Jay Wooed Stella With Steak
When it came to food, Jay was hell-bent on making sure Stella had a good meal. Sometimes he would feed the dog a meal from Gloria that he did not like, much to her fury. At the beginning of Gloria and Jay’s relationship, the latter had told a couple of lies, especially about Gloria’s food. Besides giving Stella Gloria’s rejects, in a bid to show Stella that he loved her, Jay decided to prepare steak, which he would later drop at Mitch ( Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam’s ( Eric Stonestreet) house, where Stella was in quarantine. Gloria, on the other hand, thought the meal was a treat for her. “ You are cooking us a steak dinner? How sweet…” she said. Jay immediately decided to shut her down. “ Yeah, I came home from work early to cook us dinner, that’s crazy! This is for Stella. You don’t know what I’m competing with over there. Cameron is wooing her with belly rubs, jewelry, kisses on the mouth. I just want her to remember who loves her the most.” Jay went on and on, but Gloria was surprisingly supportive.
5. The Time Gloria Saved Stella From Drowning
As much as she did not really like Stella and competed with her for her husband’s attention, deep down, Gloria knew that the bulldog made Jay happy. So, when she found Stella attempting to jump in the pool, she tried to talk her out of it. “ You are a perfectly fine dog. I don’t hate you. Stella, okay, I was a little mean to you but that’s no reason to kill yourself. You are young. You still have so much left to smell…” Unfortunately for Gloria, Stella was not listening. The pool was more inviting and she jumped right in. Gloria, who was dressed in blue and ready to attend a wedding, ditched her heels and jumped into the pool on a rescue mission. Jay and Manny, who were dressed in suits and ready to go, heard the commotion and rushed towards the pool to find Gloria making her way back with Stella. “ Get her a towel, she’s shaking like a leaf,” Jay told Manny, and when the towel was in his hands, he chose to dry Stella first, despite the fact that Gloria was freezing.
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