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Modern Family Sneakily Replaced Jay's Beloved Stella With A Completely Different Dog

When pup Stella showed up during Season 2 of "Modern Family," it gave us a chance to see Jay Pritchett's (Ed O'Neill) sweet side. After she is abandoned at Jay and Gloria's (Sofia Vergara) home by the disheartened and clueless would-be entrepreneur Guillermo (Lin-Manuel Miranda), the set-in-his-ways Jay is determined to get rid of her, much to the chagrin of Gloria and Manny (Rico Rodriguez). He even takes her all the way to the pound before looking into her eyes and becoming unable to deny her adorable face. And with that, the Pritchett-Delgados became the proud owners of a sweet and friendly French bulldog.

Stella became one more reason for fans to like "Modern Family." Not only is Jay a doting dog dad, but he also becomes probably more attached to her than anyone else. Even Gloria's growing distaste for her isn't enough to sour him on the dog, to the point where, when Gloria loses her in Season 3, Episode 4, she panics. As it turns out, Vergara didn't care all that much for the dogs who played Stella either ... either of them.

Brigitte was replaced by Beatrice

It's not uncommon for TV canines to be played by more than one real-life dog. For example, several dogs played the iconic Lassie over the course of various films and TV series. While Stella was originally played by one French bulldog named Brigitte for her first couple of seasons, starting in Season 4, she was played by an entirely different dog, named Beatrice, who had previously served as Brigitte's understudy. Though they looked similar enough, Beatrice had more brown fur on her face.

Exactly why Brigitte was replaced with Beatrice is unclear, though this was also a time when the human cast members of "Modern Family" were in a bit of a dispute over per-episode pay (via The Hollywood Reporter). When that dispute was resolved and the cast returned to work with an impressive pay raise, there was a new dog where the old one had been.

Tragically, Beatrice passed away in 2020, just a few days after production had wrapped on the "Modern Family" finale. "Rest In Peace sweet Beatrice," tweeted Jesse Tyler Ferguson, who played Mitchell Pritchett. "We love you so much."