I remember the day we brought her home. A tiny ball of golden fur. All she wanted more than anything else was to cuddle and be held.
We named her after Ella Fitzgerald but she quickly became Ellie. Sweet. Gentle. Sometimes mischievous. Always loving. Always faithful.
She liked to be where ever I was. She followed me around the house, sitting in my lap, or any available lap of whomever happened to be closest. Ellie liked to be close.
The guide books said to kennel her whenever we weren’t home. Ellie didn’t like being kenneled. I didn’t do it. She was fine. She never chewed anything. Not a shoe, piece of furniture, or book ever fell prey to her teeth. Though she did, and still does, like to get into the garbage.
Ellie is a garbage hound par excellence! Once, she stuck her head through the lid of the bathroom garbage can and when she removed it, the lid came with her. She made us laugh that day, as she has made us laugh almost every day for the past 12 years since that day we brought her home in early September, 2000.
Yesterday was Ellie’s 12th birthday. Happy Birthday Ellie.
We celebrated it as we always do. A nice long walk in the morning. A special treat. Lots of hugs and time together. It’s the least I can do for this wonder pooch who has brought such joy and comfort to our lives.
Ellie has always been there for me, in good times and in bad. She has walked mile after mile by my side as I walked out my blues and confusion. She has sat by me hour after hour as I cried out my fears and frustration. And, in the really dark times, she has hidden with me in the dark, body pressed against me, lending me her strength and warmth.
When I think of the things that make the biggest different in my life, Ellie is high up on that list. Family, my beloved, friends, Ellie the Wonder Pooch and Marley the Great Cat. And then comes my work, my hobbies, my passions of writing and painting and all the other things I do that hold value in my life.
People and animals are the gifts of life. They bring me joy, happiness, community, companionship, friendship and Love. Always Love.
Ellie turned 12 years old yesterday.
What a blessing. What a difference she has made in my world.