I arrived at the kennel early Thursday morning with only one thing on my mind – sweet Ellie, the German Shepherd. Ellie has been boarding at Ashley Hills since long before I began working here, but for the past year-and-a-half, she has become one of my dearest canine friends. This particular morning was special. Today was Ellie’s last day to board with us. Tomorrow her life here on earth would end, as she is escorted into eternity and all of her pain will be over. I wanted to have a few minutes with her alone before our day began in earnest, and to pet her and talk to her on this final day at the kennel.
Ellie is special. She is a beautiful German Shepherd with a gentle disposition and dark liquid eyes. She is a regular guest, because her owner traveled a good bit in her work and wanted Ellie to stay where she was loved and cared for. Ever since I have been here, a year-and-a-half, Ellie has been suffering from hip dysplasia, which has caused her to have increasing pain and trouble getting around. While she has had happy times of frolicking with other dogs, those days became fewer and fewer in the recent months. When she stays with us, she is visited and treated by an animal acupuncturist and a dog chiropractor. She also discovered swimming a few weeks ago, where she learned that being in the water made her feel young and whole again. She loved the pond!
For her last days, her owner brought her to us to stay overnight. She got to go for a swim in the pond, play on the training field with her German Shepherd friend, Rommel, and receive one of Ashley’s wonderful baths, which she came out of “smelling like a girl.” We loved on her, gave her a zillion hugs and kisses, and at the end of the day when her mama came to pick her up, we told her good-bye through tear-filled eyes.
What more is there to say or write? Ellie, you will always hold a place in my heart. I am happy that our paths in life crossed.