Five years ago, we welcomed someone new to our family.
When we adopted her, we were told she was most likely 2 years old.
Ellie started off as an outside dog.
But when we moved to an apartment, she became an inside dog.
We hoped that she had been housebroken in her past life.
It turns out, she was.
She acclimated to apartment life pretty well.
And our friends loved her.
She gave us a reason to get out and walk.
Sometimes, we would travel with her if our destination was dog-friendly.
She was there for our first son’s babyhood.
She never wanted to play. She always wanted to be loved.
She wasn’t, by any means, a watch dog.
She was there when we brought our second son home.
And she came with us when we moved here.
And we tried to make it work.
But here’s the thing. We have always struggled to give Ellie the time that she deserves. In the apartment, for the most part, we were able to make it work. We were blessed with friends who lived close by who could walk her when we were out of town. When we weren’t there, she stayed in the laundry room, which was small but climate controlled.
When we moved, she ended up having to stay here…
It was only meant to be at night time and when we weren’t there. But between the bladder control issues she was starting to get naturally with age, the fact that I was out of town A LOT directly after Harlie got sick, the fact that while I was out of town, Josh was working late, leaving no one at home to walk the dog, and the fact that all this extra time in the outside cage meant that she smelled awful, Ellie more often than not was left…
And we were faced with a dilemma. We consider her a part of the family and never would take her to a shelter, but we knew that her quality of life with us was not much better than a shelter.
A good friend of ours has a connection with an animal adoption agency, and she overheard us talking about our problem. She graciously posted a listing for us on the agency’s website. I had never thought that anyone would be looking for an older lab mix, but we had 3 contacts from people who were interested in Ellie in just one week!
And so, Ellie is in a new home. She has actually been to two new homes since she left us, but I think this second one is going to stick. She lives with a retired lady who takes her on two hour long walks a day.
I like to think that they have retired together.
And it makes me feel sad and guilty, especially after I look over all these pictures and am reminded that Ellie was a constant in our lives through several years of change. But far greater than those emotions are those of happiness and peace; happiness that Ellie is finally where someone has the time to love her, peace that we made the right choice.
Ava cried the day that we let her know we were parting with Ellie, but since then, she has hardly been mentioned amongst the kids. And I honestly think this is the easiest way to part with an animal.
So, Ellie, thanks for being there for us over the years.
Now it’s time for someone to be there for you.