Dear Ellie,

Where shall I start?  From the moment I saw your little face gaze up at me from the rescue website, I knew that you were the one for me.  I will never forget that little face. Bemused, unsure and perhaps a little afraid, is how I would describe you. 

Luika my GSD, had been put to sleep the previous May & just as our dogs before him, I held him tightly in my arms until he took his final breath.  He was finally gone, and I sobbed with such intensity, that I felt as though my heart had been ripped out and torn away.  As I felt the warmth ebb from his body, I questioned if I could ever revisit this pain again, yet six months later and here you are.

I was recovering from surgery when we made the long journey from Dorset to Wales to collect you. I was still extremely tender from my hysterectomy and the journey was long and arduous.  Poor Doug was recovering from shingles in one eye and driving in the dark wasn’t really an option for either of us, but that is exactly what he did. Your paperwork wasn’t completed until after lunch and it was already getting dark as we set off for home.

We never wanted a puppy.  We didn’t want the responsibility at our age of the restless nights, puppy training, teething, and cleaning all those little accidents. Having a puppy is extremely rewarding but also very tiring, so we decided to adopt an older dog and then you happened!

I remember when they put you into my arms for the first time and you clung to me.  I loved everything about you, even that short ear which I found so endearing and I remember those people queuing up outside and their adoring looks as we passed them to find our car.

When I talk to you and you tilt your head as though you understand every word and those big brown eyes that glow with affection.  I love all your little bum wiggles every time I enter the room and the strangulated sounds you make as we near your favorite walk. 

I can even tolerate your penchant for stealing pants and bras. No matter how high I hang them from the washing line, as if by magic they end up in your mouth. Neither is there any remorse when you bring them to me, wet, claggy and sometimes ripped.  Oh, and there are my slippers.  We obviously share the same taste since you have killed three pairs and two pairs of sandals. 

I also tolerate that you hang off my dressing gown cord every time I stand up (this does not imply that it is worn constantly) and I am now on my last iPhone charger! Neither do you spare your soft toys?  Even a Kong teddy was subjected to a thorough beating and I have yet to find its other arm!  One look at that doleful mischievous expression, however, and I am totally under your spell.

I have also learned that when you walk an Ellie dog, you need to leave plenty of time for people to stop and coo over such a beautiful companion and you will flutter those soft long eyelashes and your admirer will be hooked as I am.

I desperately hope that I will be there to share your last breath as I was with Luika and all the dogs that preceded him. I am mindful, however, that I am approaching my twilight years and each day must be cherished and remembered.  The ideal solution would be that we could leave this world and find the rainbow bridge together.

Love Nina x

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