I was talking to tdblue about dogs, and I said about a dog that I had when I was married. Ellie was such a gorgeous dog. I was nervous of dogs, and I ended up looking after one. After a while she became ours, and my daughter formed such an attachment to her it was unreal. Unfortunately, Ellie had been seriously mistreated by previous owners so was very nervous when we first got her. Every time that my wife of the time used to raise her voice, Ellie would wet herself and run with her tail between her legs and quake in a corner somewhere. Over time she became used to the fact that when there’s kids in the house, voices need to be raised sometimes.
Due to the abuse she suffered at the hands of her previous owners, Ellie’s back legs occasionally gave out on her. After a while, I was having to drag her to the garden on the carpet she laid on. She used to let us know when she needed the toilet as she would slide over and lay on it, then I would grab hold of the edge and slide her out of the living room, across the kitchen to the back door and then lift her up to carry her outside. I took her to the vets, and she was given pain relief. We were having to take her monthly, then it became fortnightly, then weekly before the vet told us that there was nothing more they could do for her. I took her home that Wednesday so that the kids could say goodbye to her. I had to take her back to the vets for the final time on the Friday. My daughter went to school, and an hour or so later, we had a call from her school saying that she couldn’t do any work as she couldn’t stop crying, so her mum went down to collect her. At midday, the taxi turned up, and Ellie stood up, got up on her back legs with her front paws on my ex-wife’s stomach, wagging her tail, she went and licked my daughter’s hand (Ellie that is, not my ex-wife) and walked out the door wagging her tail. A lot of the neighbours came out to see her off as they all knew what was going on.
When the vet turned up, Ellie was laying on floor, and I think the energy she used saying goodbye had sapped her completely as she couldn’t stand. I lifted her onto the table and gave her a hug. I’ve no idea how long I was holding on to her, but my dad had turned up for me after being called to tell him I was in no state to make it home on my own.
When the vet’s receptionist called a few weeks later, she said that due to the abuse she had suffered, she had liver and kidney damage, and that we had given her the best 3-4 years of her life. She’s been gone for seven years now, but there’s still a huge hole in our hearts.