LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ellie is Six

Ellie's birthday yesterday was eclipsed by Father's Day so we will pay tribute today.

We had a Springer Spaniel once and I thought she was the perfect dog. We got her when I was pregnant with our first child and not working for the first time in my life. All those raging mothering hormones kicked into gear and I spent a lot of time with this wonderful puppy. When she died at age 14, I vowed never to have another dog. It would be too much like trying to replace a child. It became apparent that ours was a family that couldn't be without a dog, so we got another Springer Spaniel. She was a wonderful dog, very different but far from the perfect dog. She shared our home for 13 years and we grieved once again.

We had always loved Golden Retrievers so we did a lot of research and found Dick and Chris Reents at Dichi Goldens. After visiting them, and completing forms and interviews much like adopting a child, we were given the opportunity to purchase one of their beautiful dogs. And when our turn finally came, we got our Ellie. Dichi brings the dogs into their home for whelping and this little girl somehow crawled under a freezer and sustained some lacerations, one over her eye. We were given the opportunity to "pass" and get the pick of the next litter. We fell in love with her at first sight and decided that was the dog for us. We were given a discount, although we never told Ellie she was "marked down."

We named the little puppy Dichi Sirius Eleanor Rose. The kennel name is the first part of the registered name. Sirius is the dog star, and Ellie's mother was named Star. Eleanor Rose was in honor of Eleanor Roosevelt, a woman I have always admired.

As we drove home with little Ellie asleep on my shoulder, the old love and bonding rekindled and I just knew we once again had the perfect dog. Nothing in these past six years has disputed that. Ellie proved to have the hallmark Golden personality, intelligent and eager to please. Training her was a breeze. She picked up the commands quickly and consistently followed them.

You can still see the darkened scar near her left eye. But hardly anyone notices because they are looking at her beautiful smile.




Ellie's mother, Star, is described by Dichi as "the perfect Golden personality -- intelligent, loving and people-oriented, with great sensitivity to the emotions of the human beings around her." Many of her offspring are companion or therapy dogs, and our Ellie has those same characteristics. She is very sensitive to my moods.

Ellie's father, Kona, received his AKC Championship points at age two, not an easy feat for a breed as popular as Golden Retrievers. Dichi describes him as, "a happy-go-lucky dog who likes nothing more than strutting about the house & carrying his stuffed toys in his mouth---talking to you the whole while! He is so much fun!" The same was true of our Ellie until she learned that she could tear apart the stuffed toys by finding a weak spot. Now she carries tennis balls in her mouth, "talking" the whole time.
She is lovely and graceful running the trails.
Some might criticize us for getting a dog from a breeder when there are so many abandoned pets who need homes. I think it is wonderful for people to adopt from shelters, but I make no apologies for going to a reputable breeder. All Dichi dogs are checked and registered for hip, shoulder, and elbow problems as well as eye examinations. We received a five-generation pedigree and the breeder tracks his dogs carefully. That's no guarantee, but a good indication that the dog will not suffer from those problems common to the breed.
---------------I do so love both of our dogs, but Ellie has a special place in my heart. It's as if she knows me well and understands and accepts me unconditionally. She is everything a dog should be. Just before she goes out for the final time at night, she comes to my chair with two tennis balls and we have a little "chat." My husband gets up early to walk both dogs. After breakfast Ellie lies in the hallway outside the bedroom, waiting for me to get up. As soon as I step out of bed, I can hear the thwack, thwack of her tail on the hardwood floor. When I come out she greets me as if I am the most important person in the world. It gives me the same thrill every day, even before I have had my coffee. I hope that everyone can at one time have a dog like Ellie...one who instinctively knows your moods, who is so easy-going and so loving.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELLIE! YOU GIVE ME MORE PLEASURE THAN YOU COULD EVER IMAGINE.

32 comments:

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Happy Birthday, Ellie! She is a beauty!

KGMom said...

Awww--Ellie--happy doggie birthday. And what a GREAT story of her birth, and first adventure.
I understand getting a dog from a good breeder. Here in central PA we are too close to puppy mills. So were we to decide to get a dog from a breeder, I would be doing lots of research first.
We have had two pure breds--English setters (bench)--and loved them hugely. Both were rescued. If I could find a breeder close by I would be tempted. Most people breed field English setters.
Anyway, thanks for sharing your girls with us.

fishing guy said...

Carolyn: Congrats to Elle, 6 and going strong.

Cedar ... said...

Happy Birthday to Ellie! A truly beautiful girl, I have always loved her smile. Buying from a breeder is fine, -- you did your homework.

jayedized said...

Awwww! Happy Birthday to Ellie! What a wonderful story. When admiring your gals in the past (and seeing and feeling their "therapeutic effects") and seeing how well-mannered and what great dispositions they both had, I had wondered if either had ever been "therapy dogs" (that is, to those other than you and yours and those of us who enjoy your blog so much - lol!) What a great story on her beginning and the wonderful dogs of your past. Ahhh (and a sigh thinking of my own) they're wonderful.

I have to go back and enjoy this one some more...

Sam said...

There's nothing wrong with getting a dog from a responsible breeder, a person who shows or works their dogs and evaluates them through the OFA for health. I think you made a wise choice in purchasing Ellie and we want to wish her a very happy sixth birthday. :)

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to ELEGANT ELLIE!

RuthieJ said...

Happy Birthday Ellie -- what a good doggy!
We have had three doggies and I've loved them all so much. We're down to just my old girl Sophie now and I don't know what I'll do when she's gone, but for now I'm going to enjoy the time I have left with her!

wncmountainliving said...

Happy Birthday Ellie - may you have many more!

Dog_geek said...

Happy Birthday Ellie! Although all my dogs have been rescues or shelter dogs, I have no qualms about people purchasing dogs from responsible breeders and maximizing the odds of getting exactly what they want. If everyone bought from responsible breeders, there wouldn't be the glut of dogs in shelters and rescues.

KB said...

You are a very lucky woman. My dog, K, plays a similar role in my life, and so I think I know how you feel about Ellie. What a wonderful dog!

BTW, I agree about supporting breeders who are doing everything in their power to produce healthy dogs and eradicate the terrible diseases that so many dogs get. Our dogs are from those kind of breeders but one of our dogs, R, got elbow dysplasia anyway. The breeder is having him enrolled in the canine genome project to try to identify the gene that causes it. And, we got a full refund - not that it matters when you love a dog as much as we love R.

Happy Birthday, Ellie.

Cheryl said...

Happy birthday sweet Ellie....and I can see why you love her so....

I have always had spaniels and bought them as puppies.

Two years ago a terrier had been found abandoned in the countryside. She had been taken to kennels and apparently cried for three days. I knew the owner and one day dropped in to see her.
I had never liked terriers but when I saw this dog, there was something, just something about her. I said then and there that I would have her, and I have never regretted it. She is a sweet loyal dog. So obedient and quiet in the house. She adores the grandchildren and is so patient with them.....and she follows me everywhere.
Like sweet Ellie she greets me as if I am the most wonderful person in the whole world....
Like you with Ellie, there is a special bond between us....so my friend, I understand completely how you feel......

The Birdlady said...

Happy Birthday, Ellie! Woof-woof!

Tina said...

A very nice tribute to obviously a wonderful pet! She really is a beauty of a dog and I can totally understand your pride when you speak about her! happy birthdy..and many more!

Rae said...

She's a beautiful girl and you are so blessed to have her. I can't imagine living without a dog in my life. They are truly one of God's greatest creations.

Happy Birthday Ellie.

Tutta la Storia said...

I just loved reading this. I love so many breeds, but the retrievers have a special place in my heart!

Cicero Sings said...

Happy Birthday Ellie! You are absolutely beautiful and I never once noticed your scar. If we ever got a big dog, I'd get a golden retriever. They have lovely personalities.

For all the work they are I still wanted a puppy ... one who was not scarred by who knows what experiences. One who we could tune into and who could tune into us. Kudos to those that are happy to adopt from a shelter but kudos to those who raise up puppies. It is no mean feat!

Bird Girl said...

Yes, I will add another 'Happy Birthday' greeting for Ellie! As you say - I would never see her scar because all I see is her beautiful smile! It is so nice that you and Ellie are soul mates of a sort! She is the perfect dog for you and I'm always happy to see her pictures!

The Thundering Herd said...

Happy Birthday Ellie. Six is a wonderful age (Queen Natasha thinks so) and you are a beautiful girl!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

A lovely story of how Ellie came into your lives. It sounds like a match made in heaven. It was meant to be.

Rudee said...

Happy Birthday, Ellie. I love that picture with her mouth stuffed with tennis balls. She's adorable.

Friday, some of the spinners at our benefit were spinning golden fur. It was mixed with a little something else, but it was so pretty and soft.

kks said...

Happy B-day to Ellie!
my Tahoe is a Dichi!! too bizarre....it is much like adopting a child. they do have a beautiful facility and the dogs are their number 1 priority....
tahoe's mom is Dancer and dad is Gambler...how great to know!

Ruth said...

What a lovely tribute to a loyal friend! We have had two springers spaniels. We did not take care to check their breeding background and had trouble with both. The male had "springer rage" and would attack and bite with no warning. We took him for professional training but it did not help. We had to put him down when our children were born...still so sad.

kks said...

yes, a very common comment when i see a beautiful golden.."is it a dichi?" just never thought your girls would be from wisconsin....but instantly knew how beautiful and special they were/are!

Shellmo said...

I loved hearing about Ellie! She is a special beautiful girl! That photo of her w/ 2 tennis balls stuffed in her mouth made me laugh! When we lost our labrador many years ago - I vowed never again - the heartbreak was too much. But like you - I found that our house was missing a dog. We pick up our Bernese baby this Saturday. Happy Birthday to Ellie - please give her lots of doggy smooches from us!!

robin andrea said...

A belated happy birthday to Ellie. She's a beauty. In yiddish, we say a love like that is beshert, it was meant to be.

dAwN said...

Happy birthday Cute furball Ellie!

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks everyone.

Tutta - Thanks for dropping by.

Rudee - We have some spinners in town who do love Golden hair. Some of them make beautiful pieces with the yarn.

kks - I had no idea that Tahoe was a Dichi Golden, but I can see the traits in her. We lived in a Milwuakee suburb when we got Ellie and two years later when we got Lucy. I can't say enough good things about them.

Robin - Yes, that word fits perfectly.

1000 Goldens said...

That was the sweetest, most beautiful post! Happy Birthday Miss Ellie!!

TSannie said...

There is nothing better than being owned by a dog. Nothing. Happy birthday sweet Ellie!

George said...

What a wonderful tribute to your perfect companion. Happy Birthday, Ellie!

YD, sometimes with Samantha & June said...

Happy Belated Woofday Ellie! It's great that you have this wonderful family. You are very beautiful!

YD, with Samantha & June