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.