Friday, November 11, 2016

Remembering Ellie

Two lovely Golden Retrievers on a beautiful Autumn day in 2013.  Our Lucy on the left and our Ellie on the right, taking an enforced rest break from romping in the leaves.  Both were the picture of health.  In fact they had their annual exams a month before and the veterinarian pronounced them perfect.  October 30 was a perfect day in DuPont State Forest.

 The pedestrian bridge over Little River near the trail where the dogs were running.  It was new then.

 The wide and empty trail ahead.

Who could have predicted on this gorgeous Autumn day that our beloved Ellie would be dead in less than a fortnight?  November 10th.  It was on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  My husband had taken both girls out for a walk.  They were both active and happy.  When they got back to the house, Ellie abruptly collapsed at the top of the driveway.  She would not or could not get up.  My husband ran inside and we quickly put her in his SUV and drove to the emergency hospital, calling them on the way there.

When we got there the veterinarian told us immediately that she suspected a massive internal bleed from a hemangiosarcoma, a cancer of the blood vessel walls.  It is usually on the spleen or lining of the heart.  This cancer is more common in Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and German Shepherds.  Mean age is 9-12 years old.  The first symptom is often a sudden collapse.  Ellie definitely fit the profile.

They rushed her back to the operating room, but she died on the table.  She had bled into the lining of her heart.

She was a lovely dog, but her looks were unimportant compared to her temperament.  She was the very definition of loyalty.  Quick to learn and eager to please.
The closest thing to a perfect dog that we will ever see.

 She never wandered far, always stopping and looking back for us

 Trying her best to look regal while holding her tennis balls.
She carried at least one ball and usually two most of the time.

 Like all Goldens, she was an adorable puppy.

Ellie was the canine love of my life.  We will have other dogs, but there will never again be a bond such as the one between Ellie and me.  She understood my every mood.  And I will miss her forever.

Today's quote is attributed to Dr. Seuss.  It gives me a great deal of comfort.

Don't cry because it's over
Smile because it happened.

Our thoughts go out to our neighbors in western NC where the mountains are ablaze.  The air is hazy here but none of the fires are sufficiently close to put us in danger at present.  We remain very concerned because of the exceptional drought conditions (the category worse than extreme) throughout the mountains and no rain in sight.  Rivers are carrying less than half their usual flow volume.  The fallen leaves are very dry.  The pine needles are brown and falling off, making for frightening tinder for a potential fire.  Thousands of acres are burning and only one of the fires is more than 15% contained.

This is Veteran's Day here in the United States.  We honor all of those who serve, now and in the past.

[You remember when I said last week I wanted the election to be over?  No matter what the outcome?  I LIED!  It is so much worse than I feared.  I'll never look at my fellow citizens in the same way again.  Ever.]



Barbara Rogers said...

Thanks for sharing the lovely photos of your dear one. I'm so glad she was part of your life. As a friend of mine said, since she was part of your life, you didn't miss having her in your didn't miss her. But of course you always will just a bit.

Anonymous said...

I always think of Ellie on Fridays, when the posts were always called the Golden Girls. I can't believe it's been three years already. I miss her, and I never met her. But her beautiful self shone through all of your photos, and your love for her was a clue to her lovely nature. Love lasts a lifetime.

Our hearts are broken by the election outcome. Such a time in our country, such a time.

Vicki Lane said...

The two ball picture is my favorite. Such a beautiful girl with just that touch of silliness.

May the rains come soon . . .

Vicki Lane said...

And re the election . . . alas for the end of innocently believing that as a country, we were basically good people.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Your Ellie was a beauty! Sometimes a few extra special dogs really touch your heart and you miss them forever:)

Cheryl said...

I had tears in my eyes reading your post. Dear Ellie, such a beautiful dog.
We were in Cornwall recently. We met a couple of goldies on the beach. Our Son threw the tennis balls for them. How could I not think of you and your delightful dogs. We never forget those who had a special place in our heart.
Human or animal, they all have a place.

I am concerned about the droughts worldwide. I do so hope rain comes your way soon..........

As for your election, I make no comment on what I feel but I was surprised by the result.

Have a good weekend.

Nance said...

Oh, my. Such a poignant post in so many ways. Loss and Grief are terrible emotions. Would that they were as fleeting as their happier counterparts.

As to the election, I offer this from Yeats:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I was thinking of you when I read about the NC fires; prayers that they're contained soon.
Such a sweet post about Ellie. I had a good cry thinking of my Mom a few minutes before reading, my tear valve was WIDE open and I shed some for you and Ellie too. Such a precious girl.
We'll all get through this....hopefully unscathed.
Have a great weekend!

KB said...

You sent me that quote when K died - and I have thought of it often. It takes a long time to be able to smile but I've made it there.

Ellie was a beauty, and her eyes told the story of her fierce loyalty and love for you. It's so hard to process a sudden death like hers. I know how you've struggled, and I understand. I don't think anyone gets over a death of such a beloved friend but they somehow get used to the loss.

As for the election, how I wish that we hadn't fallen into this abyss. I am working on ideas for how to take the outrage felt by many to energize a positive cause involving respect for others, even those who are different from you.

joared said...

Lovely dogs and know how painful losing one can be to death or otherwise as I've experienced in the past, also. Looks like beautiful country there. I've visited many states around the country but not that one. You share some of the same issues we experience periodically here in Southern California -- pretty consistently now the drought, and in recent past for both of us the spiking of gasoline prices due to sudden lack of availability.

Wonder how insulated you are from dissensions as a consequence of this recent election -- I highly recommend reading this commentary I became aware of just today. She's a prominent highly respected 49 year old Russian and American Journalist Masha Gessen who has had first hand experience as a citizen of both countries:

Arkansas Patti said...

The tennis balls always makes me smile. They may leave us but we never forget once they have burrowed into our hearts. I love that quote--it fits so well the loss of a loved one and should remind pet owners that the trip is so worth the inevitable pain.

Golden Samantha said...

I am so sorry to read about Ellie. We are just coming back to blogworld, as the internet is having cruel places these days. Cancer sucks - I can't tell you how many goldens I know of have succumbed to hemangio and I feel so badly for you. We just try to savor every day with Sammie and Ava, as I know you did with beautiful Ellie and now sweet Lucy. We send hugs and thanks for posting those lovely pictures. Also send best wishes for happy howlidays.
Sammie and Ava

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

A sad post indeed and I'm sure it is difficult for you to recall. Ellie was surely a wonderful companion and pet and yiur continuing love for her is so evident in this post and others. She definitely lives on in your hearts.

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

Vicki - I sadly believe you are correct.

Nance - Sadly appropriate

joared - Thanks for dropping by. Thanks for the link to a thought-provoking article.

KB - wise thoughts. But it appears that DJT's appointment of Bannon indicates there won't be room for respect for others. It simply won't be on his agenda.

Sammie and Avalon - What a treat to hear from you again.

Louvregirl said...

:( This touches my heart right now.

Lowcarb team member said...

With tears in my eyes ... such a beautiful and most poignant post.

All the best Jan