Gus was waiting for her when she stepped off Rainbow Bridge.
He greeted her, canine fashion, with a good sniff. “Welcome, Ella. Good to see you. You’ll find lots of friends here – Meggie, Bud, Antonio, Molly, Chelsa, Wren, Jamieson, Penny, Gordy and Bart.”
The two former Dog House buddies gamboled away to find the others, pain and disability forgotten now.
Ella, when she lived on this planet, was an Airedale. She was a regular, though infrequent visitor to The Dog House. Our whole family, canine and human, was fond of her and her human, Tricia.
Ella had her own particular take on Airedale ears which would never have passed Airedale “standard” but which gave her a distinctively ‘Ella’ look. Add rimless spectacles and, voila, “the absent-minded professor.”
In one hip she had a metal plate, the result of being hit by a car in her younger years. Her mobility was not impaired other than jumping up, which she never seemed inclined to do anyway. We all felt that sitting outside on frosty grass was not good for her plated joint. She disagreed. We called, we cajoled, we lured, all to no avail as Ella turned her head away in disdain and made her own decisions as to when she’d come inside.
Her dignified demeanor barely disguised the mischievous delight contained in that black and tan wire-haired body. As we headed out on a morning trek to the lower field, she trembled impatiently at the gate, ready to explode with the others in the open space beyond. I smile when I think of Ella, as I was always aware of her sense of delight and humor about the world around her.
Until very recently, Ella loved to join the pack for the field trek when they all tore around like canines possessed. The field for her, though, was more an opportunity to freshen her favorite fragrance – “eau de sheep poop”. When there were horses down in the field, Ella was denied access on her mother’s orders. No amount of bathing would remove the pungent odor of horse manure!
I don’t think dogs are appreciative of our choices of perfume either.
“Woo, woo, woo,“ was Ella’s way of adding her opinion to any conversation and by changing the tone slightly, she requested a head rub.
When Ella got excited, humans stand firm! She didn’t hesitate to come through legs with no regard whatever for the length of the legs. Each of us experienced that uplifting experience from time to time. It never failed to evoke a laugh.
Jaunty, joyful Ella. Gone at age 8, like Gus, too soon.
We, who loved her, are grateful for the many wonderful memories of “Ella the Belle”.
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