“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.” Author unknown
The moment I first held Ella, my world changed. She has touched so many people giving love as a therapy dog but now it is time to give back. No matter how hard she tries to give, her eyes show sadness and pain.
I could say that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are the best breed, but a more accurate statement is they are the best breed for me. My cousin has a weimaraner but she runs marathons and is active which did not run in the family. That dog is perfect for her. Could I see her with a Cavalier, no. Then there are the dogs that have functions, like police dogs, working dogs on farms, the hunters, watch dogs, etc. None of those fit my need.
I have always been in love with dogs. I used to draw the same dog over and over again when I was young. It just so happens that the dog looked exactly like Ella. Maybe I got the picture from the move Lady and the Tramp, or maybe I knew something about the future dog that would steal my heart. When I searched for a dog, I did not look for someone who had that image. Even though I think they are beautiful, I had a different reason for wanting one. I needed a dog that would show me the affection that I needed. I wanted a dog that would be by my side and want to lay with me in my lap and by my side. I have said that my choosing to have a dog was because I was in a difficult place and depressed. Someone (I don't think of her as a dog) that loved me unconditionally would be just what I needed. That might sound selfish but it was a mutual bond that I can not even describe.
When I was young I went through my parents divorce and it was extremely difficult for me. I got my first dog as a birthday present. Okay buying a child a dog may not be the best decision because Flip (my cocker spaniel) soon became my parents responsibility. However, there were times when I wanted to hide. I would hold on Flip and every thought would make things okay.
When I read about Cavaliers and there eagerness to please, show affection, complete love was what made me know this was the breed for me. Yes, Sex and the City, made me familiar with them, but it was not the social status of this breed or anything else that was my thoughts. When I went to see the puppies from a breeder I researched, I met Ella. She instantly came to me. She was not playing with the others but fell asleep in my arms and on my chest. I heard her heartbeat, I felt the bond and I fell instantly in love. Ella was not one of the puppies for sale. Actually the breeder was going to keep her for breeding. I have said God gave me Ella and maybe another reason was because she having SM would have saved others from this condition. I guess it is more complicated but she was my angel.
I was instantly lightened with joy. I had a purpose to live, and I will always be thankful to her. As I look into her eyes, I see that closeness. I feel so strongly that I sometimes can see to her soul. A dog having a soul maybe a stretch but there is something unique about dogs.
I have read stories and heard from friends about dogs having a sixth sense. I know personally, Ella will know when I am feeling a certain way and come to me for comfort. How can a dog sense that. The amazing tales of dogs and cats and knowing things before they occur. Recently you may have read the story of Ollie the cat at a nursing home who could tell before a person died. Scientist might say it is because of certain smells etc. but any explanation still remains that this story shows that the future is known before. I have a friend that a lab found a spot of cancer and saved her owner before anything was detected. There are many stories of animals knowing people are sick before.
What about the ability to tell an earthquake is about to happen. Coming home several months later and miles away. So many stories but one that stole my heart was the story of HACHIKO. I watched the Richard Gere movie on this legendary dog in tears. It is a tail of devotion and a bond I feel with Ella. http://www.northlandakitas.com/hachiko.htm tells the legend of this dog that even after his owners death, would go everyday at the same time to the train station awaiting the return of his beloved friend.
I really suggest reading this or watching the movie. If you thought Marley and Me was a tear jerker, then it is even more.
To sum up my story of Ella is pretty simple. I wanted a dog to have a bond with. To share a mutual affection and love that I so long desired. I look at her everyday and I feel it. Some people thing of dogs as pets, some family, some I hate to think of but I think of Ella as a love that I have in my heart that will live on forever.