Wednesday, June 29, 2011

learn from ella; the 4th of july. take time to enjoy life



Enjoying the water and surfing (not quite)


This is a tough time for me because every year my family goes to pawleys island for the 4th of july. All my brothers and sisters (besides my half-brother on my fathers side) is there with their husbands or wives along with their children. I don't have a husband and children, I had ella. That why its hard but I want to tell this story because there is a lesson learned from last year.


Last year ella had a blast! She would spend part of the day at day care because mom didn't want her in the house, but I would pick her up and drop her off several times a day. Its very hot so she couldn't be outside all day. I was extremely protective of her with her SM, but I let that go when I saw how happy she was playing on the beach with everyone.


These memories are so valuable now but also was what I learned. She had several days of activity which can aggravate some and it had a toll on her.  All those fun times we had added up and when the 4th of july came, she had one of the worse days.


This is the post I wrote last year that explains exactly what I was feeling at the time. http://fightforella.blogspot.com/2010/07/4th-of-july-and-suddenly-dont-feel-like.html She would not move and she was rubbing her face. I could see the pain in her eyes and it killed me. She mostly slept but she went from this happy cavalier to one that was hurting. I felt so guilty, scared, upset and I wanted to take it back. How could I do that to her? Thinking back, its not that I *made* her run. I didn't make her do anything, she did it herself and loved being around everyone and playing. If she didn't, I would have taken her back to day care because I was at this time extremely limiting her activity and protective of her.


I cried and cried all day. The night of the 4th, my sisters family and I go to my dads house. There is a dinner with tons of people, jump castles and games for the children, music, drinks and dancing for the adults. The night ends with one of the most beautiful display of fireworks that I can her the oohs and ahhs as I write this.


I don't even think I could eat. I told everyone I had to go back to the house to be with ella. Ella was asleep and was fine but I needed to be with her. I felt so bad and I just couldn't enjoy anything without her. We snuggled together and then when I started to hear the fireworks in the distance, we went outside to look. I walked a little up the street, standing on my toes and trying to see it through the trees.


The next morning ella was back to herself. I wrote to a group about this and how terrible I felt. I remember one guy said something that I will remember forever. He asked me if I ever have done something that I really enjoyed but felt bad the next day but would still do it again if you could? I thought of dinner and wine with my girlfriends staying up late chatting and having fun. The next day, I would be tired but it was worth it. We have all had those times. Maybe snow skiing and waking up sore but it was so much fun.


Granted this week was a little too much but the moral of the story is something that I valued. I started to take time to let ella enjoy things in life. She loved going to the park, playing with other dogs, chasing birds, and holding her back for fear that it would be too much wouldn't be a life for her. I was well tuned in to how she was doing and when enough was enough. I am glad I made myself not keep her from doing things and actually take time to actually do things each day.


Pawley's Island Parade


Nana (mom) and Ella


Looking for sea shells in the surf- One of her favorite things!


Look at that smile! How much fun she was having!


Looking for birds and enjoying the scene


Maybe I see a fish


Watching Bobby ride a wave in


Got to be where the action is and make sure that everyone is ok. I'm a good watch dog!


Can you spot Ella? 

Some of my family enjoying the parade




Learn from ella; its ok to have fun and take a break to enjoy life.

3 comments:

Sheila said...

I know you will miss Ella this year. She loved life and you gave her a great life while she was here. You are a great mom Anne. Thanks for sharing♥

Alane said...

What gret memories Anne...you will always have them to remember the good times with Ella...

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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.