Ella was diagnosed with Syringomyelia and taught me more in her short life about how to live life to the fullest, love with all your heart, and learn from each other.

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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.

Friday, May 31, 2013

“The Little Cavalier that Could”- What does Fight for Ella Mean?

I did not know what love was, until the day Ella came into my arms.

I started this blog when I learned Ella had Syringomyelia. I had some awareness of the condition and mentioned to her vet my concerns but he kept ruling it out. This was over 3 years ago and many people had never heard of this condition. I was shocked when the neurologist said she had a severe case and he couldn’t tell me how long she had to live. It could be three months or much longer. I wanted answers. I wanted to know what to expect and the hard part is there is no way of knowing because it is not that simple. Three years later and there is better medical management but there are still a lot of things we don’t know. Like other health problems, progression can vary. Some may do well on certain medications and others not. It is so hard to know but that is exactly what I wanted and needed. I now know that the future is not predictable. It was not her SM (syringomyelia) that caused her to live a short life, but an obstruction. In the beginning the fight was about fighting for her life. I did not know how long she would be with me. I felt hopeless and the only thing I felt I could do was to write about her experience.

Why did I start this blog?-

I wanted raise awareness of the condition of Syringomyelia but later it became much more. I was so scared when I found out her condition and I felt that I spent too long going back and forth to the vet when she could have been treated much earlier. I felt if people had an awareness of the symptoms they would be able to treat their dog much earlier than I did and not have the frustration of continued vet visits. I am now glad that I did because it is filled with posts of my emotions good and bad that I can read over again. Even though I feel her at times still and think of her often, I will always have this piece of her and she will live on.

Why has it been so long since I have posted?


I have to think about this and it is hard to say but it is important. I don’t want to remember Ella by having Syringomyelia define her. This blog is dedicated to her fight and the majority of the posts are about her health. I feel health is very important but that is not what defined her. She was so much more. I have tears in my eyes writing these words. She was so special in many ways and she touched every person she met. I feel she was my angel but I could see how it would not just me who experienced her love. A friend said recently, “Ella did no wrong. No dog can compare to her”. I guess he did not remember the pee stains on his carpet when he said that. He also didn’t have a brand new pair of expensive shoes ruined during her puppyhood.

What does Fight for Ella mean Today?

"The Future is no Place to Place your Better Days
Dave Matthews Band

I wrote that I didn’t want Ella to be remembered for Syringomyelia but now looking back on things her strength and positive attitude. I think there is a lot I and others can learn from her experience. Learn about how you can be a positive aspect within the breed or to others. At the nursing home, I could see life come into others eyes the moment they touched her. She gave me strength but it really should have been me being strong for her. She was attacked by a dog, yet she was able to forgive. She continued to greet each person or dog with her wagging tail.

Try to enjoy each day you have with each other and realize they are walking beside you.

Most importantly, don’t let the hard times close you off to allowing others enter your life again. It was hard going through what I did with Ella but I now have Elton who is his own character with his own lessons to teach me.