Because she was “just” a dog

I don’t consider myself much of a writer, I tend to be more visual, hence the reason I chose to be a photographer.  However, I felt compelled to put a few words in writing, followed by MANY photos in an attempt to share my story of our life with our dog, “Ella”.  Perhaps this is my own way to grieve over the loss of someone who was very special to me and my family.  Perhaps it is my way to say to others “I know how you feel” when they go through a similar situation with their beloved pet.

Recently, we had to make the difficult decision to have Ella euthanized due to her diagnosis of a cancerous tumor on her spleen that had spread to her lungs.  It hit us like a ton of bricks, we did not see it coming as she was fine the week before.  All of a sudden, she was not eating during the week that led up to her diagnosis. Just two short days later, her health had declined immensely and it was too painful to watch her suffer. That was the day my whole family brought her back to the vet and had to put her to sleep.

As a way of coping with this loss,  I decided to sit down and look through all of the photos that I took of our beloved dog “Ella” over these short 8 years.   As I scrolled through the images, fond memories with her came flooding back to my mind.  I found it incredibly soothing for me as it allowed me to realize how very blessed we were to have this amazing creature in our lives. Her life wasn’t anything dramatic, she was simple, she wanted to love us and hoped we would love her back. It was in these everyday simple moments where she made us laugh, and made us feel loved.

Ella taught us how to love.  Her love for our family was unconditional. She witnessed both the good and the bad days, she never barked back, she may have lowered her tail and walked away with her feelings hurt. But she was always quick to forgive and forget.

This is her journey with us.  I hope you will enjoy looking at these photos as much as I do. Some are simply snapshots with a cell phone and some were strategically planned out. Either way, I think the images are a true reflection of her spirit and soul.

Ella was ‘just a dog” but she was a true friend and part of our family.

Because she was just a dog, she always forgave me when I was in a bad mood.  Because she was just a dog, she loved me at my worst. For her, a walk was a gift and she only needed food, a comfortable place to lay down and a butt rub to have the best day ever.  Because she was just a dog, she never let me down, never held a grudge and never got mad. She was the perfect companion and the perfect friend,  solely because she was just a dog.

Because being just a dog was exactly what I needed from her.

And I just lost a piece of my heart.

ella face 2

Christmas Morning.  Her first day with us at 6 months old.ella christmas 2

Mount Major hike to the top. I am not sure she recognized how beautiful the view was, because her eyes were always on us.Ella hikes 2

Ella hikes

One of my favorite places and her favorite places to roam free was at my parents farm in Upstate, NYella field 2ella field

The only thing better than hanging out at the ocean, is hanging out at the ocean with your dog.

It is a lesson in nature and freedom.ella beach 2
ella beach 1

A boater’s best friend, always on the lookout.ella boat 2ella boat 1ella boat 3Finding fish or finding her reflection… to this day we are not sure which one was more captivating for her.ella water 1

Smelly dog, wet dog, it’s a package deal. In a heartbeat I would take it all back.ella bathella face 1Always by your side not wanting to miss a moment.Ella snow 1

Christmas memories, always ready and waiting…ella santa

But not always very eager to help clean up or help give a pushella helping hand 2

Thank God for kids and dogs, to always find the funny in lifeella and kids

She was a true New Englander, loves the snow…ella snow 4

ella snow 2

ella snow 3

and loves life.ella field 3

She is always willing to lend a hand….ella helping hand…but sometimes she is just a lazy dog. And I can’t say I blame her.ella lounging

A great man and a great dog.

“She might be only part of your life, but for her,  you are her everything, the only person in her whole life.”

ella daddy 1

Dog is a man’s best friend, if you will be her friend, she will love you forever. (horse too!)ella companion

Animals are such agreeable friends -they ask no questions, they pass no criticism. Best buddies.ella and pekoe

The sad face I often see as I leave the house, either at my office window, or at the front door.  Waiting patiently for my return.ella in and out

My walking pal, my right hand man, my company when the going gets tough; who joins me on the sunniest of days as well as the dark gloomy days.ella by my side

“The last day”

Below is Ella on her last day with us.  Our cat, Pekoe, her best buddy, offering some last minute love and a last kiss. It was as if he knew his friend was not going to be around much longer.

True love and true animal instinct.Ella last day

And I know there is a special place where your soul will reside, if it is not our same heaven, it is one just as awesome.ella face 3

“Good dogs are with us for a little while to teach us how to love like it’s our job…because it is.” ~Leigh Standley

You will always in our hearts and minds.

-Your forever family-

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