It is a three dog life. Ellie had enough spirit, I thought she'd live more than one lifetime. She is/was the dog of my adulthood and the dog of my daughter's youth.
She died today. She was eighteen. In dog years she was eighty-eight.
Like the majority of our pets, she was a rescue dog.We found her at the local animal control shelter.
When my daughter was very young we would go to the pound on weekends to pet the dogs and cats. We had Sheena, a pure bred Persian cat that had been a grand champion in the 80's, but had been given to us because she had contracted feline leukemia, and although in remission, she was a danger to the other cats in the cattery.
I was recently divorced and thought a dog would restore some normalcy to our family. I was interested in a small dog, but small dogs don't generally like small children. I finally decided a medium-sized dog would be best. I wasn't interested in a farm dog, but when Ellie jumped up and wrapped her paws around my daughter's neck, she begged Mommy please! ,we brought her home.
Although Ellie was affectionate and even tempered, it was apparent she had been abused. She had a nic in her ear, was skittish around men and trucks, loud noises, and the broom, and the ironing board. It took her a very long time to get used to my husband, and men in general. She never got used to the ironing board.
She was a blue healer border collie mix, a hardy breed that is loyal, physically tough, and a sheepdog herder by instinct. When my daughter was a toddler, Ellie herded her around the back yard. Up until recently, she always nosed the back of my legs as she followed me from room to room.
She loved to dig. Nothing could break her of digging in the yard, or the flower beds. And she loved to run, at break neck speeds. She wore a groove around the house. Certain sounds, like the washer would send her racing around the house.
When we brought Harley home, Ellie indulged his yipping and snapping and accepted him, although she would get jealous, and bark or hold his favorite toy under her paw, if he was getting too annoying or too much attention.
Christmas day she was disoriented, and in the following days of this week, she slowly faltered.
She loved us. We loved her. She will be missed