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Monday, June 11, 2012

Happy Ella Day!

Today is Ella Day!!!
And here you thought it was just a regular, ol' Monday.... nope- seven years ago today we adopted sweet Ella (then known as "Jelly";) from the SPCA in Dallas
A year and three months prior to this date seven years ago our first pound-puppy, Kelsey, died at age 11.  I was sad and missed her (still do) so much.  Every time Dan and I went to our favorite Mexican food restaurant (Herrera's on Maple for you Dallas people and, tell Nora we sent you!) I would say "Lets go to the SPCA today and look at the dogs," since it was fairly close to the restaurant.  And every time, Dan would say "Really?!"  and I would reply "No." 
I just wasn't ready.
But for some reason on this day I said "Yes, but just to look!" 
So, after lunch we walked into the SPCA, greeted all the puppies and walked to the room with the cages with the older dogs (both of our dogs have been a little over one year when we adopted them), and there she was- in the very first cage with her cellmate Olivia.   She looked me right in the eye and never lost eye contact with me.  (Making eye contact is criteria one for me when looking for a dog to adopt.  You can't train them easily if they won't look you in the eye.) Olivia, the cellmate, was hyper- bouncing, jumping and excited and sweet, calm little Ella just sat behind her wagging and looking at me, and waited for her turn.  I fell in love on the spot even though she looked nothing like what I had anticipated our next dog would look like- I was thinking Benji.  But, here she was-  another black dog like our sweet Kelsey.  (btw- I have literally heard college educated people say that black dogs are inherently mean..... seriously??  I'm always surprised by how stupid some supposedly smart people can be.  It is a fact though, that black dogs don't get adopted from shelters as quickly as other light coat dogs.  I always love the unloved (house, dog), so I'm thinking that probably plays into my love of black dogs!) 
Dan walked on to look at all the other dogs, but I couldn't take my eyes off of the little scrawny black dog they had dubbed "Jelly"!  I suppose they named her that because when she is happy she wiggles and waggles and as they say in the south.... "It must be jelly, cuz jam don't shake like that!"  We took her out of the cage and spent a long time with her and really liked her.  Then.... we put her back in the cage and we went home. 
 I left her there wanting to make sure I wasn't making such a big decision on a whim (remember we were supposed to be just "looking"!)  My last sighting of her that day was of a young couple standing in front of their cage. 
The next morning (seven years ago today) we woke up and couldn't get back to the pound fast enough.  I walked into the big dog room and Olivia and Jelly's cage was empty My heart sank.  But, after walking the isle we found them in a different cage!  I scooped her up as fast as I could and never put her down until we had her home!
 As I sat with her in my lap in the lobby of the SPCA while Dan wrote the check a woman came up and told me how she had once had a doberman and what wonderful dogs they were.  WHAT??  Did I just unknowingly adopt a doberman?  We've always adopted mutts, so we've never even taken notice of breed dogs.  I was a bit panicked for days as I had had a run in with a large, mean dobie once while jogging in my early twenties and was a bit fearful.  But after a couple of days I realize that breed doesn't make a dog mean, and that no matter what she was she was sweet and precious and our life would never be the same!
  To this day we always get asked what kind of dog she is and we proudly say... she's a mutt from the pound!  To which "Oh, those are the best kind!" is often the reply.  So true!  People like to offer their opinion;) as to what breeds she has in her and we have heard everything from doberman, dachshund, pit bull, greyhound, lab, rottweiler, to Louisiana coon hound!   Whatever heinz57 mix she is, if I could duplicate it and market it we could be millionaires!
Ella was a stray and some kind person found her and brought her to the pound.
To that person I am forever grateful.

These are the first photos I took of her after getting her home.  She didn't have a name until about a week later since I had just been "looking" the day we found her! 

She developed kennel cough on day two and I knew she was the best girl when she would sit on the velvet sofa with a kleenex under her little dripping nose!

Her given;) name is Ellazene!  It was my great aunt's name (Southern) and I have always loved it! 
She actually answers to a lot of names:  Ellazene, Ella, El, Sweet Potata (I've always thought her head was shaped like a sweet potato!  And, yes- it's pronounced "po-tay-ta" :), Sweet Potata Salad, Sweet Potata Salad Head, Sweet Potata Pot Pie,  Love Bug, Bugs, Bugs Bunny...   It might confuse a lesser dog:)
She was a little over a year old when we adopted her, which makes her 8 years old today, and it was obvious she hadn't experience much in life.  We have done our best to rectify that!!
When we brought her home we stood on opposite sides of our backyard with the intent to have her run between us.  Ella is fast- she runs like the wind.  She easily ran to each of us, but had no idea she was supposed to stop and literally ran into us (hard) and knocked us over!  After about three direct body hits she learned to slow down/stop and we learned to step out of the way!  

Our sweet girl now.  Loved by many and well-traveled!  Ella's been to 26 states, many states multiple times!  She has stepped into both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans!
all photos by me

Ella loves Home Depot!  Here she is visiting with her friend Lois- she loves Lois!   Ella is giving Lois a "high five" and hoping that Lois has a treat on her (which she usually does!)
One day last month I made a quick run into this (our favorite) Home Depot, so I didn't take Ella in with me.  I then let Ella out in the open field next to the fenced-in plant area of Home Depot.  As Ella was out by herself in the middle of the field sniffing around I heard a voice yell.... "ELLA!!!!  IS THAT YOU ELLA?!!"  Ella whips around and sees her friend Lois who had spotted her roaming the field and recognized her!  We hadn't seen Lois in a couple of months, so Ella was very happy to see her and visa versa!

Ella likes to antique shop.  Here she is at Bowerbird- a wonderful shop in Peterborough.  If you stop in tell them Ella sent you!

Ella waits patiently while I talk to friends.

  Ella loves riding carts.  Without prompting she'll jump on a cart!

This is Ella playing with her beau-friend Gus!  Gus loves carrying sticks and logs around!  He is a big love, and he and Ella are best buds.  When Ella sees Gus she'll twirl 5- 7 times fast!  I've been told she needs a tutu!

Here they are together on a walk.... Ella deciding it's time to take Gus' stick away from him.... or try!

Ella loves the bank and toll booths as sometimes they give her cookies.

Ella loves snow and, like us, has taken to living in New Hampshire quite easily!

Ella driving! (I know I've shown this before, but it always makes me laugh!)

Ella loves Maine and running on the beach.  There is usually another dog or two there to play with which makes it that much more fun!

Ella loves her "babies" and plays with them, but is very gentle... though sometimes after a good game of tug-a-war the babies have to go to the infirmary!

Ella, like her Mama, loves a bit of the bubbly too;)  Here she is at the liquor store!

If she doesn't go into Lowe's with us employees literally ask "Where's Ella?!"

Ella has a bit of a reputation as the girl who is always wearing a different collar!:)

Here she is shopping at another favorite antique mall... 
can you tell New Hampshire is very dog friendly?!!  They love their dogs here.

Ella's a very diligent shopper, always sniffing out a bargain :)!

Ella likes to go to the dump with Dan.  As you can see she's very helpful in sorting the recyclables;)

Ella helping hold down that misbehaving peat moss bale.

Sometimes people come to Ella's house and take pictures, but that's just fine with her.  She's there to help if they need anything.

It's not easy being Ella.... but some puppy has to do it!!

This is Ella's favorite spot at the end of a wintry day.... on a fur throw in the barn room.  I think she thinks it's her "birth" Mama (as opposed to her "earth" Mama, which is me!)

She is the best hugger and she adores Dan.

This is a puppy hug and there are not many things better in the whole world!

Ella eyeing her Mama's champagne!
It's good to be Ella!!
I wish I could thank the kind person who brought Ella to the pound seven years ago.  Little did they know the gift of daily love and joy that their action would bring to us. 
Ella sends you a wag and a wiggle!
And, I wish you a Happy Ella Day!!

If you read my blog you know that I am a huge advocate for adopting pound/shelter/rescue group dogs.  I hope that if you are ever looking for a dog (even if looking for a purebred- there are many purebred rescue groups) that you will consider adopting.  And, please don't rule out the older dog...
you will not regret it!



  1. I wish Ella could come visit Rudy and WAlly and teach them manners. Hee Hee.
    Sweet post.

  2. Happy Ella Day! I hope you have many more happy years together!

  3. Love your Ella. Looks like she is in a great home.

  4. What a sweet story about a sweet dog. Ella's lucky to have you and Dan and visa versa. Bless your hearts for adopting her.


    p.s. I enjoy your blog.

  5. Clearly, Joan, Ella has you right where she wants you. :) Too cute. Loved the pic of her with your husband. Were that every animal, including human animal children, had it as good as Miss Ella.

    Marla in Columbus

  6. Congratulations on celebrating sweet Ella's adoption day! I, too, am an advocate for adoption and adoption of older dogs. I adore this post, and chuckled at many of the photos. Ella is one lucky dog, and you and Dan are lucky also to have found her. Isn't fate wonderful? I hope you have many more happy years together.

    You are such a great pet owner, I can't help but ask if you've considered adopting a second dog. I think having two is really nice. They have each other to play with and cuddle with. It can make life very entertaining.

  7. What a wonderful post, full of love. Ella is quite a girl. Don't you just love how when a dog comes into our lives, they are ALL OVER our lives? We become intertwined.
    What a wonderful day when you found each other.

  8. Your Ella has the sweetest, kindest face. She reminds me of my sister's big black dog, Bella - also a gentle and loving dog - so much for the thought that black dogs are mean. What a weird idea!
    Our Rory is our first pet in 39 years who wasn't a rescue. After two rescued Cairns, we knew we really wanted another, and Rory was born just down the road from Pondside.

  9. Great blog. Ella is wounderful. I too have a rescue dog and he has been the best most loving dog I could have hoped for.

  10. How lucky you all are to have found each other. I love how Ella goes everywhere with you; how sweet!

    We are a currently dogless home, although we talk about adopting another one from time to time. The best dog we've ever had (my Bailey girl) died recently and I'm not ready to have another dog yet. It'll probably happen a few years down the road, though, no matter how much I say I don't know if we'll ever have another dog.

  11. I love Ella! I wish she could come to my house and teach my Beau a few manners. How lucky you were to have found her and what a lucky girl she is! We should collars...'Beau' really likes the polka dot ones since he is such a goof! Beau doesn't have as many couture options since he has to wear a martingale collar (he likes to duck out of collars!)

  12. She is absolutely adorable! What a lucky mutt she is to find parents like you!

  13. Thanks for the good cry this morning. Our beloved Emma passed away 3 years ago and it still feels like yesterday.

    Ella is our "virtual pet" for now until we are ready to adopt again.

    Wishing you three the very best.
    Karla in CA.

  14. I also now love Ella! What a great dog and her family.

    PS When do we get to see the barn room?!?

  15. what a great post in honor of your sweet pup! We too wish we could hug the person that brought our Prairie in as a stray.

    Thanks for the plug for adopting! there are ALWAYS wonderful dogs waiting to be adopted. we do a lot with our breed rescue ( and it always amazes me how many purebred dogs need a home to.

  16. I adore Ella's story! Oh, and Ella day sounds like a perfect day to me. I'll have to do something special today for my 3 month old Ella =) My 2 critters (Maggie the Lhasa and Bella the Torti) are rescue cases (both incredibly sad and both incredibly lucky to be alive). They are the most incredible pets and we can't imagine our family without them!

  17. Ella is just what I needed to see today. G is back in the hospital and things look grim. Ella is certainly a bright spot. Thanks for sharing. xoxo

  18. thanks for the heart smile

  19. What a sweet post. Home Depot quit allowing dogs in the store here because they sell snacks at the check out. Not very dog friendly here like there.

  20. My husband and I also adopted our dog Tucker almost nine years ago. Tucker is a Lab/Border Collie mix and we love him so much.

    Happy Birthday Ella, from Tucker.

  21. Joan,
    Happy Birthday, Ella. I loved this post. We own 2 shelter doggies, Winnie and Madison...they are the best and we are fortunate here in Irvine, the Irvine Animal Shelter doesn't euthanize doggies or cats. They have a beautiful facility with volunteers who walk and exercise the doggies on the grounds. I've always believed our doggies know we rescued them and are so appreciative...almost as much as we are to have found them!

  22. Oh, my...our furry friends certainly bring such joy to our lives, don't they? Ella has wise and soulful eyes, doesn't she? We have 4 labs...and while they can be a handful sometimes, I can't imagine a day without them.

    Happy Ella Day!!!

    tinab158 at hotmail dot com

  23. Awww! Happy Ella Day! My rescue doggie is amazing. He's on his 3rd surgery in less than a year, so he is definitely the most expensive rescue doggie! He's worth it!

  24. Happy Ella day!!! Until one has Loved an animal, part of their sould remains unawakened. Much joy and happiness to you, Ella and Dan!

  25. Great post on sweet Ella! As the owner of a Maltese mutt, I've been quite surprised and pleased at how well-received Bitsy is when I take her shopping with me. Not only is she welcomed at all of the antique malls that I frequent as well as Lowe's, CVS, Home Depot, etc., but they also love her at the very upscale NorthPark Mall in Dallas. Her favorite store is Neiman's!

  26. What a beautiful story! Ella seems like the sweetest little girl, and she looks EXACTLY like my male dog whom I adopted 5 years ago next week. Happy Ella Day!

  27. This post really pulled at my heart strings today!

    We lost our beloved Liberty, "Libby" last fall while my husband was deployed to Afghanistan. I have said in the past that we would wait a while before getting another dog, as I have a very busy 5 year old, and a husband who flies both commercially, and for the military, and is gone often. It was always my plan to wait until my son was just a few years older, so that he could share some of the responsibility of dog ownership, but my resolve to wait has been melting away lately...

    I love this post about how your sweet Ella came to live with you! And, like you, I have fought going to the pound many times, but I think I am getting close to being ready to find another wonderful dog to love, and bring into our home.

    Thank you for such a lovely post.
    Ella sure is a special girl!

  28. Good for you adopting this gorgeous girl. Shelters need adopters! If only everyone would get themselves a "used" dog, how wonderful that would be. If they are not ready to adopt, they can foster...I am on foster dog #3...a dog with challenges. The first two are in wonderful homes and this boy will be too as soon as he gets his confidence back. Ella is lovely!

  29. Wishing you a bella day on Ella Day!

  30. much older sister SusanJune 11, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Oh our sweet Ella! Knowing her personally I can say that she is the best behaved puppy around. (don't tell Vince and Roxi I said that!) Vince and Roxi still think about her visit here before you moved to New Hampshire.

    Give her a big hug and kiss from me and Doug and Vince and Roxi send many licks.

  31. We got our precious dachshund, Bacon, from the Humane Society here in Houston. He's a complete love. Loves everyone and everyone loves him. The tail wags every waking second. He is such a good companion and a source of continual amusement! They become a family member as much as if they walked upright on two legs, and they make our lives better in every way, don't they? Hugs to Ella!


  32. Thank you for this post...I've been so appreciative of your obvious dog-love since I began reading your blog a year or so ago. Always love your Ella posts!

    After 20+ years in the career commute world, I finally felt able to have a dog again when I changed gears and began to work from home about three years ago.

    I was clear that I wanted an English Setter as I had them in earlier years and love their temperament and personality. I also knew I wanted an adult dog.

    After waiting for 18 months, a four-year-old setter in my area came available. One visit with "Holly" at the SPCA was the clincher and I brought her home and gave her her real name - Feather.

    About a month later Feather began to limp on her right hind leg. The relaxed(something lodged in her foot?), phased diagnostic process,a biopsy showed a cancerous tumor in her foot with no visible signs of metastatic disease.

    I was given two options: 1) try to save her foot/leg with a six month process (all in a cone) including surgery on her foot, eight weeks of daily radiation (60 miles round trip) on the foot IF she could tolerate it, followed by a round of chemotherapy. $20,000 - No guarantee that Feather could even complete the treatment.

    2) Amputate her leg at the hip, two week recovery, excellent chance of a high quality, normal life.

    This was not an easy decision. Having never experienced this with a four-legged family member, I went through weeks of confusion and trepidation. Our vet was a wonderful, supportive non-judgemental caregiver for us all. The oncology referral vet said clearly that if it were his choice he would amputate as it is so much more humane for the dog.

    Finally, I called my daughter's friend (mine too) who finished vet school last year (UC Davis). She advised that the amputation would be best for Feather and all the family.

    It was this loving, supportive conversation that allowed me to decide for the amputation and I am so glad I did. A year later Feather is great, still runs like the wind and wiggles her tail feathers like always. Often people meeting her for the first time don't even notice her missing leg at first.

    Anyways, long story but happy one. :)

  33. Happy Ella Day! Thanks for sharing the wonderful photos and story. I hope you have many, many years of Ella Days in the future. There is nothing like the love from a loyal dog. Nothing.

  34. Happy Ella day! What a beautiful and sweet post, about a cute, much loved pup!

    I laughed out loud at your list of names for Ella, my husband and I thought we were the only people that called our dog by multiple names!

    Thank you for sharing! Elizabeth

  35. Happy Ella Day! She won the puppy lottery. Thank you for adopting and promoting adoption of older dogs.

  36. Lovely post Joan! Ella has such a sweet face, you can tell she adores you and Dan - that's lovely! We adopted a shelter dog last year - a mutt (age 2-3) and we love him. The way he looks up at me melts my heart - every time!!! Happy birthday Ella!


  37. She is adorable and is lucky to have found such a great home with you guys! Love that you take her everywhere with you too.

  38. What a wonderful tale about your much loved doggin' I had an Auntie named Ella. Her full name, Ella Bertha Henrietta. Swedish.
    Give Ella a scratch behind the ear for me!!

  39. I always enjoy reading posts about your beautiful home and life in New Hampshire (I live in Houston). I love it when you write about Ella! She is such a special dog and I wish her many more Ella Days with you and Dan.

    Our family adopted a rescue boxer two years ago, and we just LOVE her! She is the best and I think she knows she hit the jackpot with us.

  40. What a delicious love story. I adored Ella from the git-go. So glad she's in a home where she is loved and treasured.

  41. Oh my goodness it IS good to be Ella. She has quite the life. You can just tell that she has such a sweet nature. My sweet dog Scout ( a girl) is sitting at my feet as I type this. Houston is not nearly as dog friendly ..Scout does not get around nearly as much as Miss Ella.

    Happy Ella day!!!

  42. I am not a dog person but sure am a bubbly person!! Nice post. We adopted a cat from the RSPCA (here in Australia) and we were chosen by a 2 year old cat.

  43. Joan,
    I love this post. How silly people can be about black dogs. The dog we had before we had the current trio was adopted from our local shelter. He was a 100-pound rottweiler mix, black, and four and a half years old when we took him home. He was a wonderful, wonderful dog. Well-behaved from the start and what a good personality.

    It's a mistake to pass up the older pets at shelters. They have lots to offer.

    By the way, we just adopted a new cat, about a month ago. He's nine years old and has fit right into our household.

    Hope all is well!

  44. Joan, Dan, and ELLA!!! Happy Ella Day! Cindy

  45. every dog and cat i've ever had was gotten on the day we just went to look. what a special story of love joan. she is priceless. xo

  46. Hi Joan, Well, I can't remember if I've ever written a comment on your wonderful blog; but I'll have to assume that I haven't. Two years ago this week, my husband and I (married 39 years) sold our beloved home in Shelburne, Vermont and moved to near Austin, TX to be closer to our son and twin grandbabies and begin a new chapter in our lives. While you were experiencing all the joys of relocating to the beautiful state of New Hampshire, we were acquainting ourselves with Round Rock and all things Austin. Many of the experiences that you've written about, we've had too, kind of in reverse. I must say how much I enjoy your blog and how moved I was today to read the post about Ella's Day. You're a great story teller, Joan, and this was just the best in every way. My Mom used to call all our pound mutts that we adopted through the years ~ 'Heinz 57's', so that analogy really made me smile. Your home and your talent (along with Dan's) has always captivated me and I've truly loved reading all your posts since finding your blog about a year ago. Sending warm temps and sunshine from Central Texas ~ and wishing you all the best that life and love have to offer! Nan P.

  47. Ella is a treasure. Who wouldn't love such a sweetie. My Bella is a rescue dog as well and she is my best friend. Thanks for sharing Ella's adventures. Happy Ella Day to all.
    XO Victoria

  48. I love Ella's story -- she is the picture of a happy, well-loved dog! So sweet that you take her everywhere, and her basket of collars is adorable... We went to visit the animal shelter many times before we adopted our black dog (lab/border collie mix) from a rescue group -- also seven years ago, this past December! The name she came with was Olivia, which we kept:
    We like to take her along with us too! Happy Ella Day!

  49. What a beautiful birthday tribute.

    Happy Birthday, Ellazene!

  50. Oh, what a wonderful post! So cool that you can take Ella to all those stores. She is wonder she has her own dedicated day!! ;)

  51. You are all so blessed to have each other ! Maybe Ella should have her own page too with regular musings of her daily life . ;) ...All my best ~ Nadia

  52. Such an amazing birthday story! My eyes are full of tears! Happy, HAPPY adoption birthday, Ella! I knew I would love this blog the first time I came here so many many months ago and saw her sweet face in the sidebar. My husband and I reside in Dallas and we are dog rescuers. We don't have children, so these dogs we save and rehab and find good homes for are like our children. We are incredibly blessed by them every single day. Thank you for all the kind words about adoption and pound puppies. And you are so right about "black dog syndrome". We currently have 4 black dogs that live with us and we adore them. The dog love of my life was a black Lhasa named Bo! I miss him still, now gone 11 years.
    I hope you and Dan and Miss Ella have many many more wonderful years together. It was clearly meant to be. How fortunate for all of you! Love from Texas!

  53. Awesome post, best ever!! Ella, like my Buffey, is really a person in a fur coat :). Would never consider any other than a pound puppy. Thanks Joan for sharing your wonderful Ella with us. Hope you have many many more years together.

  54. Lovely Ella , I agree, she is a little lady in a fur coat.
    I loved the photos, I hope to meet Ella one day.
    Today, the 11th marks 10 months since Pup left us.

  55. As much as I love seeing pictures of your home and all your posts, my favorite will always be when you write about Ella. All of our animals have been rescues, none of which have been purebred. Thank you for being the advocate you are! I think Ella is just as lucky to have you as you are to have her:)

  56. There is NOTHING like loving a dog and getting the love back. Our Kipper gets treated just like your Ella. What's better than the joy it brings? Happy Ella Day :)

  57. This post literally brought tears to my eyes. I'm grateful to that person for bringing Ella to that shelter, because she needed you! It's so good to see how many people truly care about our four-legged companions!


    P.S. She and Finnegan would have so much fun together, though he's still working on his puppy manners ;-)

  58. what a great story. I'm a sucker for dogs and can't wait to adopt my own when i get a house with my BF. thanks for sharing!

  59. Awww. Sweet Ella. I had no idea about the "taboo" on black dogs. That is all I have ever owned, and have two (Ike and Abe) right now. How amusing that people would think such absurd thoughts! I love pound puppies and would take them all. There is nothing like the love of a pup. Kuddos to you and Dan and Ella for finding each other and completing each other! Lori Lucas

  60. Happy Ella Day!! I luv her... what a personality!

  61. Joan, I just had to write and tell you that we too, have a pound dog, Penny. She is exactly like your sweet little Ella except where Ella is black our Penny is brown. Other wise she is the same size, has the same markings, etc. I love her dearly. You are so right that Pound puppies/dogs are the best. Penny has brought us so much love and enjoyment. I can't imagine life without her now. I wish more people would make the commitment to adopt a dog or cat. They can be life changing.

    Love your blog and your beautiful home!

  62. You three are lucky ducks! Thanks for sharing - you made my day!

  63. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. The photos of your simple, yet exquisite, style are my eye-candy! That said, this is my favorite post!
    Reading Ella's story made my heart happy (her halo was shining in every photo). If only every dog could be so appreciated and loved. Lucky dog - for sure, and super-lucky you! (I've always had shelter dogs, and have two at this time,11 & 1 1/2 yrs. old - don't get me started ;).

  64. What a wonderful post! Ella is absolutely precious and I love that you feel so strongly about pet adoption...I feel the same way!!!

  65. Happy "gottcha"/Ella day sweet, beautiful girl! Besides your fortunate family I know you've brought smiles and joy to many! Think we're going to celebrate a K bear day June 20, 2012 for our precious girl who's also eight and has been with us almost a year! A wag and a wiggle to you darling Ella from the Montana "dawgs"! xo

  66. Hi Ella, I adore Happy Ella Day !!!
    Hugs, Stella

  67. Ella looks uncannily like our dog Sammy, who we recently adopted from the pound here in Hobart. We believe she is a Kelpie/German shepherd mix. Kelpies are farm dogs, and are highly intelligent. She is always full of energy, and is friendly and affectionate.
    I agree that rescue dogs are the best!
    Kathy from Tasmania

  68. Aww, Happy Birthday Ella! I love her formal name!!!! Ella is the same age as our Duke, who we refer to as 20 lbs. of terror! LOL!!!

    Aren't dogs wonderful!!! Many more happy years with your best friend.

  69. I absolutely loved your post on Ella! That was so special :) I'm also a mother of adopted furry ones and I love them so much too! :) Thanks so much for sharing! They bring us joy and laughter every day!!

  70. Ah, Joan, you made me cry! It was just a year ago we had to put our sweet 16 year old pound puppy to sleep. :-(
    I miss her every day and some day I'll be "ready" to find an Ella for us. Thank you for sharing this -- even though I was crying, I was smiling and my heart was warmed. She is indeed a lucky dog, but aren't you and Dan so lucky to have her, too. Now I need some champagne. And a puppy to hug. :)
    xo Heidi

  71. I want to come back as "Ella" and live her life! What an endearing creature and life you have made for her.
    She certainly is "pve" worthy and on my table to capture....with paints!
    Show us her food and water bowl please!!!

  72. I pop in and visit here when I can! Always enjoy it...had to leave a comment on this post, because it was SO endearing...and I wish I lived in such a dog-loving area...oh my! Ella is precious, and yes...adopted dogs are the BEST...they are always showing their gratitude for the rest of their lives...I have three living with me - all now over 8 years old. They make our life FULL! WE love them. And your post is great - I ditto the Adopt - Don't Shop attitude. I worked in Rescue for almost 4 years and I highly support.... Thanks for sharing the Joy of Ella with us and Happy Ella day. She couldn't have gotten a better home. :-)

  73. Ella's very lucky - and so are you! Thanks for the plug for shelter dogs; I wish people understood how many wonderful dogs are euthanized because they can't find a home in time. Please adopt!

  74. Thank you ALL so much for your sweet comments about Ella and Ella Day!! Dan and I have loved reading all the comments and hearing about your pups! So wonderful to hear of so many adopted dogs and cats! I "love" reading all the names of your dogs too- such great dog names!

    To answer some questions...

    Claudia- We do think of adopting a "sister" for Ella! In fact I was at the pound two days ago looking to see if Sister was there... she was not. But, we will continue to look!

    Jessica, Karla in CA, Lisa, Candice and Heidi - I am so sorry that you lost your sweet dog. I know how hard that is. Adopting Ella made me realize that the only thing that really starts the healing process of losing one dog is to love another one! I had been sad for a year and three months and then my heart started to heal the very day we adopted Ella.

    Laura C.- when it's finished!!:) Actually my work is done- just waiting on Dan and my seamstress to make my curtains!

    Dianne- thoughts and prayer to your G. and to you...

    Faux Farm Girl- I hope this is his last surgery. How lucky he found you to take care of him.

    Lady Courtney- I adore that quote.

    Tartan Terrace- Neimanns?!!! Now I'm really impressed. Don't tell Ella though- she never went there!

    Raz- bless you for being a foster mom... such an important role in rescue; thank you!

    much older sister Susan- the memory of Ella all wet, covered in "kisses" is forever etched into my mind! Gives a whole new meaning to kissin' cousins!!:)

    BethA- who could not love a dog named Bacon!!! Ella would love him for sure;) I know of a blogger who has a dog named Cheddar!!

    Ann- I would have without a doubt done the same thing. I am so glad that your sweet Feather is doing so well now! Thank you for sharing your story.

    Lisa S.- my much older sister Susan ^ adopted two boxers her son after he and his wife has their first baby and it was too much for them. She absolutely adores them!

    Vicki- yes, in reality they do chose you don't they?!!

    Nan P.- Thank you!!

    Diane- I love the name Olivia, and almost named Ella that- after her cellmate of course! We often think of Olivia and hope that she is living a happy life too!

    Nadia- Ella does make it into a lot of photos on my Instagram :) (bottom of the page!) I don't know if she could fit doing a whole page into her nap-time!!!

    Patricia- oohlala!!:) I will photo her little dining area! I'm thinking she might need to do a top-10 favorite Ella things post!!;)

  75. Hope your Ella Day was great! The 25th of this month will be Chloe & Sadie day at our house! It's the day we adopted our 2 sister pups, but on the way to the adoption location we only intended to bring home ONE puppy. But we couldn't decide between the 2 and how could we split them up, they were the last of their litter! Well, let me tell you, they were almost split up a week later when I was exhausted and frazzled trying to keep up with the two of them! I wanted to know what the "return policy" was on puppies! But we prevailed and I'm so glad we did! They are a delight and blessing! Thank you for sharing your story of your sweet girl!

  76. What a beautiful post...I enjoyed reading all about Ella. And it made me thankful for the years we had our own little "rescue dog" Buttons who would have been put down had we not taken her in. Her former owner was an older gentleman who was going into a nursing home. He loved her dearly and would bring her to church every week and keep her in his office. She was a little hyper thing when we would see her at church, jumping around in his car! Anyway, after asking what kind of dog she was and learning that she was a cockapoo, I told the man that's the exact kind of dog I wanted--and she's even black too (another wish I had)! He looked at me with tears in his eyes and asked, "Do you believe in instant answer to prayer?" I was confused but he went on to tell me he was praying for a miracle to save her and there we were standing right in front of him. We enjoyed many years with Buttons. I would even bring her to school with me (I was a teacher) and she was great and the kids loved her. We finally had to put Buttons down a little over a year ago after her body started shutting down--the worst day ever. But we think of her often and loved her so much. I'm looking forward to the day when we can get another dog, but for now we're busy enough with two little boys and another little one on the way. Thanks again for sharing this warmed my heart.

  77. I just found your blog today and I love it! Happy Ella Day!! Bless her heart. I am in Dallas and would love to be in New Hampshire. I have 2 adopted rescue Basset Hounds and wholeheartedly agree with your comment about adopting a senior pet. They are the best. Hug Ella for me. I will be following your blog regularly.

  78. Back to read the valentines to Ella and your comment about Ella's top 10 post made me think it would be BOW! WOW! if ever so often Ella wrote her own posts—a dog's eye view of the For the Love. Just sayin' (beggin')!

  79. How fortunate you are to have found Ella. People always say it is the dog who is "lucky," but WE know that it is the owners who win the lottery when they get a great dog like Ella.

    I literally laughed out loud when I saw the photo of Ella w/ Kennel Cough (kleenex).

    I always appreciate the Ella sightings on your blog and applaude you for advocating for pound/shelter/rescue pets.

    Cheers to you, Dan, and Ella for seven years of Wonderful and best wishes for many, many more years of Wonderful.

    Lois in SW PA

  80. Happy Ella Day! What a sweet girl she is.

    My next dog will be a senior dog. I've already decided that. Not sure when that will be - since it looks like I'll be merging two chis with a cute little red pitbull. So I think a three dog household will be plenty. :)

  81. Such a cute post! I so could identify with what you were saying about Ella. My mom and I were laughing because we say so many of the same things about our Moxie! Dogs are the BEST!
    Love your blog!

  82. Belated Happy Ella Day!

    Ella has certainly found a home filled with love and a family that keeps her close by. Lucky lady!

    Our boys will have their first ocean/beach experience the end of the month. I know they will just think they are in Lab heaven. We found out this week that both have Lymes and so we are packing the pain meds for the trip as there will be no stopping them from running and enjoying the surf and sand.

  83. I read this post in bed late last night, and went to sleep with a grin on my face. Sweet Ella she looks a darling. I don't know who is luckier you for finding her or her for being found by you. Our pre-owned pooch has transformed our lives. We have had him nearly a year now and I couldn't think of life without him.

  84. I have a pound puppy that is a pure bred Boxer who was picked up as a stray at 6 months old...Maggie is the canine love of my life. Every day she makes me laugh, smile and I forget about the troubles of my day instantly!


  85. Hi Joan,
    I'm headed to Dallas in August -- love that Herreras!!! And, yes, I know I would love your watermelon margarita recipe!! :)

    Love your adoption story about Ella. She is obviously a beautiful soul and I love how you have shown her the world!

    Although I found Molly through a breeder, I had dogs I loved growing up and every single one was a "mutt".

    Here's to the sweet dogs who enhance our lives!
    xoxo Elizabeth

  86. What a sweet birthday post for your sweet Girl! Just wanted to share my daughter just adopted her first dog from my son & his wife who were fostering him. They got him because he & his litter mates were adopted during the forest fires we had here north of Houston last year. He is a 75 pound darling that she is so excited to have. Her two cats seem to be ok with him too. Our two girls (sisters) certainly add to our lives. All blessed by the animals in our lives, thankfully!

  87. I am blessed just reading about your relationship with Ella and the wonderful girl she is. Dogs are such a joy in life.

  88. May every day be an "Ella Day" Must be the best
    day ever!!

  89. I love seeing Ella happy and playing! We unfortunately lost our Dixie Bear to cancer, only took six weeks from us first noticing her acting sluggish to her not being able to walk or stand on her own. Hopefully we can find another pup to bring into the family but there will be none other to compare to our Dixie. I hope Ella has many many many happy healthy years left!

  90. Hi Joan and Dan,

    This bought a tear to my eye and it was so beautifully written.

    Thank you so much for sharing. I loved each and every photo of Ella.

    Happy Ella day everyone!

    Take care

    Tasmania, Australia

  91. I love your photos of Ella. The sweetest dogs are found dogs. I have a special dog that my children found in a ditch and dumped. We rescued her and named her Sadie. Thank you for spreading the word about adopting dogs that need a family.

  92. Ella has a great life, great taste and the very best owners! You've softened my heart. My oldest has been wanting a dog forever, but I haven't softened until now. My hands have been full raising little girls, but now that they're old enough to help and now that we'll have room to run, I think a dog is in our future. Just hoping the right one finds us!


  93. Happy Ella Day! Ella is living an awesome and beautiful life...never thought I'd be jealous of a dog's life ;) love is wonderful isn't it?

  94. Rescues/pound pups are the best. We have had two and I can't tell you how much joy they have brought to our lives. Happy Ella Day to you, may you enjoy many, many more.

  95. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry...this was so sweet. Ella is a very beautiful dog and people who don't adopt from the shelters don't know what they're missing.
    We had a dog that we got for the boys when they were growing up from the shelter. She had a hip problem and were going to put her down because they thought she wouldn't make it but she did for 14 years! Anna, looked almost just like Ella...they thought she was a rotweiler/german shepard mix.
    I loved all of these pictures and I hope she brings you happiness for many more years. :)

  96. I am new to your blog - found your through The Cottage Wren. This is the best blog posts I have ever read.

    I am a sucker for animals, and like you, the outcasts grab my heart. I love Ella's story and completely agree with adoption. I found my beloved Cleo running along a farm to market road 11 years ago and at approximately 13, she may not be with me much longer. We will be adopting when the time comes.

    Thanks for such a beautiful post.

  97. I'm a little late with the greeting, but want to send a belated Happy Ella Day! LOVED the story and all of the pics of Ella. So-o-o sweet! I have a small dog from a rescue group that we adopted at one yr old. He has stolen my heart and makes me laugh every day. Thank you for promoting pet adoption. There's not much better than the unconditional love of a rescue dog!

  98. I. Love.Ella. And I loved this post. Thank you for sharing. My heart has been warmed this morning ;)

  99. Yay for Ella!! What a wonderful story. She's such a lucky girl. We've been a foster family for dogs, mainly cocker spaniels, for the last 11 years. There is nothing like the love from a rescued dog.
    kisses to sweet Ella!

  100. My granddog Bella was adopted from a shelter. Like Ella, we really don't know what she is (looks like a combination of lab and some sort of bird dog maybe) but she is the most loving, sweet thing one could ever ask for. Our Bella is seven now and has given my son 6 1/2 years of love and companionship that will never be forgotten. They were both very lucky to have found each other as your Ella was so lucky to be found by you.

  101. Hey Joan! I've been doing all my blog reading on my phone lately so I never get to comment but wanted to pop on and say Happy Birthday Ella!!! Tell her Lillie and Lola say hi!

  102. What a wonderful story. Happy Ella Day!!!

  103. Oh and I just wanted to add that I know it isn't actually her birthday. Lillie wanted me to write that! =) And Lola hit the send button before I got to add my next paragraph! =)

  104. Sweet potata!.....She gets around!....smiles

  105. Hi Joan,
    Thank you for this beautiful post. I have been reading your blog for some time now. I am passionate about animals (have 4 cats and 3 dogs) and volunteer at my local shelter once a week. I am also part of a spay and neuter fund in my local area in Alaska. You and I have more in common than I would have ever guessed. Your blog is so well read and you are admired in the blog world . . . I'm glad you are spreading the word about ADOPTION. You, Dan and Ella rock!

  106. Hi Joan,
    Thank you for this beautiful post. I have been reading your blog for some time now. I am passionate about animals (have 4 cats and 3 dogs) and volunteer at my local shelter once a week. I am also part of a spay and neuter fund in my local area in Alaska. You and I have more in common than I would have ever guessed. Your blog is so well read and you are admired in the blog world . . . I'm glad you are spreading the word about ADOPTION. You, Dan and Ella rock!

  107. This post makes me so happy. I would drive my adopted little mutt mutt clear across country to be besties with Ella. Mary (or Merry...depending on the season - we got her 12/17 and we call her Merry Christmas...our last name is it's fun...for a few months out of the year) would LOVE hanging out with Ella in Home Depot. Though she might expect to hang out in HD here when we got home (smile).


  108. What a lovely tribute to your darling Ella.

  109. I LOVED celebrating Ella day with you! I am smitten with her...completely!

    Yes to rescuing dogs...YES to rescuing Big Black Dogs. BO says High five to Ella!!

    I rember Vermont being just as dog friendly...unfortunately not the case here in FL, particularly here. They are not allowed in the parks or even on the beach...LET ALONE IN stores!

  110. That Ella is one lucky dog! Wish I could give her some love

  111. Love your Ella...what a sweet story. We rescued our Maltese mix almost 9 years ago. It was love at first sight. Our sweet Maya is such a blessing. Thank you for sharing your Ella Day with us.

  112. Thanks for this post, Joan. A dog has been on the top of the wishlist for awhile, and now that we're on the farm we're ready for it to happen. I've always wanted to adopt a dog in need, and it's encouraging to hear your very positive experience. You have a wonderful dog. I'm hoping we can find our own Ella.

  113. I love Ella. What a good dog. I want to go to dog heaven when I die.

  114. LOVE this blog post! My pittie girl just had her third birthday (TODAY), and I have so many photos, I hope to chronicle her years a little better.

  115. I totally agree. My sweet Dolly came to be in her forever home just 2 years ago!

  116. Dear Joan, This blog is my all time favourite though I love everything your write - honestly you should have a book!

    It is wonderful to read all the comments from like dog-lovers!

    My husband and I did not have children and have always felt fulfilled with our dogs.

    Unfortunately, their lives are short and I agree that welcoming a one into your home helps with the healing process.

    My schnauzer sends his wet nose and warm kisses to dearest Ella.

    NB in Ontario, Canada

  117. We, too, have a dog from the pound. She cost $20 (my daughter got her in Virginia from she went to school there). She probably is about 8 years old now and we think she is a lab/boxer mix. She is the light of our lives and we couldn't imagine life without her!

  118. Joan, I LOVE this post! Darn right it's good to be Ella. That lucky girl!

  119. Wonderful post. Wonderful Ella. Rescue dogs are the best!

  120. 18, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    I love your sweet Ella. Our little dog (Jake, the farm dog) was in a bad home until he came to us and now he is my husband's best friend. He goes everywhere with him. Check out my blog to read about him

  121. Thanks for sharing your adventures with Ella. There is nothing better than experiencing the love of a rescued pound puppy. They just seem to know how fortunate they are...and how fortunate we are to have them in our lives. Buster picked out my husband 3 years ago this August (he was on the side of the pound where he was slated to be euthanized). Last year in March we added Meggie (Megs, Megger, Meggie-do-da, Meggie love bug, etc). Both are Corgi mixes. She's as hyper as he is sedate. We love our fur babies. I wish more people would give the older rescues a chance.

  122. You and Dan must be the best parents in the world. Ella surely lives a very full, fun, loving and happy life!

    Good for you guys! I wish all pet owners cherished their pets as family such as you two do!

  123. I love your blog always, but this is the best post ever!!!! Happy adoptday to sweet Ella. I always love reading about her and seeing such great pictures.
    We have a pound kitty who does the hugging trick. It amazes visitors :^)
    She also high fives me, but won't do it with anyone else :^(
    Again my thanks for the perfect post!!

  124. I love this. Just about cried. We have had 3 black dogs and all have been great dogs. Heidi#1 was a dalmation/lab mix. She would wait at the end of our drive way for us to come home. She would stomp her feet and smile when we did. We had to put her down and it broke our hearts. Heidi#2,who is still with us, will pretend that her paw is hurt when she wants special attention. And we also have Belle, my cocker spaniel and valentine gift from my husband. She is so laid back and loves to go on trips. We also aquired a stray dog(she's white). Her name is Susie. We did not have the heart not to take her in. She's a little hyper but love to cuddle. As you can see we love dogs. Thanks for sharing about Ella.
    Michelle Starling

  125. Your Ella post makes my heart ache for all the loving dogs that have been my friends over the years. I'm dogless now. When the last one went I just couldn't face parting with another devoted pet.

    My blessings to you and to Ella.

    Linen Queen

  126. What a sweet post about your sweet girl. You guys and Ella are so lucky to have found each other. Just two weeks ago I adopted a puppy. He is 10 weeks old, and so sweet. These puppy days can be challenging (I admit to sitting on the bathroom floor and weeping after the days fourth in-house pee last week!), but I know he will be my best buddy for a long time. Happy belated Ella day, from Finnegan and me!
    Janice, Saint John

  127. Beautiful Ella! Let it be known that June 11 is officially marked on my calendar as Ella Day -- one of 365 days a year that I will celebrate rescue and champion adoption. Good girl, Ella.

  128. Well, I just love Ella. I might want to be Ella!!! :) We have 2 Goldens - 1 is a big lovable male we got as a puppy who is as secure and sweet as can be. Our other Golden is a rescue - she came to us underweight and with scars from abuse. She is a little lady and so appreciative of her life with us. She was about 2 or 3 when we got her and I can't imagine life without these two. We have had other rescues and pound puppies in the past. I enjoy seeing Ella and wish our doggies could go as many places with us. Not happening in Atlanta!!! Marcie

  129. Such a beautiful ELLA post ♥
    I loved reading the story of how you came to find Ella & your support of local shelters & black dog love :-D. We recently adopted our black Lab Archer from our local SPCA. Like Ella, he was a stray found wandering the streets & is an absolute joy! Archer is our third black Lab - we adopted Ben from our local shelter when he was 3 1/2, then Ernie when he was 11 years old, and now Archer who is almost 3. We've been blessed with lots of Lab Love over the years!
    So enjoying your blog & admiring the photos of your gorgeous home.

  130. Who couldn't resist those big brown eyes. You are a delight Ella and I enjoyed reading your journey. :)

    Our first dog was a Humane Society dog and was Sheep Dog and Standard Poddle mix. She was two years old when we adopted her, lived to be eighteen and had the sweetest and most loving disposition. I often wondered how anyone could have given her up in the first place. Back then on a daily basis, one of our local radio stations each morning would make a plea to their listeners to adopt a animal that was on the 24-hour list to be euthanized. Fortunately my husband (the workaholic) actually took time off and surprised me with her as we had been discussing about getting a dog at that time.
    Best surprise he has ever given me. :)


  131. I loved this post, I read every word and enjoyed every photo! At the end, I cried! Dogs are wonderful companions. I lost my dog after 17 years in December and haven't felt ready to get another. Lucky Ella to have such great people! Michele

  132. Great post! I love Ella too. Jealous that she is welcome in so many stores in NH! I would love to take my Andy, our golden, with me into stores. He does ride in the car everyday but he would love to shop too!

  133. This really, really touched my heart. Thank you so much for reminding me of my beloved childhood dog, who was black and sweet and so loyal she makes me want to cry. I have been putting our 3 kids off every time they ask for a dog because of the work involved but thanks to your post I can see I have forgotten all the love involved too! We'll start looking at the Shelters for sure.

  134. Hi!
    I have to say, at first I came to your blog because of all the house tips and tricks, but then I saw the photo of Ella and... Well, she's looks so much like my dog Khan! It's amazing. They could be brother and sister. We too adopted our pup from the local shelter (in Portland, OR) about 8 years ago. At it was the best decision we ever made.
    I just surprised my mom by showing her the photo of Ella and she said "That's Khan!". lol

    Probably the only difference would be, that Khan has double dewclaws.

    Either way, I'm happy that Ella found you and I wish her many, many years to come :)

    Here's a photo of him:

  135. dear anon 6/30- You made my day!!! Thank you!

    Tais- HolyMoly.... that DOES look just like Ella! Wow!! I think Khan and Ella are soul brother and sister, especially since they are the same age!! Ironically the Humane Society in Portland, Oregon was the very first shelter I walked through some 20+ years ago... I wasn't prepared and as I walked by all the cages I was sobbing (the type of sobbing where your shoulders heave... thankfully I was the only person there;) I have since learned that shelter are a place of hope!

  136. What a lovely post. Thanks to you, and Ella, for making my day, and reminding me what is really important.

  137. :))) My family is still in shock and can't believe that Khan has a "sister" out there.
    I too cry my eyes off every time I end up in the shelter and am ready to adopt every single one of them (if only). Portland is a great city when it comes to people - a lot are adopting and it just makes me feel soo good.

    I hope Ella is doing great. Khan has torn both of his knees and is now on Adequan for general support.

    Lots of long and healthy years to your guys :)

  138. First time visiting your blog--your home is fantastic but Ella takes the cake! I laughed out loud when I was scrolling the photos and hit the one of her driving..and then I had tears in my eyes when I saw her running on the beach in Maine. That photo just exudes the pure happy that dogs naturally have juxtaposed with their very simple lives. Something to consider as humans. Likewise, the photo of her running through the snowy woods. Love.

    You are both blessed in many ways to have found each other. Happy Day, Ella!

  139. I just saw this post - what a beautiful tribute to your precious Ella! Our dogs are part of our family too. We refer to them as our furry babies. We have Bentley and Clarabel who bring me joy every day!!! I love the fact that there personalities are so completely different. Bentley is like a little old man. He is very calm and follows me wherever I go. Clarabel, on the other hand, is such a prissy little thing. She is a "Daddy's girl" - yes, that happens with puppies too!!!

    Thanks again for such a heartwarming post :-)

  140. i just read your post and i have to tell you...Ella looks EXACTLY like my Liberty, and she is a full-bred catahoula. she came to us via a rescue, but she was bred to be a working cattle-herder and was forced to retire due to a broken hip. I LOVE her so much! she is sooo sweet, attentive, and well behaved! I wish Ella (and Libby) many more years of fun, love, and family!

  141. Today's blog post showed up in my email probably via something I saw on Pinterest! I've been reading it backwards in an attempt to get to know you. Ella is lovely. I am on my second black rescue. And my new Kaylee, soon to celebrate her 11th birthday, has been with us two months. I can totally support adopting old, black dogs. My last was between 7 and 9 years at adoption. Kaylee spent the first weeks just being sad. It was heartbreaking to watch. It has been pure joy to watch her blossom. Each day more of her true self emerges. I, like you, am appalled by the ignorance and superstition of it no wonder that we have issues with race?
    I've enjoyed all that I've read this morning and look forward to seeing what you come up with next! There may be other treasures buried on the property!!!!! Kathy

    1. Kathy, Welcome, so happy to have you here. Bless you, bless you, bless you for adopting the much older dogs. I am so happy that Kaylee has you to take care of her. The story of her becoming a happy dog (and in only two short months) is the perfect way to start off the week. She's probably never known love and happiness before. Happy Birthday to her, please give her a kiss from me. I wish you both many years together.

  142. much older sister susanJune 13, 2016 at 8:40 PM

    She is the sweetest girl! She tolerated Vince and Roxi when they were puppies and being boxers, literally slimmed her when y'all came to visit.

    Happy Ella Day sweet "Dniece"! We love you!


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