Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

the final good-bye


We gathered on the deck, sipped bubbly, laughed and shared stories of her exploits.

My summer 'do'.

Ellie the Wonder Pooch

Together, we travelled the few minutes to Ellie’s favourite park, walked down the hill to the river and cast her ashes onto the waters.

IMG_3200And the mosquitoes fed and the swallows swarmed and the river flowed and Ellie slipped away.

It was her favourite place to run, to swim, to sniff in the trees, to revel in the great outdoors — and to roll.

It was inevitable. Ellie would swim in the water, run back to shore, drop her body to the ground and roll. The sandier the better. it didn’t matter what you said or did, where she was, when she came out of the water, she rolled and squirmed and rubbed her back into the dirt.

A real treat when she got back to the car! The sand would collect in her coat and after she lay somewhere, would remain behind to remind you of where she’d been. She would eye me with such dismay when we got home and she would be forced to lie on a blanket by the door until her coat was dry. I mean, seriously? I have to stay here while you’re somewhere else in the house? Harrumph!

IMG_5557Last night, we walked along the shore, each of us looking for a heartrock. And when her ashes were gone, we stood in a cirlce, passing our heart rock from hand to hand until our original rock arrived back at its owner. And then, as one we threw our stones into the river, a final salute to the dog who lived the moral of a story I’d written the girls when they were young.

“Even a heart of stone can be warmed in loving hands.”

Ellie could melt anyone’s heart and warm them with her endless squirmy greetings.

Tamara had brought along two beautiful concrete hearts on which we wrote our farewells and then, hiked into the woods to hide in a shaded alcove for Ellie to rest forever more beneath the trees.

It was a loving farewell.

I am so blessed

I am so blessed

I feel so blessed and grateful. So many people whose lives she touched who came out to bid her adieu. Both my daughters and my step-daughter were there, C.C., Dejana who was with her when we first brought Ellie home. My friend Veronica who walked with Ellie and me down by the river, Laura, Erin, Caitlin and Tamara who Ellie was delighted to have living with us because it meant she got someone else to love on all day long and who she knew she could con into giving her more treats.

And when we got home, Al and Jane and Taylor and Tim arrived and we  planted the beautiful pottery dish Alexis and I had found just for her. In it, we placed a glass heart filled with her ashes, a poem and her tag.

What a wonderful send-off for a wonderful friend. And while I do not know who wrote the poem, I am grateful for their words.

Pawprints Left By You

You no longer greet me,
As I walk through the door.
You’re not there to make me smile,
To make me laugh anymore.

Life seems quiet without you,
You were far more than a pet.
You were a family member, a friend,
…a loving soul I’ll never forget.

It will take time to heal-
For the silence to go away.
I still listen for you,
And miss you every day.

You were such a great companion,
Constant, loyal and true.
My heart will always wear,
the pawprints left by you.

Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe in wonder. I believe we are all magnificent beings of divine beauty. I believe we can make a difference in this world, through every act, word, thought. I believe we create ripples with everything we do and say and want to inspire everyone to use their ripple to create a better world for everyone. I'm grateful you're here.

34 thoughts on “the final good-bye

  1. Dogs, especially Labs (I’m partial, I current have four of them) exhibit the joy that we should mimick…it seems that almost everything they do is their “favorite thing” They love unconditionally and rarely remember when we don’t show them the love they deserve. May her memory be eternal


    • Wow! Four labs! What a lot of love you must be surrounded with. Thank you for your words. They are so true. Their unconditional love is such an amazing gift. Hugs


      • Here is a RB of Ellie’s story on my blog, along with another that I came accross the same day…includes a photo of our fur family. Also, I recall hearing more than once….”Joy shared is joy increased and grief shared is grief dimminished” You have shared your grief…http://villageundertaker.wordpress.com/2014/07/15/i-died-today/#comment-5891


      • I think that saying is right… My grief feels lighter as I’ve shared it — and thank you for the RB. Love the photo of your fur family btw. What joy!


  2. My heart was with you also. Blessitude ❤


  3. Such a beautiful tribute. I love that Ellie is now dancing on the water that she so dearly loved.


  4. A dog was never so well loved as Ellie. She had a wonderful life and this was a fitting tribute to her.


  5. Oh, Louise, I am so sorry for the loss of your wonderful furry friend! I’ve been away so long, I had no idea. Such a beautiful poem and tribute. My thoughts are with you, and her. Hugs.


  6. A beautiful tribute and farewell to your beloved friend who saw you through such devastating lows and such intense joys and everything in between. It’s obvious by the number of those who paid tribute, she touched many lives.
    Hugs to you and all who will miss her.
    Diana xo


  7. LG,

    Beautiful piece … and, as I said before, time to get a puppy!



  8. What a beautiful send off for Ellie, the poem was very touching, bought tears to my eyes.
    It was originally written by a lady called Teri Harrison.


  9. Beautiful Louise and I am so grateful I got to share in such a wonderful send off for a wonderful spirit. The poem was absolutely perfect. xo


  10. Oh Louise, loving, healing hugs to you. xoxoxo


  11. I will miss that heavy yet peaceful way she had in leaning in for some love!!


  12. I’m so glad you added the photos, I feel as though I was with you!


  13. Pingback: I Died Today | A Simple, Village Undertaker

  14. Lovely post, Louise. May her spirit always be with you.


  15. What a wonderful farewell! Such a a touching day for you all … and for me reading your poem Louise.
    She brought out so much love 🙂
    Val x


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