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