Happy Ella Day!

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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!