Monthly Archives: June 2011


June 16, 2000


I am writing this post for a reader, who until recently had no idea we had a dog.
This is Ellie.  Her full name is Eleanor, named after my aunt Eleanor, who said that if no one would name their child after her, perhaps they would name a dog after her…and because we love her so much, we did!
We got Ellie a few months after we bought our first house in early 1999.  We headed to the local humane society and while I was hoping for a terrier, we say this beautiful 4 month old dog and fell in love.  She is some sort of shepherd mix.  Another person had dibs on Ellie once she was availble for adoption in a few days.  They had until a certain hour to come get her and so we showed up at our appointed time and were thrilled that she was still there and ours for the adopting.
She was very nervous on the car ride home and also when we got to the house.  She had never seen stairs before and it took several days to convince her to go up and down them.
We tried keeping her in a crate but she cried and cried.  One night I went to go sleep with her in the basement (with her in her crate) and she cried so I let her outside and she refused to come in.  After that night she slept outside at night for about 2 years.  Sometime 2 years later when I was sleeping in Nathan’s room due to his teething I realized she took to barking in the early morning hours (his room was on the back side of the house) so we couldn’t let he sleep outside anymore and she transitioned to sleeping inside again.
Ellie doesn’t like other dogs or older men.  We wonder if she was abused by an older man before we got her.  She loves to chew her nylabone and likes to dribble her tennis ball.  When she was younger she loved to play with two of her toys at once.  If enough of our family settles down in one room of the house together she is very happy and will go find her bone and bring it in to chew with us all.  Luke has worked from home her whole life and so her routine, especially in the last several years, is to go down to the basement with him to work and sleep down there with him all day.  For that reason, she doesn’t like weekends when she waits by the basement door for him to go down there.
She has had a few surgeries over the years.  She has canine lupus on her nose and is developing cataracts now.  She will be 13 in November.  She is a very good dog!
Ellie when we just brought her home
Me with Ellie as a puppy
Ellie and baby Nathan
Julia and Ellie (2004) after she cut her tendon on lawn edging
Luke, Lauren and Ellie
Ellie after surgery to repair her “knee”
Her favorite place to sleep

The rest of these pictures are of Ellie currently, the first several in desperate need of de-furring and the last after being groomed.

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Sorry about the slow blogging…I have had some posts in my head so I am going to post them, some on delay.

First off – it is June.  I like June, but June contains Nathan’s birthday – so that is hard.  Facebook doesn’t help with the bombardment of 5th grade graduations and other friends with kids the same age having their birthdays.

The other day I finally tackled the rest of my medicine cabinet.  I had done the bare minimum of pulling the dangerous medicines out of there a few years ago and brought as many as I grabbed to the hazardous waste disposal center.

I wasn’t expecting how hard it was to throw away the rest of the stuff.  There was all the line care stuff, andmany bottles of SSKI (drops to protect his thyroid before nuclear meds scans).  There were also, to my surprise, many types of narcotics still hanging around, even a fentanyl patch which really shouldn’t be just sitting around.

I was really sad throwing away all the supplies and I had to bag up all the narcotics until I take my next trip to the hazardous waste place.

What it comes down to is that  I hate erasing pieces of proof that Nathan lived in our house, even when they are not happy things.   There was some bit of comfort in rustling around the medicine and finding a replacement cap to the end of his lines.  Over half of his life was spent with these items and they became a part of our life.  I wouldn’t want him to need them, but they remind me of him and his everyday presence.

Still – I did dispose of them – just through tears.  And I was depressed the rest of the day – I didn’t really realize it until Luke came up from work and I went to try to make dinner and found that emotionally I just couldn’t do it and I cried and he ran out and got us some food.