Saying goodbye to a furry friend is an unbearable experience for any dog parent. But seeing your dog suffering every day is even worse. Sometimes, families are forced to make difficult decisions when their dog isn’t well.
Sarah Keith was put in that unfortunate situation when her Border Collie named Ella was diagnosed with oral cancer. Keith didn’t want to prolong the 12-year-old dog’s suffering, so she eventually knew it was time to say goodbye. However, she wanted to make sure Ella had one more special walk before that heartbreaking moment.
Ella’s Final Beach Walk
In recent years, Keith has restricted Ella’s exercise to help keep her healthy, but even in pain, Ella loves to run and play with other dogs. She especially loves to walk along the beach. So, Keith planned one last beach adventure the morning before Ella was scheduled to be put down.
“She’s a collie, and she loves to run with other dogs. She’s been restricted somewhat in recent years as I’ve tried to protect her as much as possible from the wear and tear and worsening of her arthritis. Now it doesn’t matter,” Keith wrote on Facebook. “I’d love for her to go out with a bang. Please join us on the beach if you can for our rainbow walk.”
Keith expected a few close friends to show up, but the event ended up being more popular than she imagined. Hundreds of people commented on the post, and over a thousand users shared it. Soon, dog parents who had never even met Ella wanted to be there for her final walk.
When Ella and Keith arrived at the beach, there were over 30 dogs and 25 owners. Ella’s face lit up when she was able to run and play with the other dogs. Even people without social dogs stopped by just to show their support.
Surrounded By Loved Ones
Despite having arthritis and cancer, Ella ran around as if she was a puppy that day. It was as if she knew it would be her last adventure. Ella had spent 11 wonderful years with her human, and she was clearly very loved.
Ella’s first owner was a farmer, but that farmer surrendered Ella to the RSPCA because she wouldn’t herd sheep. Keith adopted Ella and welcomed her into her home. She quickly learned that Ella may not have been a good farm dog, but she was the perfect companion.
“I sent the farmer a photo of her lying on the floor. He said, ‘What’s she doing there? She’s not a house dog.’ I said: ‘I think you’ll find she is,’” Keith said.
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Ella was put down after her celebration on the beach. It was a bittersweet ending because even though Keith was heartbroken, she knew Ella’s final day was perfect. So many dog lovers had been there to support Ella, and Keith couldn’t have asked for a better turnout.
Rest in peace, Ella.
Featured Image: Facebook