Today Ellie, my 6 year old German Shepherd Mix, has left us for good. She was my furry daughter, my companion on many many walks and hikes that she gladly took with me. She was always there when I felt down and always happy to see me when I came home (like, every single time, even when I had only been gone for 30s). She was incredibly loving, welcoming anyone into her family the second they stepped through the door. And then not letting them go anymore because nobody should ever leave her! Short, she was the best dog you could imagine. With the exception of other dogs, and the rare dark, sketchy figure at night, she just loved anyone and everyone; No matter the age, race, sex, gender identity, or even having met them before, she just couldn't help herself. She had to grab her favorite toy to bring it to them, or sometimes just coerce them to pet her. And people loved stopping by to say hi, especially in those days when I got to take her to the office every day. She also hated water, with a vengeance. Seriously you could never see her running away any faster than when you turned on the faucet, shower or the hose. She turned into The Flash. So it was kind of perfect for her when we moved to Arizona, where she spent most of her live with me (almost 2 years) going on long hikes up and down the mountains with no water in sight (except for the water bottles in my backpack, of course).
Yes, she would drive you mad on occasion, with her endless energy, constantly running around the apartment at night when something wasn't right, but she usually was just a very chill dog. Sleeping a lot, wherever she felt like it, occasionally getting up to check up on you, and then finding another place to sleep some more. Until she heard the magic 4-letter word that is: W-A-L-K. Then, as if someone had turned on the warp drive, she would race to the door and expect you to leave with her right this second!
In short, she was just as goofy as I can be sometimes. A great match.
Several weeks ago, she suddenly started limping. At first it was just occasionally when she got up, going away after a few steps. We thought she just goofed around a bit too much and hurt her ankle. When we went to the Vet for her pre-move checkup, they didn't find anything wrong. So we just waited for it to get better. It didn't. Over the course of a few weeks, her limping got worse and worse. Then, one weekend, her lower leg started swelling up (and fast!). We went to the Vet again (this time in Austria) and at first it looked like an infection. A week of taking meds and an X-ray later, we learned that she had an, at this point pretty massive, Osteosarcoma. A disease, that is unfortunately relatively common in larger breeds. At this point she was already very weak and the cancer had most likely already spread to her lungs. So we had to say goodbye so she wouldn't have to suffer any longer 😕😭
She has seen a lot: 3 countries, 4 homes, multiple cities, loads and loads of people, forests, mountains, freezing cold and searing heat. Experiences galore in the 2+ years she's been with me. And through all of that, she has always remained my furry best friend and companion.
I'm really going to miss her!!! 😭😭😭