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Seeing Ella Smile

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Seeing Ella Smile

Seeing Ella smile made nothing else matter. Seeing her face light up made all the wrong go away for an instant. Watching her in complete bliss was all I could focus on and in that moment I tuned everything else out.


I took Ella to see her “boyfriend” Kennedy who is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel a few months older than her. They have a unique bond and it is apparent when they are together. Someone said I needed to meet Kat, the new girl downstairs. Not only was she fun but she had a picture of a Cavalier on her desk that looked exactly like Ella. Kat was outgoing and fun but she was just as crazy about her dog as I was. I knew I needed to meet her and Ella and I were invited to Kennedy’s birthday party. That was 3 years ago. We became great friends and had a lot of fun nights out and great times together. Kennedy and Ella became closer too. However, fun times were not always going to be in Ella’s cards.

Kat was there when Ella was diagnosed and went through surgery. Ella could not come over and play with Kennedy when she was recovering and I did not feel like leaving her. We grew apart for several reasons. I took her over about 6 or 8 weeks after her surgery and there were several people at Kat’s house. It was a huge party and Ella was excited to see everyone at first. I was careful and noticed her hiding under the table and said it was time for us to go. “No” “Ella’s fine” “Did you see how happy she was” “look at how much she was playing” etc. I knew for Ella’s safety she needed to go home. I cried as I had to carry her up the stairs because she could not move from all the activity.

I could not do the things I used to because any money I had went to Ella. That is all that mattered to me. Once Ella’s neurologist and I felt she was okay to not be restricted, I let Kat keep Ella. She had so much fun but I could not get over some things that were said. I kept thinking of where was she when I had to carry her up the stairs, the nights I spent crying, the days I spent searching for answers. The person it hurt was Ella. For another reason, our friendship changed and I could not talk to her anymore. When she told me that Ella’s neurologist was making all of this up, I could no longer take it. Ella was not sick but just depressed. I tried to be friends and not get into SM etc. but it had become such a part of me.

That was me and not Ella. When I found out Ella’s results from her second MRI, I let Kat know and she felt terrible. What she thought I made up, is very real. I told her that it would make Ella feel better to be around Kennedy so we put our feelings aside for her.

So seeing Ella smile, I tuned out her words “It’s just not fair”. “I can’t believe you paid that much for her” “You should turn her breeder in”. I just simply said it is much more complicated than that. Her breeder did not do this on purpose. I just said, “Look at how happy she is”.

What I do not think is fair (I did not say this to her), is that Ella’s breeder followed the MVD breeding protocol. She is a breeder that is a member of the CKCSC-USA and the ACKCSC and was heartbroken to learn about Ella. I am not sure but she said she is working on trying to get scanning done. I just like to think she is even though I probably know she isn’t. I do know she is not breeding any of that line anymore. She knows about SM. When I got Ella, I looked at the health records and thought I did the best and I am sure so did she at the time. Yes it could have been better and she did not tell me about SM. I will say that even if Ella came from a breeder that had her dogs scanned and everything done possible health test wise, there is still a chance for something to happen.

What is not fair is that two of her friends bought Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in the past 3 years. I did not find the breeders for them but I know that they are not following the MVD breeding protocol, they are not members of either Cavalier Club, I am not sure what health testing was done. All I know is that I heard they were a good price and had cute pictures.

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