Learn From Ella; It's OK to Take a Break from Life and Enjoy Yourself

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I wrote a blog post in July and received an email from Ella's neurologist saying that he loved this and he actually will discuss this with future patients. Increasing activity with a Cavalier with CM or SM sometimes can make them feel bad the next day. I was so scared that I didn't let Ella do much. I protected her but is that what she would have wanted?

This is the link to my post but I will copy it here.

Enjoying the water and surfing (not quite)

This is a tough time for me because every year my family goes to pawleys island for the 4th of july. All my brothers and sisters (besides my half-brother on my fathers side) is there with their husbands or wives along with their children. I don't have a husband and children, I had ella. That why its hard but I want to tell this story because there is a lesson learned from last year.

Last year ella had a blast! She would spend part of the day at day care because mom didn't want her in the house, but I would pick her up and drop her off several times a day. Its very hot so she couldn't be outside all day. I was extremely protective of her with her SM, but I let that go when I saw how happy she was playing on the beach with everyone.

These memories are so valuable now but also was what I learned. She had several days of activity which can aggravate some and it had a toll on her. All those fun times we had added up and when the 4th of july came, she had one of the worse days.

This is the post I wrote last year that explains exactly what I was feeling at the time. She would not move and she was rubbing her face. I could see the pain in her eyes and it killed me. She mostly slept but she went from this happy cavalier to one that was hurting. I felt so guilty, scared, upset and I wanted to take it back. How could I do that to her? Thinking back, its not that I *made* her run. I didn't make her do anything, she did it herself and loved being around everyone and playing. If she didn't, I would have taken her back to day care because I was at this time extremely limiting her activity and protective of her.

I cried and cried all day. The night of the 4th, my sisters family and I go to my dads house. There is a dinner with tons of people, jump castles and games for the children, music, drinks and dancing for the adults. The night ends with one of the most beautiful display of fireworks that I can her the oohs and ahhs as I write this.

I don't even think I could eat. I told everyone I had to go back to the house to be with ella. Ella was asleep and was fine but I needed to be with her. I felt so bad and I just couldn't enjoy anything without her. We snuggled together and then when I started to hear the fireworks in the distance, we went outside to look. I walked a little up the street, standing on my toes and trying to see it through the trees.

The next morning ella was back to herself. I wrote to a group about this and how terrible I felt. I remember one guy said something that I will remember forever. He asked me if I ever have done something that I really enjoyed but felt bad the next day but would still do it again if you could? I thought of dinner and wine with my girlfriends staying up late chatting and having fun. The next day, I would be tired but it was worth it. We have all had those times. Maybe snow skiing and waking up sore but it was so much fun.

Granted this week was a little too much but the moral of the story is something that I valued. I started to take time to let ella enjoy things in life. She loved going to the park, playing with other dogs, chasing birds, and holding her back for fear that it would be too much wouldn't be a life for her. I was well tuned in to how she was doing and when enough was enough. I am glad I made myself not keep her from doing things and actually take time to actually do things each day.

Pawley's Island Parade

Nana (mom) and Ella

Looking for sea shells in the surf- One of her favorite things!

Look at that smile! How much fun she was having!

Looking for birds and enjoying the scene

Maybe I see a fish

Watching Bobby ride a wave in

Got to be where the action is and make sure that everyone is ok. I'm a good watch dog!

Can you spot Ella?

Some of my family enjoying the parade

Learn from ella; its ok to have fun and take a break to enjoy life.

This is what Dr. Brofmann said,

"Hey Anne. I know how much you love her and miss her. I was so happy, though, to read your entry about letting her do the things she loved despite the period of pain that may follow. Your friend's analogy was a great way to put it and I will use that when discussing similar situations in the future. You gave Ella the best possible life; she knows it, I know it, you know it, and your family and friends know it. "

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