Goodbye, Sweet Nellie

It's been a tough week, friends. As a pseudo writer, I've struggled with wanting to say what's on my mind, but silence becomes me when I think of all the hate and violence in the world. I haven't been as active on social media lately because it didn't seem right to post cheerful pictures of dogs given everything around us. At the same time, I love that dogs can put a smile on our faces in the darkest of times.

All that being said, I got a dreaded call from one of my clients earlier this week. He let me know "It was time" so I rushed over to say goodbye to our beloved friend, Nellie. Young at heart, but at 14 years in age, it was time for her to chase squirrels in doggie heaven free of arthritis and pain for the first time in a very long time. While I share a unique and separate relationship with all my doggie clients, Nellie was extremely special to me and she will always hold a spot in my heart.

Photo Credit: @mpls612andy

Photo Credit: @mpls612andy

Backstory:

A couple years ago, I fell in love with a dog on Instagram. Her name was Nellie. At the time, she didn't have her own account but I started following her dad @mpls612andy. I've mentioned it before but he captures the most amazing photos around the city (seriously, check it out), and Nellie would often be part of the shots.

I can still recall my first phone conversation with Andy where he expressed slight concern over having someone else walk his dog (having never hired a dog walker before), and wanting to know whether I could deal with a pet owner who was very particular about his dog's care. That pretty much set the stage for what kind of relationship existed between Andy and Nellie. A strong bond of a very loving and nurturing nature.

At our first meet and greet, I felt an immediate connection with Nellie. To this day, I can't seem to find the right words to describe what makes her so special, but I went back and found this social media post from my first walk with Nellie on October 9, 2014.

Meet our newest friend, Nellie! She's a 12 year old Amstaff/Whippet mix. I think Nellie is my kindred spirit in dog form...there is something special about this sweet girl. She has a calming presence and a warm heart.

Meet our newest friend, Nellie! She's a 12 year old Amstaff/Whippet mix. I think Nellie is my kindred spirit in dog form...there is something special about this sweet girl. She has a calming presence and a warm heart.

After saying goodbye to my dog Kirby last fall, I was given a picture of Nellie to comfort me in my time of sorrow. Such a sweet gesture, and it has been hanging on my fridge ever since.

I will never forget Nellie (Nell Bell), and what it meant to be a part of her life. Though I only knew her for the last couple years, I can't help but feel like I was "supposed to" meet her. She taught me things about myself, and the incredible bond between her and her dad is one that we all would be lucky to find at least once in our lifetime. I will forever miss Nellie's sweet kisses (that were just enough but not too much), and her Chewbacca-like coo when I showed up for her walks.

This is hard, you guys. I feel like many of my clients are my own dogs, and I tear up at the thought of anything bad happening to them, especially since I know how much their owners cherish them.

We also said farewell this last week to one of our feline friends, Miss Moby. RIP Moby.

Several other clients are experiencing serious health issues with their dogs. Please know we are all sending hugs and positive vibes their way.