So I hold her. And I smell her. She has a unique smell, one I’d recognize anywhere. And it might sound silly, but I’m sniffing her fur because that’s the Dog Way. It’s how they love.

The veterinary emergency room is slow today. A few cats. A few dogs. And I wish we weren’t here.

Ellie Mae, my bloodhound, is not well. She is at my feet. She doesn’t want to move. I can tell she’s in pain.

I can’t stand seeing a dog in pain.

On the floor beside her is another sick dog. An elderly golden retriever named Bart. Old Bart is a giant with a white face and brown eyes. He’s a sweet boy.

His owner is an elderly woman. She is crying—head in hands. I understand that Bart has come to the end of the road. Decisions were made.

The old woman is petting him. “Good boy, Bart,” she says. “Good boy.”

The vet tech calls Bart’s name. He can’t stand on his own legs, he’s too weak. It takes a few people to lift him. I can tell he’s embarrassed by this. Who ever said dogs don’t have pride?

They walk Bart to the Back Room.

I hate this place.

The doctor says Ellie Mae is in bad shape. There is a lot of blood in her stools, she’s running a fever. She won’t eat. I offered her Virginia ham this morning, she didn’t want it. Hell must be frozen over.

This is the animal who once stole a pork tenderloin from my neighbor’s open grill. She ate the tin foil and everything.

“This is serious,” says the doctor. “I won’t lie…”

Serious. I cried some. I didn’t want Ellie to see me. So I forced a straight face.

Long ago, Ellie took her first camping trip with me. She was young. She was all legs, ears, and hair—just like me.

She slept in my bed. She ate what I ate. She even went to the public showers with me. You should’ve seen the looks we got when we came waltzing out of the bathhouse.

Ellie and I went fishing together. Well, I went fishing; she went swimming. That day, she kept pace beside me. No leash. I’ve only had one dog who could follow me off-leash.

And on that sunny day long ago, I buried my face in the rolls of her young fur. I told her I would love her forever. And I certainly will.

This is my girl. She is my forever-friend. She will be with me in the Great Beyond. She’ll steal pork tenderloin while I get fitted for my halo.

The doctor tells me it’s pancreatitis. He says it’s serious, but treatable. I don’t know what this means, but at least Ellie has a chance.

He’s going to keep her overnight. He’s putting her on enough medicine to sink a fourteen-foot bass boat.

Ellie tries to follow me out the door. She doesn’t understand why she can’t be with me.

So I hold her. And I smell her. She has a unique smell, one I’d recognize anywhere. And it might sound silly, but I’m sniffing her fur because that’s the Dog Way. It’s how they love.

They breathe you in. They memorize you, and they never forget you.

Tonight, she will sleep alone. I won’t hear her snoring beside me. And in the morning, she won’t be around to wake me with a cold nose. When I make coffee, she won’t be sitting by her food bowl.

So I’m holding her, talking to her. She can’t understand my words, but she knows what I mean.

“I love you,” I say. “So much.”

She pants.

The woman leads Ellie into a cold kennel and hooks her to an IV drip. And I’m wondering how it happened, how a dog became my world.

I guess, I’m asking for your prayers. Not just prayers for Ellie, but for the old woman who visited this place with a golden retriever, then left alone.

Get well, Ellie Mae.

Rest in peace, Bart.

136 comments

  1. DIANA SARAFIN - April 23, 2018 5:43 am

    Sean, prayers for you and Ellie Mae, and prayers for Bart’s Mom. Fly free Bart. My boy had pancreatitis too, it is treatable.

    Reply
    • DIANA SARAFIN - April 23, 2018 5:44 am

      I’m a “fur sniffer” too…

      Reply
    • sheri ferguson - April 23, 2018 8:31 pm

      Dear Sean, I know that feeling of smelling your dogs fur, that unique smell that belongs only to your baby. I’m so sorry you will miss it tonight. Yes, pancreatitis is serious but it is treatable. Love her. Kiss her. My baby Sophie was in Bart’s position just one month ago. I still cry for her. Ellie Mae will be in your bed soon. And this summer, stealing roasts off grills just like old times! Meantime kiss her nose often in that cone. Or better yet ~ maybe put one on too just so she knows you are willing to feel her pain. 🤷‍♀️ 🙏🙏🐶🐶. ~ May your best friend be with you soon

      Reply
  2. Susan Parker - April 23, 2018 5:46 am

    I am remembering an old tomcat who, when he was dying of liver failure,
    I asked the vet if a transplant would work. And the donor I was considering was me. Get well, Miss Ellie Mae. And rest in peace, Bart….and the Lord grant peace to the lady you left behind.

    Reply
  3. B.E. Blue - April 23, 2018 5:51 am

    Prayers. For you all. Consider it done.

    Reply
  4. Erin Neathery - April 23, 2018 5:51 am

    Oh, my heart. I’m a new reader – I stumbled on a post yesterday, then spent hours getting lost in your stories. Barkley, my golden retriever mix/rescue dog, has his head on my knee as I type. So I’m sending love and good healing thoughts for you and Ellie Mae, and shedding tears for Bart’s mom. He was no doubt, a good boy.

    Reply
    • Pat - April 23, 2018 2:47 pm

      I’m so happy you stumbled upon Sean’s post. I saw a Facebook share that hooked me and I’m so thankful. I tell many of my friends, family and strangers about him…some listen and some don’t…their loss if they don’t!

      Reply
  5. Barbara Schweck - April 23, 2018 5:53 am

    Praying for healing and for comfort to you and Jamie. No doubt about it, God gave us dogs so that we could see what real uncoditional love and loyalty is all about. God Bless you all

    Reply
  6. Ronnie - April 23, 2018 5:53 am

    Sean, I’ve become so addicted to your stories. I haven’t read anything you’ve written that I didn’t really like. Somehow you manage to project your writing in such a way as that it seems like you are one on one with the reader. Sometimes you’re comical, and sometimes you produce a tearjerker like tonight. I too love animals and am touched by the innocent and helpless. Children are an especially weak spot in my heart. Keep up the good work sir. Hopefully I’ll get to meet you one day somewhere in the Dothan area.

    Reply
  7. Barbara Schweck - April 23, 2018 5:55 am

    Prayers for the lady who lost her dog today. My heart broke when our Goldens died. Could not stop crying for days. Love both of them still and know they will be chasing tennis balls in heaven and when (and if) I show up they will both run to sit in my lap.

    Reply
  8. Julie - April 23, 2018 5:59 am

    I am rubbing the head of a 15-year-old black lab that has more lumps than a bowl of chicken dumpling soup. Her toes started to turn white before her muzzle. Maggie’s teeth are little stubs from retrieving anything she could, including rocks. She sensed when my son was about to have anxiety attacks, and lay next to him until they passed. She still leaps in the air to catch her frisbee, but we retrieve less and she naps more. I try not to think about when she is no longer with me. We raised three kids together. She is my heart.

    Reply
  9. Sherri Conrad McDonald - April 23, 2018 6:02 am

    Ah, Sean.
    You make me cry almost every morning. Sometimes crying with a wry smile. Sometimes a gut wrenching, heart tending, ugly cry.
    Today’s cry is a bad ugly cry.
    As a grown up( if I can be called one), I’ve lost 2 fur babies. I like dogs but cats love me. My beloved Chunk died in 2012. He was my fat black cat that loved me like I gave birth to him. I had him for 7 years. Our love lasted longer than my first marriage. Now my second marriage….it is gonna last longer.
    First of 2018, my only girl kitty almost died. Titi is her name. Titi is short for Two Ton. She got tremendously fat after she got fixed. Then the other cats got a viral upper respiratory-itis.
    All 3 boys recovered. TiTi got it last. And she got sick. Real sick. Like 5 thousand dollars sick. Had to leave her at the emergency vet. It about killed me.
    She was in a oxygen cage for several days. I could only visit once because of work. My husband went everyday. He took video. Her little face…oh my heart.
    We couldn’t touch her, She could hear is, see us and cried and cried to go home.
    It is torture. I am so so sorry about your puppy. I prayed for Ellie Mae. And you.
    TiTi is sleeping on my belly right now. I hope your pup is home and farting in her sleep soonest.

    PS: I can’t afford a 5K cat. My dad really loves me. Ellie Mae is blessed to be your fur baby.

    Reply
  10. Phil Blackwell - April 23, 2018 6:47 am

    Prayers up, Ellie Mae

    Reply
  11. Beth Reed - April 23, 2018 6:51 am

    Praying for Ellie Mae, for you and Jamie. Praying for Bart and his fur mom. I lost my Cisco on Good Friday of this year. This 3 weeks and 2 days are hard.
    I know that you must be so worried and the fact that Ellie Mae doesn’t understand why you went away without her hurts you but for her it double hurts.
    Healing vibes to Ellie Mae and you and Jamie as well because our fur babies are precious to us and what hurts them hurts us too.
    Be I am sending kisses to Ellie Mae and Hugs to you and Jamie. XOXoXo’s….. Beth

    Reply
  12. Marty from Alabama - April 23, 2018 6:54 am

    My son took his best friend to the vet a couple of weeks ago. Gus had to stay, he had become anemic. He was a sick boy. Had transfusions and it seemed he might get better. Didn’t happen and my son cried when he got the call. So did I. When your child, regardless of age, hurts, you hurt. They cry, you cry. I cried when our daughter called to say Bama had crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I cried when my Dingo left too soon and unnecessarily. In our family our dogs are family. And we cry over their leaving.

    Reply
  13. PVD in KCMO - April 23, 2018 7:14 am

    Sean, I read everything you write. I’m up with my thoughts and saw this. I’m sending love to Ellie Mae. She shines through your words and is lucky to be your best friend. God bless.

    Reply
  14. Pamela McEachern - April 23, 2018 7:33 am

    I am saying prayers for Ellie Mae and Bart’s mom.
    I hope your girl will feel better soon. My fur babies are my family.

    Peace and Love from Birmingham

    Reply
  15. Kelly - April 23, 2018 9:05 am

    Many prayers for Bart’s mom and you, Jamie and Ellie Mae. When my Golden, Oliver, passed it was much like the scene you described with Bart’s mom. My heart breaks for her just as it did then. Prayers that Ellie Mae comes home soon and is snoring beside you just as my fur baby now is doing. Dogs are the best part of this crazy world.

    Reply
  16. Gary - April 23, 2018 9:31 am

    Prayers to Ellie Mae. I know the pain of losing a four-legged family member. My wife and I cried for months, yes, months, when our good girl died. That’s been two years ago. The eyes still get misty when I look out my front door and see her grave site. I didn’t know dogs could get cancer.

    Reply
  17. Leslie in NC - April 23, 2018 9:34 am

    Oh Sean, no doubt you have many prayers going up on behalf of your your sweet Ellie Mae, mine included. And for your tender heart too. I hope she’s feeling better today and when you get her home, she will chow down on some of that ham.

    Reply
  18. Cathi - April 23, 2018 9:43 am

    I lost my 17 year old girl in late February and it was HORRIBLE. But when we love them, we don’t want to see them suffer. Bart is now out of pain and romping around at the Rainbow Bridge, waiting on his mama. Ellie Mae has all our prayers and love pointed at her. And at you & your wife. Get well soon, Miss Ellie Mae, your people need you. ❤

    Reply
  19. candyalso - April 23, 2018 9:48 am

    I love Ellie Mae and have never met her so I am sad with you, Sean, but hoping that the morning brings good news and a great reunion.

    Reply
  20. Nancy - April 23, 2018 9:51 am

    Prayers going up for Ellie Mae to be healed and for you and Jamie to have peace while you wait for her to get better. Prayers for Bart’s Mom also. 💕

    Reply
  21. Victoria - April 23, 2018 9:56 am

    My heart and prayers are with you both.

    Reply
  22. Kathy Grey - April 23, 2018 10:04 am

    Oh, Sean, I feel your pain. And Bart’s mom’s, too. I hope Ellie Mae feels better soon. ❤️

    Reply
  23. Lydia - April 23, 2018 10:15 am

    Just beautiful!

    Reply
  24. Trina V. - April 23, 2018 10:18 am

    Your post today hit me hard. Eleven months ago today, we had to put our smart, sweet, funny, impatient Bama to sleep, and it still hurts. We miss him so much. I have already prayed for Ellie Mae to get better and be back home with you and Janie, and I’ve prayed for Bart’s mom.

    Please keep us updated on sweet Ellie Mae!

    Reply
  25. S.Turner - April 23, 2018 10:28 am

    Praying for Ellie Mae, that she won’t be in pain and will get well soon. Please keep us posted.

    Reply
  26. Lynn - April 23, 2018 10:48 am

    Praying for all of you. This touched my heart.

    Reply
  27. Cecelia Gibbs - April 23, 2018 10:53 am

    🙏🙏😢

    Reply
  28. D. Green - April 23, 2018 10:55 am

    Will keep sweet Ellie Mae in my prayers, and Bart’s mom too. Please keep us posted on Ellie Mae’s progress. Hope she gets home soon!!

    Reply
  29. John Paschall - April 23, 2018 10:58 am

    My prayers to you and especially Ellie Mae and peace to Bart’s Mom. Please keep us posted on Ellie’s progress.

    Reply
  30. Jana O Connor Hodge - April 23, 2018 11:03 am

    Reply
  31. Diana Drain - April 23, 2018 11:08 am

    😢🙏

    Reply
  32. Sharon Bartley - April 23, 2018 11:11 am

    praying for Ellie Mae and you, and for that sweet golden’s mama–she is in a sad place now for a long time. I don’t guess you ever get over losing your dog.

    Reply
  33. Leigh Stephens - April 23, 2018 11:15 am

    Animals are not just pets. They are family. In our hearts and in our lives. Prayers for Ellie May, Jamie, and you.

    Reply
  34. Carol Nimrod - April 23, 2018 11:36 am

    Praying 🙏

    Reply
  35. Connie H. - April 23, 2018 11:44 am

    You have a gift with words. Thank you for that. Praying for you and your furbaby.

    Reply
  36. Janette - April 23, 2018 11:49 am

    My eyes are so full of tears, I can’t see to write this. Our dogs, we have a 9 year old Collie, Opie, become a much loved member of our families. They love us unconditionally. Yes, I will pray for your Ellie May to recover from her pancreatitis and be home snoring by your bed soon. A dog snoring by the bed is the best white noise ever!!

    Reply
  37. Raymond Whiddon - April 23, 2018 11:50 am

    Prayers for you and your fur buddy!!! Prayers for Bart and his Mom too!!

    Reply
  38. Dianne - April 23, 2018 11:53 am

    Prayers for Ellie Mae, for you, for Bart and his owner. These visits to the vet are the most awful…..I know, my husband and I’ve made them three times. The last was this coming August two years ago. After we returned to our car alone and devastated, we made the decision that we just couldn’t do that trip again. A few months later, we made the decision to start dog sitting in our community, and it’s wonderful. Having these furry friends when their owners are traveling fills the void, fills the home with a lot of fun an love, and like grandparents, we can send them home with their parents without the expense of vet bills and food. Most of these furry friends come to think of our home as their home away from home. We’ll always love and miss our three previous furry children, but know they will be waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge.

    Reply
  39. Jim Baker - April 23, 2018 11:54 am

    Our prayers and love are sent to you three, as well as Bart and his mom. We want to
    hear how you all are doing. Jim & Garnett Bham

    Reply
  40. Jan - April 23, 2018 11:54 am

    Prayers lifted for Ellie May, for you and for Bart and the poor woman who is missing him so very much. May God wrap you all in His loving arms!

    Reply
  41. Terri - April 23, 2018 11:54 am

    Praying for Bart’s Mama, and for Ellie Mae (and for God to give her Vet knowledge and ability). Also praying for you this morning.

    Reply
  42. Sherry - April 23, 2018 11:58 am

    Two weeks ago I lost my fur baby from cancer two days later get sister went from a broken heart. I am sending you prayers for your Ellie May .I know she will rightward get back to you..

    Reply
  43. Jo Ann - April 23, 2018 12:02 pm

    Sending prayers for healing to Ellie Mae & for comfort to Bart’s human. Prayers & comfort to all those who have creatures that they love.

    Reply
  44. tracyfridley - April 23, 2018 12:17 pm

    Sending big, big prayers for you and sweet Ellie Mae. I once had a small dog with pancreatitis, and she came through it just fine, to live many more years.

    Reply
  45. tracyfridley - April 23, 2018 12:19 pm

    Prayers for Bart and his mom. My heart breaks for her…

    Reply
    • Mary Hack - April 23, 2018 12:23 pm

      Sending love and prayers for you, Ellie Mae, and Bart’s mom. And may sweet Bart Rest In Peace, love, and joy.

      Reply
  46. Marcia De Graaf - April 23, 2018 12:22 pm

    Sean, your real life experiences touch me, but this touched deep in my soul. I’m a dog person, or should I say I’m a dog’s person. I so understand your love for Ellie Mae and the way your heart hurts taking her to the vet. I’ll pray she does really well. And I’ll pray for the sweet lady who left the vet’s office alone. I’ve been in her position many times, too, and have shed a bucket of tears over dogs who would not be going home with me. I have a senior cocker spaniel now and know I’ll have to face that day with her at some point. But not now. So she gets all the loving I can give her. After all, that’s all they want. Say hi to Jamie for me.

    Reply
  47. Jill - April 23, 2018 12:28 pm

    You but most of all, Ellie May has my prayers. Now I shall weep for my own Maddie and soon my Rascal. Our companions hold always a special place for us, and we, for them. I think I am going to lay with Rascal today, inhale his scent, memorize him. Over these last few years, I have laughed at Ellie Mays antics, loved her as I do my own in a odd sort of way. I hold her close too.

    Now as for you, you will make through this. I promise.

    Reply
  48. Keloth Thompson - April 23, 2018 12:28 pm

    I am so sorry and we have been thinking about Ellie Mae and you and Jamie🙏💛
    Lots of prayers and hugs from Ozark❤️

    Keloth Anne Thompson

    Reply
  49. Pat - April 23, 2018 12:29 pm

    Prayers🙏🙏🙏🙏

    Reply
  50. Val - April 23, 2018 12:30 pm

    Prayers for Ellie Mae from Omaha. I feel your pain and worry, Sean. Hope she recovers soon.🙏🙏🙏

    Reply
  51. Pam - April 23, 2018 12:40 pm

    Praying for Ellie Mae, you & Bart’s Momma!

    Reply
  52. Teresa Tindle - April 23, 2018 12:44 pm

    Oh my Sean, my prayers for Ellie Mae, for you and Bart and his mom. Like you I truly love dogs. My last baby, Toby, a Beagle, went to wait for me in December. I miss him so much. My children want let me have another baby. I know I can’t take care of one now. I can hardly take care of myself. For the first time in my life I am dogless. I really don’t know what to do with myself. I miss the smell of him. The wet kisses. The adoring eyes. The messes he made. Taking care of him. My dog.

    Reply
  53. Jenny Young - April 23, 2018 12:47 pm

    If you want to know how much God loves you look into the face of your dog.

    I’ve been stressing this morning because tomorrow I have to leave my little dog at the groomer all day instead of the normal half day I usually do. I always try to pick her up as soon as they’re finished because being apart is so very hard on her.

    But your post as pulled me back to my reality. She’s healthy & happy & loved so very much. I wasn’t allowed to have pets as a child. I got my first one a few years after I was married, a gift from my husband. So far I’ve loved & lost four dogs with each time getting a little harder to say goodbye. We have our pet cemetery in our little wood by the house.

    So today I’ll hug the three dogs I still have to love a little tighter. We’ll pray for Ellie Mae to heal & for Bart’s sweet lady to find peace & new love.

    Reply
  54. Erika Brady - April 23, 2018 12:52 pm

    Prayers of course. Keep us posted.

    Reply
  55. Phillip Saunders - April 23, 2018 1:02 pm

    Great story. Made me think of the Rainbow Bridge poem. I needed some of that thin, soft, white tissue paper some of us old folks call Kleenex.

    Reply
  56. Alice cooper - April 23, 2018 1:07 pm

    Tears as I read this and think of Phil the Wonder Dog’s last visit to the vet. I have her collar in a zip lock bag and I sniff it every now and then.keep us posted on Ellie Mae…. lifting Ellie, Bart and my Phil Dog’s names up.

    Reply
  57. janiesjottings - April 23, 2018 1:07 pm

    Prayers . . .

    Reply
  58. Caleb Halstead - April 23, 2018 1:08 pm

    Several years ago when we had to put Luke, our 19-year-old Lab, down I cried like a baby. Our dogs are likely the family members who love us the most.

    Reply
  59. Emily McIntosh - April 23, 2018 1:08 pm

    Sweet Ellie Mae! Prayers for her recovery and for Bart’s mom. Hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

    Reply
  60. Dorese Embry - April 23, 2018 1:15 pm

    I pray, then I read you, before my feet hit the floor every morning. I do this because I wake with a million anxious thoughts going through my head. When I read you, it puts joy in my head and heart. I like to start the day that way; even now as I cry for the joy and moments spent with our pets and the pain and hurt when they have to go. My prayer…..more years for Ellie Mae, peace and comfort for Bart’s love. And I’m grateful for you.

    Reply
  61. Judy Ennis - April 23, 2018 1:15 pm

    Oh,Sean, I’ve made that same visit to the vet’s office. My heart goes out to you. There is no other love like the unconditional love we share with our animal friends and family. Please let us know how Ellie Mae is doing. Will pray special prayers for you two and Bart’s mom too. I’m curious to know if the above is your own wonderful illustration that says it all. Love & prayers………

    Reply
  62. Connie Havard Ryland - April 23, 2018 1:20 pm

    Oh my heart. Praying for you and Ellie, and for Bart’s human. Love and hugs and positive thoughts.

    Reply
  63. Skip D - April 23, 2018 1:25 pm

    I too am a fur sniffer. Prayers for you and Ellie Mae

    Reply
  64. Deanna Duke - April 23, 2018 1:27 pm

    Can’t imagine life without the love of a dog in my life! Tears streaming as I read this! Praying for you and Ellie and Bart’s mom!

    Reply
  65. Lisa Perkins - April 23, 2018 1:28 pm

    Sean, my beloved baby, Peppy le Pew, had a severe bout of pancreatitis a few years ago. He spent a week at an emergency hospital. About the third day, the vet said, we’d like to do a “plasma transfer” which will be $300 more, but we have had great results with it since the other meds aren’t helping much. IT WORKED!! It was a remarkable turnaround! It still took a few more days before he was well enough to come home, but we said if we ever had another dog who got pancreatitis, we would insist on the plasma transfer immediately. Your pup is in my prayers.🙏🐾❤️

    Reply
  66. Cynthia Pruitt - April 23, 2018 1:35 pm

    Please, our Sweet Merciful Lord, please help Ellie Mae as well as my babies Shyla & Ladybug & the woman with the golden retriever – please help her heart to heal but also send her another baby that desperately needs her love that will help her heart to heal. Please help Ellie Mae to heal and please hear all of us that have fallen in love with Ellie Mae – please hear our prayers !

    Reply
  67. Carolyn Woods - April 23, 2018 1:40 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes. I have a 2 year old German shepherd and I am already dreading the day he will not be with us. He is so much trouble and so much a part of our family.

    Reply
  68. Maxine - April 23, 2018 1:41 pm

    Sean, prayers for Ellie and for you, I think Caleb H says it best, our animal’s are the family that loves us best so it is with broken hearts we let them when the time comes. I pray Ellies time is not yet.

    Reply
  69. Amy Parks - April 23, 2018 1:48 pm

    Thank you, Sean, for so eloquently putting into words what so many of us have experienced. My heart breaks for Bart’s mom, as I have been there with both my beloved boys in the past 2 years. And my heart aches for you and your wife – and for Ellie Mae. It is such a struggle to be apart – especially when they don’t feel their best. Many prayers for you, Ellie, and her medical staff. And endless prayers for those left behind.

    Reply
  70. Pat Byers - April 23, 2018 1:51 pm

    It is morning now. EllieMae isn’t having coffee with you. I hope you both weathered the night OK.

    Reply
  71. Debbie Robinson - April 23, 2018 1:53 pm

    Praying for Ellie and Bart’s Mom

    Reply
  72. Jakki - April 23, 2018 1:59 pm

    Thinking of you, Ellie Mae and Bart’s mum. My old boy got pancreatitis when he was 10 & lived for another 5 years on his low fat diet. Hopefully Ellie Mae will do the same!

    Reply
  73. Nix LaVerdi - April 23, 2018 2:01 pm

    Prayers to Ellie Mae, and you, and the elderly lady. RIP sweet Bart. I understand. Thank you for sharing the stories of your heart, Sean.

    Reply
  74. Laura - April 23, 2018 2:04 pm

    Prayers for Ellie and for you! I don’t have a dog right now but my brother’s dog (my ‘nephew’ named Griff) is partly mine. If they say, “You want to go to Lulu’s?” he goes to the door and waits. He loves for me to scratch his behind and play tug or war with him. When he visits he goes to ‘his place” to find his toy or blanket. He’s family. Like Ellie Mae, he’s sick- has a tumor that is probably malignant (we are awaiting pathology). It will require amputation and chemo. I have cried a river since we found out- I can’t help it. I will have Ellie Mae on my prayer list until she recovers. I know you love her and I love you!

    Reply
  75. Lynn and Garry Hedges, A Simple Faith - April 23, 2018 2:05 pm

    Scruffy is 13, a rescue, diabetic and my absolute heart. Scared us with the same thing last spring. I thought my world would end but praise God it didn’t. She was a very sick girl for a while, day trips to Barry Vet for iv’s, meds, special food fed by spoon, a lot of love and a lot of prayers. We survived. She is having a morning at Shaggy to Chic Spa today, getting even more beautiful. Love and prayers for all of you.

    Reply
  76. Kayren Owens - April 23, 2018 2:12 pm

    I am praying for you and your owner, Ellie Mae. I pray that she can be well again and that y’all will have many more days together. By the way, I’m proud that you don’t need a leash as Ellie Mae takes you down life’s roads. My heart is with you and Ellie.

    Reply
  77. Bobby Hamil - April 23, 2018 2:13 pm

    We love our pets. I feel your pain. Thoughts and prayers coming your way.

    Reply
  78. Debbie - April 23, 2018 2:16 pm

    I hope Ellie is home with you by now and feeling much better. My sweet white-faced 10 year old Golden retriever Lucy has had pancreatitis.Very painful and scary but she came through it and I pray Ellie will too. I’ve also been the woman who left alone. I pray for Bart’s owner to be comforted. We love them so.

    Reply
  79. Brenda - April 23, 2018 2:25 pm

    Prayers for Ellie Mae. Pancreatitis is treatable. You just have to be careful what she eats. Prayers for Barts mom as well.

    Reply
    • Charlotte Hollis - April 23, 2018 2:33 pm

      A bounty of prayers for Ellie Mae & you!
      And may Bart’s Mom adopt another furry friend that needs her as much as she needs them…🙏🏻

      Reply
  80. Robin McDonald - April 23, 2018 2:26 pm

    Prayers your way for healing of your fur baby! My Poppy was at the vet over the weekend for the same thing! Fly free at the Rainbow Bridge, BART! 🐶❤️

    Reply
  81. Nancy Laird - April 23, 2018 2:46 pm

    Prayers for Ellie Mae. *sniff sniff* –

    and Bart will be waiting for his human mom at the Rainbow Bridge.

    Reply
  82. Martha Riddle - April 23, 2018 2:49 pm

    My heart breaks for the mom of the golden, we’ve had two and they were members of the family. Prayers for you and Ellie Mae and those responsible for her care. Please let us know how she is doing.

    Reply
  83. Alison Crosby - April 23, 2018 2:56 pm

    Prayers going up for Ellie Mae! You should have more good years left with her, but you can never, NEVER give her treats again. It’s hard, but one bite of Virginia Ham and she’ll be right back where she is today. It’s dry dog food, and only dog food, for Ellie Mae from this point forward. May y’all have many fine adventures in the years ahead….

    Reply
  84. Garnet Faulkner - April 23, 2018 3:00 pm

    I believe I have tears in my coffee.

    Reply
  85. muthahun - April 23, 2018 3:00 pm

    Oh yes, prayers and love, and the note that if there was any sense in the world, vets would allow us to bring our mattresses in and stay.

    Reply
    • Janet Mary Lee - April 23, 2018 4:02 pm

      Amen, muthahun!

      Reply
  86. Betty - April 23, 2018 3:03 pm

    Prayers for Ellie that she will be healthy and be with you much longer. I also pray for the lady that lost her fur baby. May she be comforted by the fact she loved him
    well and he had a good life. I have lost my share and still miss them. I have finally decided I would like to have a small fur baby someday. God bless

    Reply
  87. Marlo Kirkpatrick - April 23, 2018 3:07 pm

    Prayers for Ellie Mae and for Bart’s momma. Keep the faith – I’ve had two dogs who contracted severe pancreatitis and both pulled through just fine. Ellie Mae might just have to lay off the tenderloin for awhile.

    Reply
  88. Jack Quanstrum - April 23, 2018 3:09 pm

    Praying in process!

    Reply
  89. Jolie - April 23, 2018 3:10 pm

    My prayers for you and for Ellie! She certainly doesn’t understand that she can’t follow you as you leave but, as you know, will be so happy when you return!
    My prayers for Bart’s momma too! I know she is having a tough time right now!

    Reply
  90. Jo Ann Ward - April 23, 2018 3:14 pm

    Prayers for Bart and his mom, thanks for the love they gave each other. Prayers for Ellie Mae, that she returns to your side soon. And for you and the love you give to all.

    Reply
  91. Ginger Blalock - April 23, 2018 3:16 pm

    Prayers for Ellie! I hope those IV meds work! Prayers for Bart’s mom….It is SO TOUGH! People who love animals know the hard times are gonna come, but we all live in denial for as LONG AS WE CAN. I’m grandma to a 14 yr. old pit bull (Tenchi) who appears to have dementia….I’m pretty much his care-giver day in/day out. It ain’t easy, but he gave all of us 14 years of joy & love. It’s the least I can do for him.

    Reply
  92. Teri Beck-Grimes - April 23, 2018 3:25 pm

    So many prayers for you, Ellie Mae and the woman who lost her baby. Lost two of my babies within 5 months of each other. Not going to lie – it was gut wrenching. I’ll never forget them…..

    Reply
  93. Diane Barr - April 23, 2018 3:35 pm

    When our beloved animals are sick, we realize what is really important, and those other cares, such as money, etc. are trivial. It’s true, when we and those we love have our health, we have everything. I so hope Ellie Mae gets better. Best of luck to your family.

    Reply
  94. ruth858 - April 23, 2018 3:41 pm

    Sending prayers for healing and peace – for the beloved dogs and for their beloved people. Ellie Mae, you, Bart and Bart’s mom… so much love there.

    Reply
  95. Laurie Pallotta - April 23, 2018 3:47 pm

    Sean,
    We’ve had to send two of our precious dogs on to their better lives, and it was heart wrenching. However, most recently I was able to bring my formerly VERY sick pup home after treatment, and he’s back to acting like a puppy instead of the 10-year-old dog he is. Treatment is a wonderful thing, and I’m praying Ellie Mae’s treatments are as resoundingly successful as Max’s was.

    It’s expensive though, Sean. Every day I am blessed by the words you choose to share with us. May I return the favor and share your vet bill? It would be a blessing to me to help if you need it.

    Laurie
    armewife@gmail.com

    Reply
  96. Barbara McCormack - April 23, 2018 3:50 pm

    I am sobbing as I read this. I’m so glad Ellie Mae has a chance to get better. But the thing with Bart takes me back 46 years to the exact same thing happening with our family’s 14 year old German Shepherd. I grew up with him. My fiancé (now husband of 45 years) comforted me as I grieved for him. Dogs just have a way of working themselves into your heart and staying there forever. No one should ever say “it’s just a dog”. Will continue praying for y’all.

    Reply
  97. lavenderlady - April 23, 2018 3:55 pm

    Through your words, I feel like I know Ellie Mae. I know she is fighting to get well and back home with you.

    Reply
  98. Mary Lee - April 23, 2018 4:06 pm

    Prayers for Ellie Mae going up. God bless her sweet heart and yours too.

    Reply
  99. Jessi C. - April 23, 2018 4:09 pm

    My heart aches for you… I’m very sorry you’re going through this and it is heartbreaking the other lady lost her dearest friend. I never wanted a dog, but we found a 5 month old wild pup on the side of the road several years ago. I decided to work with him until he trusted me and the rest is history. He is so smart, goofy and happy–and he only has eyes for his momma who saved him. Unfortunately, he developed a lot of health problems and we almost had to make the decision to put him to sleep–I just couldn’t bear that, so we gave him one more chance and thankfully, he seems to have stabilized. He has brought a smile to my face everyday since my brother passed away–I think that’s why God gave him to me when he did. (He is also laughing at me by making Galen white and having half his hair fall out. Smh.) I understand the bond you have and the horrible strain and worry this puts you under. I wish Ellie Mae and your family well. That love will last for a lifetime and into the beyond, for sure–and it’s worth it.

    Reply
  100. Cheryl Brantley - April 23, 2018 4:11 pm

    My heart goes out to you and the lady you mentioned. I had to make that painful decision for one of my “fur babies” a little over a year ago and I still tear up every time I think of her or see a dog that reminds me of her. I hope your dog will be able to be treated in order to have some more time left with you, but I can tell you if you have to make that terrible decision one day, you will know when the time is right. I held Missy in my arms until she took her very last breath, all the while gently rubbing her on the back and telling her I loved her. God will give you the strength if that time comes. I am thankful He allows us to retain the sweet memories of our beloved pets.

    Reply
  101. Janet Mary Lee - April 23, 2018 4:20 pm

    Prayers for sweet Ellie May and her Daddy and Mom! Ongoing prayers for her to return to you safe and more sound. There is a lot of comfort in the fact she has a giz-illion people praying for her in one of your longest comment sections ever!! Prayers for Bart and Mom. And since no one has said it yet;There is the reason dog is God spelled backwards… Much love to you, Sean.

    Reply
  102. Dawn - April 23, 2018 4:30 pm

    Praying for you and especially Ellie Mae and her doctor to have the knowledge to heal her. Praying for Bart’s sweet soul and his mama’s who left without him. 🙏🏻♥️

    Reply
  103. Cindy S - April 23, 2018 4:30 pm

    Sean, I feel your pain. I just put down our 14 year old cat a week ago after 3+ months of comfort care for kidney failure. I cried for days both before and after but have no regrets and am thankful I spared him an agonizing death, which was probably only days away. I’ve had pets all my life and have walked this painful path before. I’m not lying— it stinks. It hurts. It smears shirt sleeves and empties a few Kleenex boxes. I also have 2 golden retrievers @ home. I wish we could have all our fur babies forever but that’s not how it works and it’s a waste of time and emotion asking “why.” It’s devastating when we lose our fur babies but oh, what joy (and then some…) they bring to a chapter in our lives. And if we’re really lucky, God blesses us with many chapters of fur babies. Hugs to you and Ellie Mae. One of my goldens is also named Ellie Mae. Hang in there and keep focusing on all the happy times, as you do so well in your blog. Please know you have the empathy of many readers that are blessed to read your daily blog. 🙏🏼

    Reply
  104. Jo - April 23, 2018 4:34 pm

    Prayers and thoughts for Bart’s mom and dad. We had to say goodbye to two of our old girls a couple of weeks ago. It is never easy, even when it is the right thing to do.They, like Bart, could barely walk so we had the doc come out to the back of our van. After sharing a burger, they peacefully left this earth.

    Ellie May – I hope you recover quickly. Our hound is prone to pancreatitis, I can relate to the vet visit and the worry. One thing that has helped her, NaturVet Digestive Enzymes plus Pre & Probiotics. Knock on wood her luck will continue, but since she has been taking that she has not had another bout. Good luck – you and Ellie May will be in my prayers today.

    Reply
  105. Victoria Scott Kearley Hamner - April 23, 2018 4:37 pm

    Izzy survived pancreatitis last year, even though it was touch and go. Ellie can do it too!

    Reply
  106. carn1256 - April 23, 2018 4:54 pm

    Praying for Ellie May, for Bart, and for those who love them..Holding all of you close in my heart.

    Reply
  107. wgarysmith - April 23, 2018 4:58 pm

    Thanks again my friend Sean for jerking on my heart chain and hitting a soft spot. Our rescue dog Petey came into our lives after seeing him dodging in and out of traffic close to the hospital downtown where I was going through daily diagnoses, education and treatment of diabetes. I coaxed him into my car one day after he had narrowly missed traffic at a busy intersection.
    After knocking on doors, canvassing businesses and stapling signs to power poles I realized he was a runaway from God knows where.
    That was verified after I brought him home and he darted at every chance. I put a tag in his collar and received numerous phone calls from a wide area from people who had found Petey. Everyone loves Petey. I was advised to have tge surgical removal of the reason he was “searching for love in all the wrong places”. It worked and he was officially domesticated.
    He has also become a best friend, not only to me but to my cat-loving wife. He has substituted his passion for the opposite sex from natural instinct to true love.
    Petey is getting older. You can se it in his eyes, loss of the ability to jump up in the car, bed and climb stairs. He sleeps more.
    The day is coming where he will join Bart and other best friends.
    God puts them here fir a reason . Just wish He had given them more years.
    The truth is, Petey rescued me during a very low part of my life…….

    Reply
  108. Nicholas Curtis - April 23, 2018 5:29 pm

    Get well soon, Ellie Mae. Sean needs a lotta lookin’ after.

    Reply
    • Nicholas Curtis - April 23, 2018 5:34 pm

      PS to Ellie Mae: Take it easy on the pork chops. You’re no spring chicken, girl!

      Reply
  109. Ruth - April 23, 2018 5:33 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and Ellie Mae. I had to put down my yellow lab a few years ago and I still cry over her. There’s no worse feeling but I hope she gets better soon.

    Reply
  110. Jodi Scott - April 23, 2018 6:24 pm

    I have made that trip to the vets and it is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Praying you have a good outcome and many more years with Ellie Mae.

    Reply
  111. John gray - April 23, 2018 6:38 pm

    Been here too many times…Too many

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  112. Lynn poling - April 23, 2018 6:40 pm

    Dear merciful Father in Heaven. I’m heartfully asking you to comfort Ellie while she in the hospital. Please heal her Pancreas. Send that warm healing love only your touch can give. Assure Ellie Mae’s Mom and Dad you have her in your care. Give them that Faith . Amen.

    Reply
  113. Marilyn Cook - April 23, 2018 7:00 pm

    Sean, hard to get through this without lots of tears as a fellow dog lover. Prayers for you and Ellie Mae and Bart’s Mom. I lost my Kira to cancer a couple of years ago; not easy.

    Thanks for all your posts. Love!

    Reply
  114. James Nearen - April 23, 2018 8:10 pm

    Know just how you feel. Praying.

    Reply
  115. Miriam Rolen - April 23, 2018 9:57 pm

    Bless your heart….and, God, please grant Ellie a few more good years.

    Reply
  116. Lisbeth Garecht - April 23, 2018 10:35 pm

    I’ve been where you are. Too many times. But there will be more. I can’t imagine life without a dog. I feel your pain and I wish I could help you through it. I’m praying Ellie comes home soon! And I’m praying Bart’s mom finds comfort in the memmories of her baby boy.

    Reply
  117. Frieda Borntrager - April 23, 2018 10:46 pm

    There is just nothing that compares to a loving relationship with a fur baby. And when it is interrupted, it is, well, just awful. Really awful. Prayers all around for the aching hearts tonight.

    Reply
  118. Frances Jones - April 23, 2018 11:05 pm

    Many prayers going up from here for Ellie Mae. I know exactly how you are feeling, Sean. My heart is with you.

    Reply
  119. Evelyn Poindexter - April 23, 2018 11:15 pm

    I can understand why a person can become so close to a pet that they cannot entertain the thought of getting another one after you lose one.

    Reply
  120. Wendy Franks - April 23, 2018 11:58 pm

    OMG, I’ve never seen so many comments. This must mean that you all, especially Ellie Mae, are in our heartfelt prayers. Please keep us posted. We care & we love you all.

    Reply
  121. Deena - April 24, 2018 12:34 am

    Prayers for Bart’s mom and prayers for Ellie May and you.

    Reply
  122. Holly D - April 24, 2018 12:47 am

    Sean, I will say a prayer for Ellie Mae tonight, and tomorrow night and every night until I hear she is OK. I lost a sweet wonderful Walker Coon hound several years ago. Gracie Mae Walker showed up on our doorstep at ten months old and was with us for five years. You know how big and clumbsy coon hounds are, well Gracie Mae thought she was a lap dog and could never understand why this grandmother could not manage her on my lap. She was loving and fiercly loyal and protective of me and I loved her back equally. She initially chewed things, being pup and all. She ate my husbands best fishing poles, the pull rope for his boat motor, the shutters from the front windows and so many other things. But we loved her so much. We were devastated when the Vet gave us a diagnosis of advanced lymphoma and had to make the decision to send her home to God. She was far too big to sit on the exam table, so I sat with her in my lap on the floor of the exam room while the Vet gave her the shots an peaceful release to cross the Rainbow Bridge. I sat holding her for the longest time until my legs became numb from her weight. I waited for the longest and shortest time for the Vet to come back and help remove her from my embrace and cried all the way home. For the remainder of the day, I felt like the life had been sucked from me. We miss her so, so much and because of that, I can relate so well to what you’re feeling about Ellie Mae. I wish for God’s healing for her and that she wil be your friend and companion a little while longer.

    Reply
  123. Dru - April 24, 2018 2:16 am

    Prayers for Bart’s mom. I lost Cokey in October but still can’t think of her without crying. We have big, black, curly Bear and our gray rabbit Bobby, but we miss Cokey the spaniel mix, Tess the Sheltie, Goldie and Bunny the fuzzy lops, and Mr. Foo the spotted dwarf bunny. Heaven had better be a big place. I hope Ellie Mae will come back to you and stay for many a year.

    Reply
  124. Jack Darnell - April 24, 2018 2:22 am

    I come from a different world. when Vets were for farm animals, Animals that made life for humans better by their work and gifts, i.e. milk.
    Pets were loved no less than today, many people do not believe that. But they were. When they were too sick, and they were suffering. A dad or grandpa would explain to the child, “Bingo is suffering, she is in great pain. she is an old dog and ready for dog heaven.” The loved pet was taken off and their life ended. There were no injections or what ever is used now. Folks could not afford it. I received the first talk from my dad thru tears when I was 7.

    I sure understand the love of a dog. One mixed and one Spaniel. Both of them loved to death.

    I hope Ellie is well soon.

    Reply
  125. Cathy Gilbert - April 24, 2018 2:48 am

    Prayers said for all. Someone needs to go to the local shelter and get the older woman an older dog. She’ll need something to occupy her broken heart. Keep up apprised on Ellie …💜🙏🏼💜

    Reply
  126. Tawanah Bagwell - April 24, 2018 3:20 am

    You have my prayers and I pray for the lady who had to make that decision for her boy. I have had to do that before and it is the hardest thing a person has to do. I am crying as I type.

    Reply
  127. swuppet - April 24, 2018 3:49 am

    May the Lord comfort you and give you strength and may He heal your beloved Ellie. I also pray the sweet elderly woman who lost Bart will have dreams of him and know that God is keeping him safe for her till she gets to the other side.
    When my beloved Dougal (a Scottie) died of progressive kidney failure in 2012 at age 14 and 8 months, I had a headstone made for him by a gal on Etsy who inscribed it with one of my all-time favorite bible verses:
    “All creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.”
    Romans 8:21
    As much as I look forward to reconnecting with friends and family in heaven, I can’t wait to see all the wonderful cats and dogs Jesus has given me the privilege of loving while here on this earth. Take courage, the Lord is with you and Ellie.

    Reply
  128. Patricia Gibson - April 25, 2018 1:18 am

    My prayers for you!

    Reply
  129. Patti Stahlhut - April 26, 2018 12:41 pm

    This speaks to the heart of everyone who has ever loved a dog.

    Reply

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