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44 Ways My Dog Taught Me How To Be A Better Human

Ella was a therapy dog, lover, healer, jokester, athlete, protector, supporter, friend, teacher and so much more. She was the most graceful dog I have ever known and she taught me a lot about life and being a better human.

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1. Don't let the past dictate your present or future.

Marian Thomas

From the moment we rescued her from a high kill rate shelter in South Los Angeles, Ella was grateful. When she had to have 3 knee surgeries before 2 years old, she remained a good sport, happy and grateful. And as she grew old and her body weakened, she was appreciative of the support yet never let her weak condition stop her from living a happy life. She lived in the moment and didn’t let the past dictate her days.

2. A spoonful of peanut butter helps the medicine go down.

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Marian Thomas / Via YouTube

Ella hated medicine but loved peanut butter. Sometimes mixing the two was the best way to stay healthy and happy.

5. Smile at strangers and spread some cheer.

Marian Thomas

Smiling at strangers spreads cheer and makes people feel good and Ella was good at that. Every time we went for a walk or met new people, her smile was infectious and they couldn't help but be happy around her.

9. Don't run away from fireworks. They can lead to amazing relationships.

Marian Thomas

Most dogs are afraid of fireworks. Ella was too for many years. Then she met her friend Wes who showed her how much fun it could be. It also made it safer for her to be around fireworks. (Most dogs get injured on July 4th because of their fear of fireworks.)

In life we will come across people who spark fireworks inside of us. Ella was brave and showed us not to be afraid to jump in and enjoy the show.

10. You are never too old for toys.

Marian Thomas

Ella had many nicknames including Chewie as she loved to chew and sounded like Chewbacca when she played. She loved her chew toy Chewie.

11. Let it go.

Marian Thomas

Let it go. Don't hold grudges. Forget about your fights. Move on. Even after Ella a Rottie Mix and Shortbread a pitbull mix had a huge fight, she would forget about the fight and lay next to her sister. Ella was great at letting go.

12. Always be up for new friends.

Marian Thomas

Ella loved meeting new friends. She was nice to everyone and even in her old age when she was disabled, she was always open to meeting puppies. She was kind and patient with puppies.

13. Being playful keeps you young.

Marian Thomas

Ella was playful until then end. At 13 years old (93 human years) she remained playful and many people still thought she was a puppy.

14. When you have a choice, always go for the big stick!

Marian Thomas

When it came to playing fetch with sticks, Ella always went for the big stick. Ella lived her days with the laws of attraction philosophy. She went for it.

15. Sometimes to feel better, you need to do the work.

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Ella knew that it helped her legs and hips and she was always up for doing physical therapy. As we age we hurt ourselves and forget to do the work or claim we don't have the time. In order to feel better, we need to do the work.

16. Go where you are needed.

Marian Thomas

From a young age, Ella always went where she knew she was needed. She was a healing dog and was always up for providing TLC when needed.

19. Let others help you.

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Marian Thomas / Via YouTube

As she aged, Ella was kind in letting people help her. She actually enjoyed acupuncture. See for yourself.

22. Take a nap when you are a tired.

Marian Thomas

Your mood and energy will shift when you listen to your body. Ella listened to her body most of the time. She napped when she needed to. Especially after the beach.

26. Always strive for the top. The view is better.

Marian Thomas

Ella loved to climb and take on challenges. Regardless of how she felt, she pushed herself and at the end, always had a huge smile on her face.

29. Make your friends feel special.

Marian Thomas

Ella knew how to make her friends feel special. She provided a lot of love and affection. She remembered the ones that made a mark on her and she was grateful for the friendship.

30. Be protective of your home and family.

Marian Thomas

While Ella was kind quiet and gentle she had a deep bark, a ferocious growl and was protective of her friends and family.

31. The ocean makes you feel better.

Marian Thomas

Ella loved the ocean. She loved to watch the waves, ride the waves and just sit and enjoy the sea air. Every time I go to the ocean, I feel the same. I sometimes forget living in Southern CA how accessible the beach is to us.

32. A simple touch can show someone you care.

Marian Thomas

Sometimes our actions mean more than our words. Ella was great with small gestures going a long way. Peanut was moody and cranky and Ella had a way of calming him.

33. Never lose your childlike wonder and awe of things.

Marian Thomas

Ella got excited about everything. She was curious and always in awe of things like a child or puppy seeing it for the first time. She loved to LIVE.

35. Exercise with friends is more fun.

Marian Thomas

Ella loved to play and when she was young loved to play rough at the beach. Exercise was always more fun when we had friends around.

37. You can get by with a little help from your friends.

Marian Thomas

When it got bad, Ella needed help walking. She was grateful and wanted to walk farther. Her mind was willing but her body was not. When she needed the assistance she got by because she had a lot of friends who wanted to help her. She was open to accepting the help which helped her live a happier and longer life.

38. Let others lean on you.

Marian Thomas

Sometimes you need to be stronger for others and being a good friend is when you can let others lean on you. Ella was a good friend and a good example to us all.

39. Missing loved ones is hard, but gets easier when you are with friends.

Marian Thomas

Ella missed me when I had to go to work, but it got easier when hung out with her BFF Floyd.

42. Best friends come in all shapes and sizes.

Marian Thomas

Ella was a good friend. She never judged a creature or person and when it came to her close friends like Peanut, she was the best!

43. Relax on the weekend with some music and a siesta in the garden.

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Ella loved to sit and listen to the blues in the garden while I tended to it. She was a blues dog.

Ella was my Best Friend.

Marian Thomas

No one will ever know the relationship between a man/woman and his/her dog. There are those who own dogs but don’t really get it and there are the dog people. I’ve had many dogs growing up from childhood and can san say I have been a faithful dog person but never in my life did I ever have the honor of raising and living with a dog as faithful and graceful as Ella.

...and the epitome of pure love.

Marian Thomas

She was a blessing and her life lessons will always stay with me. Rest in peace my dear Ella. Thank you for the 13 years of loyalty and friendship you gave to me.

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