Today we celebrate Ella who came home to Canada on Dec 12, 2005. The story below was originally published on the Scooby Medina site in 2004. It’s the story of a special galga who stole our hearts and started all of this!
Ella was an underdog at the shelter but her will to live was stronger than any of the alpha dogs. We always said she was sweet as candy and tough as nails. She lived an amazing life, with leishmania at that, and became an ambassador for the breed here in Canada.
We said goodbye to Ella on August 21, 2013 at the beautiful age of 16 1/2.
*At Scooby she was named Bella, but that was changed to Ella when she was adopted.
All the dogs at Scooby are special. And everyone single one left a paw print on my heart. This is my story of a special Galgo named Bella. I named her Bella, because she is such a beautiful girl with a beautiful spirit.
A few days before I arrived at Scooby, Bella was wounded quite badly in Paddock 1. When I first laid eyes on her she was in one of the kennels by the back room where all the coats and blankets are stored. She was lying on her left side and held this position for over a day. One volunteer expressed to me that he was worried about her and thought that she was going to die from the shock. At that moment, I wasn’t aware of the extent of the wounds, as she was wearing a gown to keep her warm and her wounds clean. Later that night, Maria Jose and I took her into the clinic to clean her wounds and give her meds to prevent infection. To my shock, I saw the wound that everyone was so worried about. It was at her right flank. The hole was so big that I could have made a fist and inserted into the wound. Bella was brave. As I held her body against mine, her beautiful little head rested on my shoulder. I could feel her heart beating a million times a minute. She allowed Maria Jose to cleaned her wounds without a peep. Afterwards, she trotted down the corridor and decided that she no longer wanted to sleep in the kennel, but in a bed in the blanket room. So I made a bed for her and kissed her goodnight.
From that night on, Bella was the first dog that I would go to see in the morning and the last when I was leaving for the day. Every morning, I found pee on the floor and full dish of food and water. I would clean everything up, give her fresh water and change her gown and bedding. I was worried that she wasn’t eating or drinking anything. So I got some canned food and started rubbing it on her gums. She licked it off, although I don’t think she enjoyed it, she only ate about a tablespoon of food. Days past, and Bella was healing but still not eating. We were able to see her ribs now and her tiny waist was becoming even more tiny. Fermín had a look at her on Wednesday and was optimistic of the wounds as they were a good colour and seemed to be healing. Fermín endearingly called her a “very old lady”. Bella was all black with a grey muzzle and very small. We suspect she is about 7 or 8, which of course for a Galgo is “old” as many are only 2 or 3 when they arrive at Scooby.
On Friday morning, Maria Jose wanted to see Bella in the clinic again. Bella did not want to move. I didn’t want to carry her, as her wounds were still too fresh. It took me 15 minutes, but I placed every step that Bella took down the corridor. Finally we made it to the clinic. Maria Jose cleaned her up and gave her the required meds and Bella retuned to her bed. I put a new gown and coat on her – a green coat with Shamrocks… thinking she needed all the luck that she could get. Maria Jose and I decided that it was time to force feed her. Maria Jose had a powder supplement that you mix with water to make a baby-formula-consistency food. I suggested using a large syringe to ensure Bella was eating the food. By the second syringe portion, Bella was licking it, so I decide to give her the bowl. She ate most of it. We were making progress.
Friday was an emotional day for me, as it was my last day at Scooby. There was much to do, as Maria was busy getting the transport to Holland organized. At around 6:30PM, I entered the main door and there was a Galgo prancing in the corridor. I said to myself, “What? Who? Oh My God!”, it was Bella. She was walking all by herself. I grabbed her and gave her the biggest hug ever. In tears, I kissed and hugged her and thanked her for the most wonderful gift anyone, any dog could have ever given me before I left Scooby…Life. I ran to see Maria Jose. She looked worried by the tears in my eyes and I quickly assured her that all was good and that Bella was up and walking on her own. Together, we cried and hugged in the walkway in the quarantine. I returned to see Bella eating chicken from one of the other dog’s bowls. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Earlier that morning, Bella was hesitant to stand and later that day she was walking and helping herself to another dogs dinner. She was on the road to recovery. As we watched this miracle, I said to Maria Jose, “You call me when this little girl is ready to travel, and I will come back to get her!”
I called Maria Jose when I returned to Canada and asked her how my girl was doing. Her response, “She is doing just fine. Running. Playing. And eating.”
This story has probably played out hundreds of times at Scooby. It truly is an amazing place. Dogs that need help or need to be cared for, nursed back to life or just need a safe place on this Earth are given a chance at Scooby. I will stay in touch with Bella and hopefully one day soon she will make her last trip down the long corridor where we started our relationship and over to Canada to join our family. Heal quickly my beautiful girl.