A tribute to Independence Day from one lucky dog. This story is all about being free, brought to you by me, Charlie Bear. Check out how skinny Ellen was when she first came to Best Friends (see video). And look at how she changed! Kind of like me…I was a mess when I was found on a playground, but look at me now (I snuck in a photo of me at the bottom).
Here’s Ellen’s story, told on the Best Friends blog:
Do you know about the Vicktory dogs at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary? Ellen, one of the Vicktory dogs and one of the most affectionate a visitor could hope to meet, passed away peacefully last weekend. At 11 years old, she was one of the oldest of the dogs seized from the property of NFL quarterback Michael Vick.
Per court orders, the Vicktory dogs were not allowed to interact directly with Sanctuary visitors. Even though she couldn’t visit with them face to face, Ellen still left a lasting positive impression on those who came near her.
When tour groups stopped by, a caregiver would often bring out Ellen on one side of the parking lot with visitors watching from the other side. She would smile, wag her tail, and flirt with them the whole time. “The impact that it had on our visitors, tours and guests was visible,” says caregiver Tom Williams. “You could see those people were touched.”
Last month, Ellen’s dream to meet visitors up close finally came true. The red collar (staff-only) status was lifted for seven of the Vicktory dogs, including Ellen. At last, she could greet visitors face to face. “She was in her glory,” Tom says. When visitors stopped by, she loved nothing more than to march right into their midst and hand out kisses with unabashed enthusiasm.
Admittedly, once they heard about Ellen’s background, many of the visitors were somewhat hesitant at first to meet her. After all, there are a lot of myths still floating around about fighting dogs and their personalities. Such reservations, however, only lasted seconds once she turned on the charm. “You could just see them change their perception,” Tom says. “She went a long way toward helping not only the Vick dogs that are here, but pit bulls in general. She helped to dispel the myths about them.”
Farewell, Ellen, and thanks for everything. You will be sorely missed.
Best Friends Staff
* * *
Charlie Bear back again. Click on the link below to watch a video of Ellen. I particularly like the photo of Ellen in her Santa hat. I’ve been there, done that.
Have a wiggly day, everyone,