Please listen up, friends, as I have a very important post to share with you...
I had a great surprise earlier today in that I had a long phone conversation with my friend Ellie. Now, quite a few of you know her story already but for those of you that have just arrived at Lost in Arles (merci!), let me tell you simply that she is one of the most incredible people that I have ever met. I am honored to know her. She is currently in her sixth year of living with ALS and inspires thousands of her loyal friends and followers through her blog, Have Some Decorum. You can read more about her by clicking here and about how we met, here.
To give you an idea of Ellie's strength of will, she got it into her head that she needed to leave Paris for Provence last Summer and had moved into an amazing property by October. That it was less than a fifteen-minute drive away from my tiny village was a wonderful surprise to us both. Of course, she immediately wanted to adopt a dog. I suggested that she visit the Refuge SPA des Baux de Provence where we adopted Kipling and the rest of the story is nothing short of magical. I will let you read about it in her own words, here.
Teddy had grown up at the refuge; we had walked right by him those years ago. It was meant to be that he and Ellie found each other. From the moment that they brought him home, he was an angel doggy. He was potty-trained, was a great guard dog, he didn't misbehave or chew on the furniture - if anything he made himself right at home on the antiques! And best of all, he understood instinctively that Ellie was physically fragile and not only never jumped up on her but would put that beautiful head of his on her lap.
Teddy is one of the most loving dogs, ever. The first time that I met him, when he understood that I was a dog person, he wanted to give me so many kisses - to the point that when I held him back for a second, he kept kissing the air! He truly has an exceptional, exceptional spirit.
But. Life does not always go according to our hopes and plans. This winter, Ellie's ALS took a drastic turn for the worse (this was not predicted by her doctor but it can happen with the disease) and she was forced to move back up to Paris and immediately into palliative care. This all happened very, very quickly. Her puppy Valentin and kitten Iris found loving homes. Teddy was initially placed with extended family but sadly, it did not work out so Teddy is back at the refuge and is waiting for a new home.
Here is a recent photo of him from their website. He is going by his previous name of Bidule and it is estimated that he is five years old. As you can see, he is still a happy boy. The Griffon in him means that he is a big guy but one with a tender heart. I know from a friend who volunteers at the refuge that he has always been a favorite there. And of course I can understand why. Unfortunately, due to Kipling's aggressive behavior, there is no way that we can adopt another dog, no matter how wonderful he is.
I had the idea for this post a while back but as Ellie was fighting for her life, in no way was it appropriate for me to inquire if it was ok to do so. Today she brought him up and so here we are (and I hope she doesn't mind that I used these photos from her blog - the ones that I took of him on my iphone are a complete blur as I was laughing too much). I am sure that you can imagine how hard it was for her to have left him behind. He will definitely make someone very happy again one day.
If you would like further information about adopting Teddy:
-- feel free to email me directly at email@example.com and I would be happy to connect you to people at the refuge, especially if you do not speak French.
-- if you do, by all means contact the SPA des Baux directly and ask about Bidule.
-- you can also see more photos of Teddy by clicking here.
I realize that many of you, most of you, are far away but I still want to put this out there for those of you in the region or visiting soon. Because, you never know. I will keep you posted.
And for those of you who have been praying for Ellie's well being, thank you with all of my heart. I love her dearly.
My friend Elizabeth, aka La Contessa, is working with one of her readers to raise some funding for Ellie's incredibly expensive health-care. You can read more about it: here as well as a beautiful post about Ellie by my friend Tish here.
In typical form, Ellie has just moved into an apartment in the most perfect spot of all Paris, directly over the gardens of the Palais Royal. To read her instagram updates, you can find her here.
Please feel free to pass this along on all forms of social media as you see fit.
Ellie and I both will thank you for it!