Tribute to Ella

It’s harvest time. Halloween is coming. Pumpkins are everywhere and the last of the fresh fruit and veggies is on the tables at farm stands.

 I should have lots to say as a foodie this week. But I’ve got nothing. I lost my mojo. Her name was Ella.

Regular readers will know who Ella is; for any passers-by, she was my trusted companion and my best pal.

Ella was a Chocolate Labrador Retriever. She had the most beautiful smile, and the softest fur (especially just behind her ears), and she never lost that wonderful puppy smell.

Best of all, she loved me.

Anyone who has ever owned a dog knows they have mastered the art of unconditional love. Who could ask for a better pal than one who is always happy to see you and never complains?

They listen to your rambling; they want to do what you’re doing, and they love your company. Labradors are a particular breed known as gourmands too. That made Ella and me a match made in heaven.

We had 13 beautiful years together, walking every day we were home in the neighbouring fields and orchards. I saw and heard things I would have missed for sure without Ella alongside me.

She gave me recipe ideas too, as I noticed she liked sundried zucchinis (have you ever tried zucchini chips? – delicious.) She loved peaches and cucumbers together, and pears and zucchinis. I agreed with her once I tried them in salads.

But now she is gone. And nothing is the same.

I keep expecting her to come round the corner into the room. The house is awfully quiet without the pitter-patter of brown feet.

There was no one to lick the bottom of my empty yogurt container yesterday after breakfast, and no one to munch the carrot ends that Hubby chopped off when preparing dinner.

All those things make me sad.

Ella reminded me to be grateful every day. She helped me to stop and smell the flowers, to taste fresh foods in season and enjoy the view.

My walks in the morning are lonely now without her company, but all I can think is that I need to keep being grateful. I need to remember what she taught me.

Winter is coming. By the time you read this, there may already be snow on the ground. I know for many of us that is a depressing idea, to have the coldest darkest time of year descend upon us.

Part of me wants to say, “Snuggle up with a batch of cookies or a pint of Häagen-Dazs and forget about the world.” But I’ll invoke Ella’s spirit instead and encourage you to bundle up and get outside.

Visit a local farm stand and buy a pumpkin or some apples. Sniff the breeze. Enjoy the view.

And if you see a friendly four-legged friend, give them a pat and smile. I bet you’ll feel even better.

Here’s to you, my lovely Brown Girl. Enjoy your time over the Rainbow Bridge. I’ll see you in my dreams.

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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