When Dreams Fall Apart

Thursday morning update: Thank you all so very much for your love and concern. Vet sat with her last night before going home, and she was calm. Ellie’s surgery will happen about 9am Central.

I’m going to be really raw with you all tonight and share what’s going on. There’s not always a good way to share hurts and disappointments, because sometimes they involve other people.

Ellie, my English Cream Golden Retriever, has been a sweet buddy to me since I got her three and a half years ago. She’s such a loyal friend and super smart too.

A dream of mine has also been to raise puppies, so I pursued that route once she turned two. Ellie went through extensive testing and turned out beautifully. Even the vet said breeding her would only improve her line. Her hips, which can be a weak link on goldens, scored in the top 5%. Excellent.

Last month, I bred Ellie to a gorgeous male. We all were excited about puppies in August, and it seemed my dream was coming true. Two weeks ago, Ellie had a concerning issue, so I took her to the vet. He checked her progesterone and even ran a blood panel, and she seemed okay, so we scheduled an ultrasound for the 10th. In dogs, gestation is very short. About halfway through, you can check for pregnancy via ultrasound.

Giving Ellie some love when she wasn’t feeling well

Ellie hasn’t been herself since, but some of that could be attributed to being pregnant. This afternoon with anticipation, I brought her in for an ultrasound. I watched the screen as the vet moved the wand over her stomach, and instead of seeing little puppy sacs with beating hearts, we discovered infection. This wasn’t a small infection either. After drawing blood and testing it, we found her white blood cells are dangerously high. Because of that, Ellie needed to stay so they could start her on an IV and antibiotics, keep her overnight, and do surgery in the morning.

That was hard. Really hard. Yes, the loss of dreams, but to leave my sweet girl and to know she is so sick. She’s the kind of dog who doesn’t even like to go to a vet, and here she would have to stay. I took off her collar and leash and said good-bye with tears. The vet and his staff have been incredible and super helpful through this whole process. They assured me they will take good care of her, and I know they will. They hope I can bring her home Thursday night yet.

Life doesn’t always go as planned, but the Lord uses disappointments to draw us closer to Him. While I don’t understand, I know this is minor in the grand scheme of things. I trust, and I rest. Yes, I do shed tears and pray that Ellie’s infection will go down overnight and the surgery goes well so I can bring her home.


One of her favorite places is to be on the porch in the morning while I have my Bible time.

“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast …” Proverbs 12:10

75 thoughts on “When Dreams Fall Apart”

  1. Many prayers for Ellie’s healing and for you and your family as you await news on her surgery. Prayers for peace. Gods got this!

  2. Oh my goodness!
    I am so sorry and am praying for Ellie and your family. I know how hard it is to leave dogs at the vet while they are seriously sick. We had plenty of that while our dog was fighting cancer in the last days of her life.
    Keep us all updated!

  3. I’m so sorry to hear this. Praying for your sweet Ellie. I hope everything turns out good.

  4. Hey Doggy Mama – Your little girl is in good hands. Don’t panic. Pray for the vets and Ellie. Major hugs to you Sarah! Love ya – Cathie

  5. Our family is praying for your sweet dog. The Lord loves all of his creation. What a blessing it is to live our lives with animals.

  6. My dear Sarah – I know your heart is breaking tonight. I’m praying for you and your precious Ellie.

    In the name of Jesus I renounce this spirit of death and illness over Ellie and release the Spirit of Life into her for total and complete healing and restoration. I command her immune system to work perfectly and for Ellie to be completely healed. I also release life into Ellie’s reproductive system, that she would be able to conceive and give birth to healthy puppies in the near future. I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen and amen.

    “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” Mark 11:24

  7. Oh Sarah, I’m so sorry about this! I always love your posts about Ellie & Arnold. Ellie seems like such a sweet, loving dog. We have a little black & white tuxedo cat named Ellie who came into our lives almost three years ago, just three months after the sudden death of our 27 year old son. Pets can be such a comfort and blessing and such a special part of our families. I will certainly be praying for your Ellie’s recovery and for you and the whole family during this very distressing time! God bless you and I hope to hear good news very soon.

  8. My dear Sarah I am so sorry for your disappointment and heartache. You were handed a devastating blow of Ellie not being able to have puppies, but then to have her so sick. God is holding your hand through this difficult time and your many readers are praying for you and Ellie. With Love, Catherine

  9. I’m so very sorry Sarah. Thank you for sharing your vulnerabilities. Prayers for Ellie’s recovery.

  10. I’m so sorry! I’m praying for Ellie that she will get well quickly, for the vet that he may be guided by God, and for you to feel the love and comfort Christ has for you.

  11. Oh, Sarah, I am so sorry to hear this, I know how much sweet Ellie means to you by reading your posts and seeing your pictures of her. She is a true friend and companion to you and your love for her shines through. I am praying that the infection clears up, the surgery goes well, and she is back by your side soon.

  12. Aw, Sarah, I am so sorry. I choked up reading this. I pray Ellie will quickly recover and be back by your side very soon.

  13. Our animal companions become like family, don’t they? Hoping for the best possible outcome for Ellie. Rest assured the vet and his staff will do their utmost for her.

  14. Oh Sarah!! Praying for you and Ellie tonight. Hoping for a quick and easy recovery and a sweet reunion for you both!

  15. Oh, Sarah, I am sorry. You and Ellie are in my prayers. Thank you for sharing this with us. It is obvious how much you love your sweet pup and I’m wishing you both all the love in the world right now.

  16. I’m so sorry, Sarah. Our pets are so special to us, and we never want them to be sick or in pain. Please know I’m adding my prayers for precious Ellie, and for you.
    Thank you for sharing this with us, so we can pray.
    Love, Mrs. Patti
    1 Peter 5:7

  17. Sarah,

    We are so sorry to hear this news and are praying for your sweet dog. May God give you and her peace and comfort while she is away.
    Much Love, Jill

  18. I’m sorry to hear this! Praying for you and Ellie. Hope she gets better soon!

  19. My favourite dog when I was a little girl had something similar happen to her, but sadly she didn’t make it. I couldn’t see it at the time, but our next dog was a rescue and it was the Lord’s way of sending us in that direction instead.

    He ALWAYS has plans for you even if they aren’t revealed to you at the time. Even if the puppies dream isn’t meant to be, He KNOWS you and what you need – and maybe that need is for Ellie to be spared the risks of pregnancy and you to be spared the fears that come with that. He will tell you in His time.

    Praying for you all.

    1. Yes, sadly, this issue isn’t too common, but apparently, it happened to Ellie. Yes, this whole thing has already been a journey of trust, and I continue to wait.

  20. Praying for Ellie to recover fully. Having the ultrasound scheduled to check on the puppies sounds like it saved Ellie’s life. I’m always grateful for the tokens of God’s tender care in trials. It is a blessing to have a relational God who cares about us so much. I know He is giving you His peace. God bless you as you help Ellie to recover.

  21. I’m praying Sarah. Our pets are gifts from God, good things given to us by our Loving Father. They bring such joy and happiness to our lives!! But when they are hurt or become sick, it’s terribly hard to watch them suffer and be apart from them. I’m praying for you and that Ellie has a full recovery, but of course I’m also praying for God’s will to be done and that you grow closer to Him throughout it all.

    Much love and prayer to you and to Ellie!

  22. This must be so hard. I said goodbye to some very dear dreams several weeks ago; and it completely changed my life. God was there, closer then ever; and He will be with you as well.

  23. It’s never easy to watch and worry over a loved one, including the four legged ones. Praying all will go well!

  24. So Sad for you Sarah and thinking of you all in our prayers.
    Sending lots of love and blessings from the Uk.

  25. I don’t normally comment but so sorry to hear about Ellie. I hope she makes a speedy recovery. In the meantime take care of yourself hugs Bev

  26. Praying for Ellie to safely come through surgery. Will look forward to your next post.


  27. So sorry, Sarah. Hope she pulls through okay. My parents just had to put down one of the family dogs this morning. She had some sort of sudden brain injury.

  28. Praying for a quick recovery for sweet Ellie and for strength and good things for you, Sarah.

  29. Dear Sarah,

    So sorry to hear about Ellie. Will be so praying for you, I have a lab called Bella, and I pray and thank God for her each day, sometimes I cry when I think about her dying, but I also thank God for for the blessings that she gives me and the joy!!!

    Lots of love,

    Grace-Ann B.

  30. Hi, Sarah- I am so sorry you and Ellie had to go through this. But- and you already know this- you ABSOLUTELY DID THE RIGHT THING. Pyometra kills dogs. Ellie is very lucky you caught it early and acted quickly. The downside is the trauma you’ve been through and no puppies. The upside is that there are numerous health benefits from spaying a dog. By doing this now you not only saved her life but potentially avoided more suffering down the road. It is all in God’s hands. He sees the big picture. Jesus, I trust in you!

    1. Yes, it was rough, but I believe going in for the ultrasound saved her life. Pyometra is very serious. That was the hard part Wednesday night (doesn’t help to read more about it before going to bed). But I’m very thankful she came through.

  31. Long time reader, 1st time commenter here. Poor sweet Ellie, she’s an adorable doggy. We had Shelby, a white GSD, which we bred a while back. Sadly Shelby caught an infection too and we had to abort and spay. Broke our hearts, but what can you do? Shelby is our sweetness, and thanks be to God she’s still with us. Give sweet Ellie a hug from me xxx

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