Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

A heartbroken woman who had to put her collie down due to ill health was joined by dozens as she took her pet for one last walk on the beach.

Sarah Keith, 44, took Ella, 12, to her favourite beach in Bridlington, East Yorkshire to say goodbye, taking to social media to ask other dog owners to join them for the special outing on Monday.

More than 30 dogs, and some 25 supporters, met them for the touching moment to see off Ella, who was diagnosed with oral cancer. The message had been shared over 1,200 times.

Tearful Sarah said Ella, who also suffered from arthritis, had loved charging about with other dogs before she was put to sleep just a few hours later. 

‘There were people who I’d never met them. You don’t know who they are,’ she said. ‘But it’s lovely they showed a bit of humility and grace when something like this happens.

Sarah, who is from Hull, said she avoided crying except for a moment where someone hugged her. 

‘There was also a lady that made a hand-stitched keepsake,’ she added. ‘And there was a group of people with border collies, and Ella loved running with them. At one point there were six or seven going after the same ball.

‘She was the best dog I have ever had, and I have had lots of dogs.’ 

The two were together for 11 years before Ella fell ill. 

Tearful Sarah said Ella, who also suffered from arthritis, had loved charging about with other dogs before she was put to sleep just a few hours later

Sarah issued the call after being told on Friday, February 3. A veterinary biopsy revealed she’d contracted mouth cancer. 

And knowing her age and breed, the owner decided treatment that might be required to prolong her life would only bring more pain.

‘It would have been selfish for me to prolong her suffering, just because I didn’t want to say goodbye to her,’ she said. 

Sarah was shocked to see how many people had showed up to make Ella’s last walk special.

‘I thought people who knew her would maybe come down,’ she explained. ‘Obviously, a lot of people are working on Monday, but I didn’t want to mess anyone around over the weekend.’

But the post got ‘shared and shared’. 

‘I had people from all parts of the country who never were going to be able to make the walk sending me messages,’ Sarah remarked. ‘When I arrived, there was probably more than 30 dogs, and in the region of 25 owners.

‘There was even a group with leads on, with not particularly social dogs, but they hand wanted to support in their own way.’

She said her hound had come to live with her at the age of one after the farmer who first reared her realised she wasn’t going to make a good sheepdog.

The border collie had previously lived in an outdoor kennel, but former RSPCA inspector Sarah realised she would make a good house pet

The border collie had previously lived in an outdoor kennel, but former RSPCA inspector Sarah realised she would make a good house pet.

‘This collie was coming up to one-year-old, and she just wouldn’t work sheep for the farmer, so he got another pup, and he was trying to find a home for her,’ she said.

‘The day after I moved into my house, she moved in with me.

‘And as it transpired, when I got her paperwork through, it was actually her first birthday the day she moved in.

‘I sent the farmer a photo of her laid out on the floor. He said, “What’s she doing there? She’s not a house dog.” I said: “I think you’ll find she is”.’