The ad said “free puppies” and listed a rural address on the Bad River Indian Reservation in the most Northern East corner of Wisconsin. That is where I found Ella—it was 15 years ago this summer and she and I have been a pack ever since.
Ella has seen both coasts of the United States, swam in both oceans. She has canoed down the Brule River and sailed in Lake Superior. She has lots of friends. She has been the subject of much art. She was on CNN.
Next weekend we are headed back to birthplace-of-Ella-land for a week of all her favorite things. She is such an old lady now, but still loves to swim and I found a cabin with a deck right on the lake. It will probably be our last big adventure together. This time around, anyway.
I am taking a stack of these new Gocco prints to paint in while I watch Ella swim. I think I will call it, “The First Day” subtitled, “If, Next Time, You are the Person and I am the Dog, Remember I Took You on Bicycle Rides Even in the Rain”.