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A Peaceable Pair

Emma and Ellie Dish on Their People, Each Other and Why They Are Best Friends.

Article by Emma and Ellie

Photography by Michael Beightol

Originally published in SW Lake Lifestyle

Emma (a Heeler mix dog): The first year of my life was rough. I was born in northern Kentucky and found by an animal shelter after wandering on my own. After just a few days I was packed up with other dogs for a long ride in a truck to an adoption agency in Lake County (Save-A-Pet in Grayslake). Shortly after my arrival—and just after my first birthday—I gave birth to a litter of puppies. After my puppies were weaned, I was spayed and put up for adoption. Even though I was exhausted and still had my stitches from surgery an empty nester couple brought me to my forever home.

Ellie (a mostly Maine Coon cat): My story is like Emma’s, except I came from a farm in Iowa. I was living in the family’s kitchen with my siblings, and we had so much fun. After eight weeks with our mother, she was let back outside and suddenly lots of students from the University of Iowa started visiting us. We got to play with them and caused a lot of trouble. One day a new family appeared and the next thing I knew I was in a car for the first time on the way to my forever home.

Emma: By the time I moved in Ellie had already been part of our family for four years. I don’t think she liked me very much.

Ellie: You were the new kid and needed to learn the ropes, puppo.

Emma: My first few days all I wanted to do was run. My life up to that point had been so confusing. The new house has a big back yard in a nice neighborhood, and I could tell there were dogs everywhere. So, I ran away to find them.

Ellie: Seriously, you caused so much trouble when you got here. Even I was worried.

Emma: Yeah, I kept running away. Eventually, my parents got a trainer to help me out. I was given a new collar which I really hated. It made a funny sound whenever I strayed too close to the edge of the yard. The trainer was nice, though. She smelled like she spent time with a bunch of dogs. Let me tell you, she had the most delicious treats, too. Just by staying in the yard I got so much love (and treats). Let’s just say I learned my lesson.

Ellie: I’m a lot different than Emma.

Emma: I’ll say…

Ellie: I’m a climber. I like to stay inside and climb up to get the best look around. I jump up on the couch, tables, chairs, but my favorite place is the kitchen counter. I like to sit on one side of the sink until one of our people turn on the faucet so I can drink water.

Emma: I’m not allowed to do anything like that.

Ellie: Tell the truth now…

Emma: Well, I guess I do get to climb up on the bed.

Ellie: Me, too. It’s just so comfortable when all of us are together.

Emma: Yep, I hear you about that. I also like it when our parents are in the family room. Mom likes to grab a blanket to lay down on the carpet with me to watch TV.

Ellie: And I jump up on the couch and snuggle with dad. It’s very peaceful. I don’t really watch much TV because after a while I get very sleepy.

Emma: I love TV, especially when there are animals. Whenever I hear animal noises I really perk up and pay attention.

Ellie: One of the things I love about Emma is she always knows what’s going on both inside and outside our house. It makes me feel safe knowing that she is always on the watch. Emma also amazingly knows whenever one of our people comes home. She always goes straight to the door to wait for one of them to walk inside.

Emma: Ellie comes, too. She just tries to play it cool.

Ellie: That’s just me being me!

Emma: I love how Ellie likes to play with me. Sometimes I’ll walk by her and all of a sudden—WHAP—she reaches out to give me a playful slap. Then we’ll start chasing each other a little bit, but not so much that we get in trouble.

Ellie: You really are my best friend.

Emma: You’re my best friend, too. It’s crazy to think about how we are so very different, come from different places and still here we are—best friends.

Ellie: You know, the things that make us different aren’t as important as the things where we are alike. I really love that dog.

Emma: Living here has taught me that despite our obvious differences, on the most important things we have a lot in common. I really love that cat.

  • Ellie
  • Emma
  • Emma