James Middleton wrote a moving tribute to his late dog Ella, thanking therapy and his sisters, Kate and Pippa Middleton for helping him as he grieves his pet’s death.
The mental health advocate shared what he’s been going through in an essay for The Sunday Times about his dog who died earlier this month at age 15 from kidney failure. Middleton explained that since his cocker spaniel’s death, he hasn’t been able to bring himself to move her bed and his other six dogs — four of which are Ella’s direct descendants “to keep her legacy going” — also refuse to go on it. He wrote, “When she passed away, I stayed up all night with her. It was 5 am. Her breathing was getting slower and slower. She took in a breath and went rigid—I didn’t feel her breathe out—then slowly started to relax. I waited for the next breath but it never came. I waited and I waited but at the same time I felt comfort. She never suffered. She was a happy dog.” He noted that when he laid her to rest, “All the family came to say their goodbyes. I can’t speak for them but I believe she influenced their lives too. Lupo, Catherine and William’s dog, was one of Ella’s puppies. My sister Pippa and her husband have a pup from Ella, as do other family members.”
Middleton went on to say, “Everybody knew how much she meant to me and there was a day they feared the most: the day Ella was no longer in my life. She meant something to all of them too.”
He also credited his siblings with helping him get through this challenging time, writing, “My sisters came to some of my therapy sessions. They’ve always been there during difficult times and they were at my side during the hardest of times as well. For that, I am forever grateful.”
Lastly, he expressed gratitude for his late pet who “was next to me through my darkest times, her head in my lap. Winston Churchill would complain that he was followed by the ‘black dog’ of depression. I had my own black dog but she was my saving grace.” Middleton concluded the essay by saying, “Having shared my story, the one thing I think we can all agree on, is that the worst thing about having a dog is that they are only with us for part of our life. They can never be there for the whole of it. Sleep well, Ella.”
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