Ellie Hansen is an award-winning writer, animal advocate. and founder and CEO of Lovable Pets, Inc., a holistic pet supply company located in Billings, MT. She holds a B.A. degree in Mass Communications and Public Relations from Bloomsburg University. Her published works include two books and several magazine articles focusing on profound human relationships with dogs.
Ellie’s second book Laboratory Dogs Rescued: From Test Subjects to Beloved Companions (2021) inspired this podcast.
by Ellie Hansen
I remember the first moment I met Marty. Of all the beagles running around and available for me to choose from, he was the one who wanted to be near me the least. I might as well have been wearing a Frankenstein mask. Well, maybe to him…I was.
He had been released from a pharmaceutical research facility at age six. Whatever happened to him in there is unknown. Whatever it was made people monsters to him.
That was seven years ago. Little could I have guessed how Marty would guide my life and work as the years have passed.
In the beginning it was just about being able to look at Marty without him having a panic attack. To say the least, our entire household revolved around helping Marty feel safe. That safety slowly turned into curiosity. Curiosity quickly turned to joy.
It’s not important how long it took. Time just matters to us. What matters most is his fluffy, white-tipped tail wagging at most things he encounters now. People, food, games, walks in his favorite parks. Life in general.
Marty is 14 years old now and his imperfections are a stark reminder to me that every moment with him is precious. His kidneys are aging. His hind end is struggling a bit more this year. My kisses on his soft head flow like water these days.
Marty is always in the background of every podcast episode I prepare. Whether it’s recording, editing, planning my next guest or updating my website. Marty inspires all of it. He’s always spread out on the couch behind me, mostly likely snoring softly. Directing in his own special way.