Princess of Wales's brother James Middleton reveals her support over 'therapy' dog's death
James Middleton has revealed his heartbreak over the death of his beloved "therapy" dog Ella, sharing that his sister Kate and other family members have been supporting him.
The entrepreneur, 35, announced his "great sadness" at the 15-year-old cocker spaniel's passing in a post on Instagram earlier this week.
In The Sunday Times today, he revealed that the Princess of Wales had been among those to come and say "their goodbyes" to Ella before she succumbed to kidney failure.
She was the mother to the Cambridges' family dog Lupo, who passed away aged nine in November 2020.
Middleton wrote: "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.
"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."
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He recalled how Ella, who he met aged 20 when she was four weeks old, had "stopped short" his thoughts about suicide during a period of depression.
She would "sit there patiently with her big ears" as he told her how he felt on days when he wouldn't speak to anyone during his most "difficult times".
Ella also "distracted" Middleton on his way to therapy sessions and inspired him to volunteer for the charity Pets As Therapy.
He added that his sisters, who also came to some of his therapy sessions, had similarly been with him during the "hardest of times".
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Middleton wrote that in Ella's final hours he "stayed up all night with her. It was 5am. 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."
He added: "Burying her; that was the worst. It took me four hours because I knew once I had finished digging, that would be the final farewell."
Watch: James Middleton names dog after King George VI as a tribute to Queen Elizabeth