‘Goodnight my darling’: James Middleton announces the death of his 15-year-old therapy dog that he once credited with helping him ‘overcome mental health struggles’
The Princess of Wales’ brother James Middleton has announced the death of his beloved dog Ella in a heartbreaking Instagram post paying tribute to the therapy dog who helped him during a battle with clinical depression.
The entrepreneur, who founded raw dog food brand Ella & Co which he named after his beloved spaniel, paid tribute to his ‘dear Ella’ on Friday afternoon, who died at the age of 15.
Mr Middleton said Ella supported him ‘from my darkest days to my happiest’.
He has previously credited the black spaniel with helping him overcome his mental health struggles and introducing him to his wife, Alizée Thevenet.
James Middleton announced the death of Ella, who was 15, on Instagram on Friday afternoon
The entrepreneur shared this photo of him cradling Ella, taken just hours before she died
He wrote on Instagram: ‘It is with great sadness that I announce my dear Ella has passed away.
‘For 15 years Ella has been at my side, from my darkest days to my happiest. I’m going to miss her terribly.
‘Ella had a very short illness, she slipped away in my arms at home and is now buried in the garden alongside Tilly. I took this picture just a few hours before she died
‘I’m just about holding it together to write this, and despite the fact I knew this day was coming, it doesn’t make it any easier.
‘Goodnight my darling Ella, Alizee and the dogs will take good care of me.’
He accompanied the message with two photographs of Ella, including one he took just hours before she passed away in his arms.
Minutes after he posted the news, Ella & Co said it was ‘missing her already’.
Mr Middleton told his followers: ‘For 15 years Ella has been at my side, from my darkest days to my happiest’
Mr Middleton has previously described how Ella was the reason that he met his wife, Alizée
Mr Middleton even set up his own raw dog food company and named it after his beloved pooch
Princess Charlotte gave the first glimpse of her beloved pet Spaniel Orla as she celebrated turning seven with an adorable spring snap
He previously told his followers Ella helped him overcome clinical depression and ‘saved his life’, leading him to sign up with Pets As Therapy, a charity which visits care settings with dogs in order to help people recover.
He and Ella had been volunteers with the charity for more than four years before her death on Friday.
Mr Middleton has previously described his ‘really difficult battle’ with the condition: ‘A few years ago I was in a very dark and lonely place, I was existing without purpose or direction, the constant heart thudding anxiety stripped away any joy, excitement or anticipation.
‘It was during this time that I realised how much my dogs, in particularly [sic] Ella, helped me during a really difficult battle with clinical depression. She saved my life.’
Until Ella’s death Mr Middleton and his wife had seven dogs, including a puppy from a litter which one of their pooches gave birth to late last year.
He has previously described how Ella ran over to Alizée at a club in London when they met for the first time in 2014.
Mr Middleton headed over to ‘apologise and bring Ella back’, and his wife mistook him for a waiter. They married in 2021.
As well as his own love for spaniels, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s daughter Charlotte has also been treated to a loving companion after her uncle gifted her a young dog in 2020.
Princess Charlotte gave the first glimpse of her beloved pet Spaniel Orla as she celebrated turning seven with an adorable spring snap.
The little Princess was seen warmly embracing her pet dog as she posed in a field of bluebells in a sweet picture taken by the Duchess of Cambridge in Norfolk in May.
Orla, whose name Celtic in origin and means ‘golden princess’, was bred by the Duchess’s brother James and was given to the family shortly before the death of their Spaniel Lupo in November 2020.