At 11 years old, Ellen was one of the oldest “Vicktory dogs” (those seized from the property of NFL quarterback Michael Vick in 2007), but she was known for her boundless affection for others. Her love of belly rubs led sanctuary workers to dub her “Ellen Belly.”
She passed away last week at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in southern Utah after being stricken by a mysterious illness. From the video above, you would never guess that this dog had been through the hell of the dog-fighting ring—which is a testament to her incredible powers of forgiveness and the loving care she has received since being rescued.
Here’s just a snippet from the tribute to Ellen on the Best Friends website:
Admittedly, once they heard about Ellen’s background, many of the visitors were somewhat hesitant at first to meet her. After all, there are a lot of myths still floating around about fighting dogs and their personalities. Such reservations, however, only lasted seconds once she turned on the charm. “You could just see them change their perception,” Tom says. “She went a long way toward helping not only the Vick dogs that are here, but pit bulls in general. She helped to dispel the myths about them.”
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