My Passion for Dogs Bloomed into a Family Story

cécile ruelle guest blogger May 12, 2023
Animal Hospice Group - Cécile Ruelle, My Family of Australian Shepherd Girls

My Passion for Dogs Bloomed into a Family Story

By Cécile Ruelle
Guest Blogger | Mon Chien, Mon Partenaire & Light & Soul

Since it’s the first time you are reading something from me, I’ll start by introducing myself and our family.  

My passion for dogs started a few decades ago…I was only 8 years old! I never really knew where it came from since neither of my parents had ever had dogs, and we didn’t have one until I struggled and insisted for years…So it feels more like a very unexpected gift!

And a wonderful journey has been unfolding ever since. Looking back, I realize how each stage has prepared me for the next, although I was not aware of it in the moment. I’m very happy to be here now, writing this. And quite curious about what is around the corner and hasn’t been revealed to me yet!

I live in Belgium with my human partner and our 6 Australian Shepherd girls. It’s a family story I’m about to share with you, in more ways than one! First, here is a short recap of who is who in our family in its current form (I’ll explain more about each member in the coming articles). Funny is my human partner’s dog, she is almost 16.5 years old. Emmy will turn 14 this month. Shaddaï (Emmy’s daughter) is 11. Zou (Shaddaï’s daughter) is about to turn 8. Bliss (Zou’s daughter) is 5. And the youngest one, Keziah (also a daughter of Zou), is 2.5 years old.   

Back in 2011, I had set a date to have Emmy spayed. And then suddenly, without really knowing why, I canceled the appointment. Somehow, a little later, the idea blossomed that we might raise a litter of pups (this is an area I was already familiar with, as I had taken care of pups at a Malamute breeders’ for over 10 years from the age of 12 to 22 – so I knew what I was getting myself into). What I did not know, was how it would impact the rest of my life… 

Cécile Ruelle, photo of Emmy and her litter.

Photo: Emmy (on the left) with her second litter; it’s the only time we did not keep a puppy. Her daughter Shaddaï (on the right) was very interested in her baby brothers and sisters; that’s how we assumed she’d be happy with her own pups later on. And, Emmy enjoyed her daughter’s help for the whole time the pups were with us.

Nine pups were born in April 2012. All healthy and vibrant balls of joy. I had chosen to keep my heart girl, Shaddaï. All other pups found great families. Especially a little black tri male, called Looping… his new human partner actually became mine, too! He already had Funny, and was looking for a puppy when he contacted me. I was living with Joy, Emmy, and Shaddaï. That’s how our family life started! Me and my girls moved into his house, and we started our life with 5 dogs 😉. Needless to say, it required some adjustments!

Another strong aspect of our family life comes from the fact that 5 of the girls who live with us today are related, and share very strong family bonds. Feminine energy is powerful in our house! Whenever there is a litter (approximately every 3 years), the pups are raised by whoever wants to participate… and it’s an incredible adventure, different each time though.

I have mentioned our “family in its current form”…as it is indeed a living organism (like every family). It sometimes feels like a roller coaster, between the little ones we welcome into the world and prepare for life (some of which stay with us), and the oldest ones who slow down with time, and whom we are blessed to support to the best of our ability, to the end of their physical journey with us.  

Since 2016, things have been going smoothly. Yet Funny is 16.5 and Emmy is 14…so we definitely know what’s coming closer. It allows us to be more present, more aware, and gives us the opportunity to really savor what we share with each of them…

This is actually a journey of life and death, of joy and grief…each with its teachings and lessons, that we receive as best we can! Life wouldn’t be life without death, would it? 😉 We’re learning how to embrace the process, thanks to our wonderful canine teachers. 

I look forward to sharing more stories with you.



Enjoy this short writing from Cécile:

Remember… Life is sacred.
Life is a gift.
It can slip through your hands at any time.  Like sand.
Sometimes it only holds onto a needle, a heartbeat, a beep…
There is no way to force it.
But you can choose to allow it to flow through you, with all of its power.
Life Force is Magic in action.
If you’ll let it.
Life Force is a gift, an adventure, a Divine Unfolding.
As powerful as it is, it is to be received with an open and gentle heart.
With eager and curious eyes.
With a trusting soul. 
No time to waste.
Yet no race to run.
How about celebrating? No need for special occasions.
Or rather turning every ordinary instant into a special occasion, a sacred gift?


~ Cécile Ruelle


Read more of Cécile's short morning writings at Light & Soul.



Please show us all that you like this article by sharing, commenting, and/or giving this a "LIKE" on Facebook. Photo in post (header): My Family of Australian Shepherd Girls (courtesy of Cécile Ruelle). The names of the girls, from left to right on the photo: Bliss, Zou, Keziah, Shaddaï, Emmy, and Funny.