James Middleton, brother of the Princess of Wales, recently revealed how his sisters, Kate and Pippa Middleton, supported him through a rough time.
In an essay published in the Sunday Times, James writes about the passing of his beloved Ella, a 15-year-old cocker spaniel certified as a therapy dog with Pets As Therapy.
“She was next to me through my darkest times, her head in my lap. Winston Churchill would complain that he was followed by the ‘black dog’ of depression. I had my own black dog but she was my saving grace,” writes James.
James Middleton has been brave and open about his struggle with depression for quite a while, back in 2019 he wrote:“It is not merely sadness. It is an illness, a cancer of the mind.”
“It’s not a feeling but an absence of feelings. You exist without purpose or direction. I couldn’t feel joy, excitement, or anticipation–only heart-thudding anxiety propelled me out of bed in the morning. I didn’t actually contemplate suicide — but I didn’t want to live in the state of mind I was in either.”
In his latest essay, the 35-year-old explains how Ella saved his life: “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.”
Ella has made an impact in the lives of Kate and Pippa as well, who both have dogs that were Ella’s puppies.
“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,” writes James.
James attended therapy after Ella’s passing, though not alone, as his sisters supported him there, as well.
“My sisters came to some of my therapy sessions. They’ve always been there during difficult times and they were at my side during the hardest of times as well. For that, I am forever grateful,” wrote Middleton.
James concludes the essay: “Having shared my story, the one thing I think we can all agree on, is that the worst thing about having a dog is that they are only with us for part of our life. They can never be there for the whole of it. Sleep well, Ella.”