Elvis has left the building …

I was advised yesterday in a Christmas card that Elvis lost his battle with immune mediated hemolytic anemia on November 28th.  Yes, rescue allows me to have all the dogs I ever wanted … they just  go  live with someone else.  Which also means that, eventually, I will lose all of them as well.  While our fosters go on to new lives with new families, they never really leave our thoughts.  They may have been with us for only a short time but the details of their stay are vivid in the mind’s eye. 

Elvis is fondly remembered for his enthusiasm … didn’t matter what was going on, he was a happy, bouncy boy.  He was closely connected, always coming back to check-in with me and offer himself up for a good rub down … then off he’d go.  One of those dogs that exuded joy through his facial expressions.  You just knew he was happy.  He’s also the dog that taught 18-month old Frankers how to hike his leg for every pee stop around the yard.  At that time, I did not know it could be a learned behavior!

Rainbow BridgeHe had the dubious honor of being the first severely matted dog to endure my grooming skills (which wasn’t saying much at that time).  I remember feeling completely overwhelmed and definitely lacking in appropriate grooming equipment.  Of particular note was his patience with me over a 4-hour grooming session.  He could have easily been the “dog from hell”  given his coat condition and his undeniably inexperienced groomer.  Instead, he willing did everything I asked of him, i.e., stand, sit, move this way, etc., etc.

Godspeed, Elvis … I know your family will greatly miss your gentle heart.

It’s an “E” weekend …

First we have “Elwood” … did you know his name is Old English meaning “from the old forest”?  And just what, per chance, did I happen to find on the front page of Thursday’s local paper?  That would be a big “Elvis Poopsley,” thank you very much!!  

Elvis, on the right


Elvis was the first stray ever surrendered to our organization (most of our dogs are OTIs, i.e., owner turn-in).  Found by two ladies in metro Denver, he had been wandering a Capitol Hill neighborhood for weeks.  Concerned about him freezing in the approaching winter weather, they bundled him up and brought him to Loveland.  Fairly new to rescue, I wasn’t quite prepared for what greeted me.  He looked like he’d been on the streets for some time as he was matted to the skin so badly it was impeding his ability to walk.  The mats on top of his paws alone were at least an inch thick.  Because of the smell emanating from him, I was concerned he might have open wounds somewhere.  Of course, this was late Saturday afternoon and an opening with a “real” groomer wasn’t to be found anywhere … poor Elvis was stuck with me.   

Not willing to make him wait another day in that condition, I started cutting the mats off him with a small pair of scissors.  Four hours later and some nicks because the skin was so tightly adhered to the mat, we had a buck nekkid dog.  A nice dog who didn’t once try to bite or nip at me despite having plenty of opportunity to do so.  His color pattern was a bit of a surprise … he arrived charcoal gray and emerged a brindle after his grooming!  One of the local radio stations was doing a tribute to “The King” that day and Elvis Poopsley just kinda fit, so Elvis it was.  

Several weeks later, Elvis was adopted by an older couple in Loveland, Willa and Vic.  During the homecheck, I met their daughter and her Tzu, Pootie Bear.   We’ve keep in contact over the years, usually by Christmas card.  Vic passed away some time ago; Willa had a stroke a couple years back and Elvis is credited with her good recovery — she simply had to be there for him.  Elvis is around 12-years old now and fighting off  immune mediated hemolytic anemia.  But, he still gets out and enjoys his walks.  Here’s to the old dogs … and the people who love them …

Evanescent …

For some reason my custom screensaver works or doesn’t, depending on the day (or the phase of the moon or whatever, who knows!).  Most of the time it doesn’t and I give little thought to the photos, graphics and artwork that I’ve dumped in that particular file over the years.  Every now and again, it catches me by surprise … and pops up out of the hinterlands with a forgotten image.  Like tonight.   Which managed to bring a tear, unbidden and unwelcome. 

The photo is of my first Apso, Brittany and our current resident marble-brained feline, Boogins.  Bless her pointy little head, Brittany took this spastic, out-of-control, almost-feral kitten and taught him how to be a good dog … for a cat, that is.  Her lessons have served him well as he’s educated every foster in the interim on how to live with a cat.  Still don’t know how I managed to get this photo of the two of them as Boogins was akin to a fart in a whirlwind most moments, rarely still unless it was to eat or sleep.

We lost Brittany in 1999 to IMHA — immune mediated hemolytic anemia — just months shy of 14-years old.   Boogins, now at 13, is beginning to show his age with the thinning of body fat and hair.  His vocalizations are beginning to “thin” as well, becoming more of a squeak instead of the full-bodied meow so familiar.  Ever aware that I have four senior animals in the house, the next four to five years will be difficult at best.  Living in the moment,  I’m able to sweep that ache to a corner where it can reside quietly, all too mindful of the transient nature of their being.  Yet, at odd times … I’m reminded of just how deeply my old friends are missed.  Evanescent spirits just out of touch, but ever present.