Despite Sad News, Eli’s Happy

Responding to our urgent call a couple of weeks ago (as they always do), our wonderful Los Angeles-based fosters, America and her mother Maria, pulled little Eli from the shelter on behalf of Harley’s Dream. He was terrified, out of time and scheduled to be put to sleep – and in very poor condition.

America and Maria immediately took him to the veterinary hospital for evaluation and life-saving care. While there, via phone, we learned that his medical condition was serious – and we had to make a decision on whether to euthanize him or order tests to try to determine if Eli could possibly have a chance for a future. Of course, we chose the tests and, as it turned out, none were conclusive – but it was clear that Eli had what likely was an aggressive form of cancer.

Soon after, we made arrangements to bring Eli to Colorado where he would see our veterinary team and, with luck, undergo surgery to remove the enormous tumor which hung from his groin area.

It was very hard for Maria, in particular, to let Eli go. She was worried he would arrive in Colorado and our doctors here would make the decision to euthanize him. She also said that, of all the Harley’s House of Dreams dogs they’ve cared for, Eli was her favorite. We now realize that Maria may have been the first/only human that Eli ever learned to trust. It was clear that he had led a very hard and sad life prior to landing in the shelter.

Our hearts were aching, too, and we made a promise to Maria. We told her we would do everything in our power to give Eli a chance for health, happiness and a loving rest of his life. And, if it turned out that his cancer was terminal, we would bring him back to Los Angeles so he could spend the rest of his days being loved by Maria.

Eli’s surgery was scheduled for the day immediately following his arrival in Colorado. The 4 hour procedure went well, and soon he was back home with us where we could care for him while awaiting the pathology results.

During the week following the surgery, Eli was healing. He was no longer in pain, he ate well, and we kept him very comfortable. It was obvious that he was emotionally guarded but he still let us rub his ears and, at times, would even wag his tail.

Yesterday, we received the pathology results. Our hearts sank as the doctor explained that Eli had a high grade-3 mast cell cancer which had already metastasized. He might live another three months; possibly as many as six.

We are devastated by this news, but we know that Eli was meant to be rescued from the shelter so he could, for the first time in his life, be cherished and receive the kind of love he deserves … no matter how much time he has left.

So, as promised, we will return Eli to Maria in Los Angeles where he will have the absolute best rest of his life. We are trying not to feel sad for him but instead, happy for the time he has left, and grateful that it will be filled with love and kindness greater than he could have ever imagined. We can’t imagine him in better hands. Thank you, Maria and America, for loving this very special boy. We are so grateful … and we know he will be, too.


  1. Maria and America – thank you for all you do – Eli will be so happy to see you and will know true love at last –

  2. We know that Eli already realizes that he is loved beyond his understanding. But he is a precious boy; also, please don’t give up on miracles, as they do happen with a lot of prayers. I will be praying for this boy whichever way his life goes. Sending many prayers and hugs. Thank you for all that You do!

  3. God Bless you all, for doing everything possible to make Eli’s time loving, and filled with happiness. I am so glad that he had Maria and America to rescue him and that he is going back to them, where he will get all the love that is in Maria’s heart.

  4. thank you! thank you! thank you all! Hug Eli for all of us! May his days be filled with so much love from Maria and America. Thank you Rudi and Dan for giving this sweet boy a chance and loving him. You are all true angels! Love from the pack and Jill.

  5. So glad this sweet pup will be with people that love him for the time he has left.

  6. Thank you all for what you done for this little guy ,he will know love and snuggles from here on.

  7. Your love for these pups is beyond belief! Thank you for all you do!

  8. Thank you, everyone, that has helped Eli. Special thanks to Maria who will make sure Eli has all the best and feel loved.

  9. Thank God, dogs like Eli, have wonderful angels like you, Rudy and Dan and America and Maria. My heart breaks for poor Eli, but he has known Love!!❤️🐾🐾

  10. I am so very thankful for Harley’s Dream team and Harley’s House of Hope for all the extra miles you do for precious tiny lives like Eli. I’m so sorry that Eli has suffered for such a long time, but so happy to know he has found his way into the loving care of such wonderful people as Harley’s Mum & Dad and Naria & America.
    God bless precious Harley with a painfree future for as long as possible so that he can indeed make good the time to put behind him the horrors if his past, wipe them from his mind and live only a life of love and joy inside the hearts and home of Maria and America.
    Lots of Love, Hugs and Prayers Eli. 💙🙏💙🙏💙🙏

  11. It’s so sad that the news wasn’t better for dear sweet Eli, but he is now pain free and learning all about love and how to be happy. This is the life he never would have had if not for Rudi, Dan, Maria and America. He may prove them all wrong, love can work miracles, but whatever time he has left, I wish him much love, many snuggles and a happy carefree life. Good Luck Little Eli – you’ve found your forever home at last. xxxx

  12. Bless you all; especially Maria!!! The amount of time Eli has left will be undeniably the best time of his life! Eli will know what it’s like to be loved and that matters the most! ❤️🐾🐾

  13. Breaks my heart to hear the sad news concerning Eli’s health, he is such a sweet boy. Thank you for all you have done caring for him. Thank God for Maria and America, glad to hear that Eli will spend his last days being loved and cared for by these two beautiful women. Praying for everyone!

  14. So very sorry for the bad news. On the upside like you said he will be treated with love and care until he makes his way over the rainbow bridge. It is so sad that these poor babies have such a terrible life. TY for being there for them and giving them a chance.


  15. You guys are amazingly the best! Thank you for the love you have in helping these beautiful babies!

Leave a Reply