“He laid down for a nap and woke up in heaven.” Dan’s words to me after one of the most difficult goodbyes we’ve ever had to say. Those words gave me some relief and will stay with me always.
Elvis slept soundly in my arms for 2 hours before we let him go. It was the longest I’d been able to hold him in months … it was the longest he’d let me hold him in months. He was so sweet and relaxed and I think he knew he would soon be forever at peace.
A more happy-go-lucky dog than Elvis didn’t exist. I always called him my bouncing baby boy because he was so full of happy energy, even at 18 years old. He had the silliest bouncy trot and would come running to me whenever I called his name. Even toward the end he had those happy moments. We did everything we could to slow and stop the brain tumor, but it progressively got worse.
I keep typing and deleting … I know this may seem a bit rambling … I just don’t know how to put into words how special Elvis was to me.
So here’s a little history…
When Elvis came to Dan and me at Harley’s House of Hope from Roswell, NM, he was in pretty rough shape. His teeth had long since rotted away as had his lower jaw (mandible), he had lost an eye due to trauma, he was severely hypothyroid, and he was very sick with a tick-borne illness. As with all the dogs we rescue, the plan was to get Elvis healthy and then find him a forever home. But after months of medical care, it was clear that he already felt he was “home”, so he became our sanctuary dog – our “baby boy” – never to leave our family.
Elvis had the strongest spirit and such a lust for life! Everyone who met him, loved him. A favorite memory of mine is Rick Mitchell carrying Elvis around for hours, holding him like a baby, at Hops and Harley last summer. A couple weeks later, Elvis had the best 18th birthday party and I took the most special photo of my dad (who passed away last September) holding him. We’d even once sneaked Elvis into “Grandpa Rich’s” hospital room to cheer him up. Elvis had a unique presence. All our dogs honored his space, but we never understood why because Elvis wasn’t dominant, I guess he was just plain “cool”. There were so many special memories … I’d be writing a book to list them all.
Our hearts ache and the pain is unbearable, but we know our bouncing baby boy is at peace now. And his presence is still felt here in so many ways … how lucky we were to have this beautiful, funny, incredible soul in our lives.
Rudi and Dan
PS: The photos below are only a few of many, honoring our last year with this dear boy.