Eli’s Journey

We’ll miss sweet Eli forever.

October 8, 2019


This is an extremely difficult post to write and I do so with tears streaming down my face. We are so very sad to announce that dear sweet Eli has crossed the rainbow bridge. He passed away peacefully yesterday evening in the arms of his moms, Maria and America. Though we knew his time was limited, we still held out hope for a miracle … and now, we realize, that perhaps the miracle was his rescue from the shelter and the strength and courage he showed by trusting us to help him. The last few months of Eli’s life were indeed a miracle and he lived them with playfulness, enthusiasm and an eagerness to love and be loved.

“Fly in peace, sweet boy. You changed our lives and were special beyond words. We’ll miss you forever.”

(We’re grateful to Lynda Hill for taking these beautiful photos of Eli with his loving moms, Maria and America.)






September 17, 2019

Eli developed another large tumor which grew aggressively and then has suddenly begun to dry up. He is being watched closely and receiving the best care. Other than tiring easily, he is doing quite well and he’s very happy! Eli is pictured here with his sister, Kiko.



September 3, 2019

I don’t believe I’d ever shared this photo of America and I – taken six weeks ago when she flew to Denver to take Eli back home to Los Angeles with her.

PS: Eli is doing well. He tires easily, but he’s still very happy and comfortable.



August 3, 2019

This morning Eli and Chispita got to see their foster-sisters, Ruthie and Frannie, off on their journey to Colorado! They will arrive at “Harley’s House of Hope” (our house) early tomorrow evening. We can’t wait!!



July 20, 2019

I know that so many of you are just dying to see a photo of Eli with Maria after he arrived at their house in Los Angeles on Saturday evening … so here it is!

When America arrived home with Eli, she sent me this message, “It was great to see my mother and Eli! He was being silly and playing with my dog Kiko! That was wonderful Rudi! He jumped on my mother’s bed and asked for belly rubs!!!” -America



July 20, 2019

We are on our way to the airport in Denver right now to meet America when her flight arrives. We will have a couple hours to visit and then America, along with Eli, will fly home to Los Angeles. This will be bittersweet for sure, we’ve become very attached.

Dan and I got the reward of nursing Eli after his cancer surgery. He started out aggressive and untrusting but we watched him heal and blossom into a very grateful and happy boy. His cancer is terminal and he only has 3-6 months left, but he will spend them being loved by America and her mom, Maria … just as we promised.

PS: I took this photo of Dan and Eli just a little while ago. Their bond is very special and the goodbye won’t be without tears, but we feel the bond Eli and Maria have is stronger and more special yet. Eli will have the best rest of his life, there is no doubt!



July 19, 2019

Eli’s getting a bath so he’ll smell really good cuz tomorrow’s gonna be a REALLY SPECIAL DAY!! Anyone care to guess what’s up?



July 19, 2019

It’s 102° here today and the swimming pool arrived – so there’s lots of doggy paddling going on at our house right now!! Thank you to Jean for purchasing it from our Amazon Wish List! The pool is perfect, it’s only 8 inches deep and 32 inches in diameter. I took a lot of “blurry“ pictures but here’s one of Eli standing still for a moment.



July 18, 2019

Temps reached 101 degrees today! But that didn’t stop Eli and my granddaughter, Liberty, from spending a little in the yard.



July 17, 2019

“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.” – Helen Keller (and Eli)



July 16, 2019

Eli is ready for a trip to our cabin in the mountains for the night.



July 14, 2019

Eli and Oliver



July 11, 2019

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 House of Hope”. 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 Hope” 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.



July 11, 2019

Sad news. Eli‘s pathology results came back and it’s not the diagnosis we had hoped for. I will share details very soon. This is difficult, for sure.

One thing I promise, Eli will have the absolute best rest of his life.



July 5, 2019

Eli continues to do well since the surgery 4 days ago. We take him outside for quick potty breaks several times a day and we always feel bad putting him back in his pen. But he’s healing, and that’s most important.

You’ll notice Eli’s coat looks very coarse (and it is) this is caused from both the cancer and poor nutrition. Of course now he gets nothing but the best food, probiotics, salmon oil, and treats. We’re grateful to everyone who supports our “Harley’s House of Hope” dogs by donating through our Amazon Wish List. This allows us to provide quality food and supplements, soft beds, blankets and many other needed items for Eli and all the dogs we rescue. THANK YOU!

Please click here if you would like to make a purchase from our Wish List.



July 3, 2019

We’re happy to report that Eli is doing really well since his surgery on Monday! His pain is being managed 100% and he’s tail-wagging happy!!

A few details: The surgery was complicated and the incision is 6″ long – in order to get the widest margins possible to remove the cancer. A wide section of skin was cut away and the remaining skin had to be pulled together using a particularly durable type of stitch. His penis was actually detached and reattached. Now we wait for the pathology report.

THANK YOU for helping us give Eli a second chance. After the rough life he lived, he deserves to learn about warm beds, good food, kind people and most importantly… love.



July 1, 2019

Eli is out of surgery! It took hours and was very involved but the cancer (mast cell) and its margins have been removed. The cancer had spread to a lymph node so that was removed as well. We will be waiting for the pathology report. During the surgery we talked to Eli’s doctor twice, discussing options, trying to make the right decisions. Ultimately, we decided that Eli deserves this chance. And if he only has 2 or 3 months left, they are going to be good ones.

I’ll keep you updated as Eli begins his recovery. Dan and I cannot thank you enough for your love, support and prayers. And as soon as Eli is feeling up to it, we’re sure he’ll be thanking you, too!



July 1, 2019

Two things I hate doing: asking for donations and posting gruesome pictures. Yet I’m doing that now. Eli is currently in surgery. We are doing everything possible (and sparing no expense) to save this boy’s life. After everything he’s been through, he deserves the chance to find love and happiness in a home of his very own.

Donations are needed. If you’re able, please make a small donation at this link.

Thank you so very much for caring.



July 1, 2019

Eli, Oliver and Evie have arrived in Colorado and we are currently en route home to “Harley’s House of Hope”. We are beyond grateful to all of you who support our senior dog rescue program. It’s because of your generous donations that we were able to save these precious little ones from being euthanized in Los Angeles shelters. (and I say that with tears in my eyes)

Tomorrow morning Eli will undergo surgery to have a huge cancerous tumor removed. Please keep this precious boy in your thoughts and prayers.



June 30, 2019

Eli – en route from Los Angeles to Harley’s House of Hope in Colorado! (he’ll be in our care in just a few hours)



June 30, 2019

Eli will arrive in Denver this afternoon (along with Oliver and Evie) …. and we are so excited to finally meet them and bring them to “Harley’s House of Hope”. Tomorrow morning, surgery is scheduled for Eli to remove the cancerous tumor. At this point we’re not sure exactly how much cancer he has. In Los Angeles, he had a limited ultrasound and chest xrays, but he needs more tests. He has to wear an e-collar all the time because he licks the tumor and it drains and bleeds. Poor Eli. Please keep him in your prayers.

It’s because of your support and donations that Eli was given a second chance. Thank you so much!



June 27, 2019

I received this picture and message from Eli’s foster-mom in Los Angeles, “Look at him now! My mother is talking to him and he lay on his back, moving his paws asking for a belly rub!” – America

Eli is happy and friendly, eating well and loving the attention he gets from America and her mom Maria. He wears the e-collar to prevent him from licking the tumor which is in his groin area. On Saturday morning Eli will travel to Colorado from California (along with Oliver, the little terrier we also rescued). We’re anxious to get Eli to “Harley’s House of Hope” where we can continue his veterinary care with our team of doctors.



June 21, 2019

Eli is currently with the doctor at Vet Villa Animal Hospital in South Pasadena, CA. He’s in a lot of pain because of the large mass which is in his groin area. Please keep little Eli in your prayers today.



Juen 20, 2019

Eli is SAFE!!! Another senior has been saved from being euthanized in a Los Angeles shelter – thanks to your donations to “Harley’s House of Hope”. I cannot thank you enough for your love and support.



June 19, 2019

WE JUST RECEIVED CONFIRMATION from the shelter that they will release 10-year-old Eli to Harley’s Dream (Harley’s House of Hope). He was on the euthanize list but thanks to your donations, we can save him! We plan to have him in our care with our foster volunteer, America, by late tomorrow. As you can see in the photo, Eli has a large mass on his penis. Our hope is that the mass can be removed and Eli will be able to enjoy a pain-free second chance at life, filled with nothing but love and kindness.