Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Elvis has left the building ...

15 and a half years ago, we brought home a little bundle of fluff, covered in fleas, smelly and helpless, with not a tooth in her tiny head ... she was just 2 weeks old, taken by the SPCA from her mother, and fully dependent on us. T and I took her home, gave her a bath, bottle fed her Carnation Milk from a baby bottle (every 4 hours -- the 2 o'clock feedings were the hardest), and loved her desperately from the get-go. The vets and our families weren't sure if she would make it, being so young and without her mother's milk to build immunities. But she grew quickly,was so smart, learned tricks easily and obeyed commands from a very, very early age.

Every month or so, for the first year, T and I would say, I hope she stays this size, that would be a good size for a dog, then the next month, and 10 more pounds later, we'd make a new proclamation that THIS was the perfect size ... we had no idea of what she would grow up to be, what her parents were like, if she had "dangerous" or giant breeds in her bloodlines; we just knew she was our beauty, and whatever size she was would be the perfect one.

She was quirky - afraid of hiccups, thunder and anything large and new in the house. She was very intellegent - she learned the names of countless toys, and would bring them to you when you asked for any by their name. She would chase a ball for hours (or until you got tired of the game and had to hide it - then she's rummage your pockets loking for it), and would toss the ball into your hand so you didn't have to slow down the game by bending to pick it up off the ground. She was a Frisbee dog - a thing of beauty when she flew -- she really could fly - through the air to snatch the disc and bring it back.

She thought she was human, having been raised by people ever since the day before her eyes opened, so felt she had certain abilities ... she would "talk" to us (chastising us if she felt we had been away too long, murmuring if she was content and almost chatter if she was excited), nap time (my husband works shift work, so afternoon naps are common at our house) were exciting times for all of us to get together and sleep together (her on the floor or at the foot of the bed, unless Mama wasn't home, then she would lay on my side, snuggled into T's side - if we said "Nap" she'd race to the top of the steps, then look back over her shoulder to see if we were coming, then come back down to hurry us along), and she knew that families always ate dinner together and no matter how late we were getting home , she wouldn't eat her supper until we were home for the evening.

Because she had no memory of her sibling,and no socialization with her mom and the other puppies, she had some issues with other dogs, especialliy those smaller than her and for that reason, we didn't get her a doggy playmate. When she became an old lady, when I became scared that if she passed away, I couldn't bear the sounds of an empty house, it was then we brought Duffy into her life ... afraid that tiny little baby Duffy would be eaten the first night, we bundled her up in a puppy sweater and let the 2 of them meet in the yard, with much trepidation, but no fan fair. Apparently, she didn't care about this squeaky little thing. A few days later, she had stolen all the good puppy toys, and we noticed her moving closer to the puppy. Holding our breath, knowing what could happen, we looked over to see her offering her new little friend the end of a rubber stick and patiently teaching her how to play tug-it. From that moment on they were fast friends (and we were so sorry we didn't get her a pal earlier -- she instantly became a pup herself, tossing toys in the air, letting the puppy pull her around the house by her tail, and running again, after years of not being able to move more than a quick walk!).

The additions of Curly and Bruce to our little furry family were received in similar fashion -- she adored all of them, and had a special relationship and way of interacting with each - with Curly , she was a snuggly bear, with Bruce, she'd get up with him in the morning, take him with her outside, show him how to guard the house, and wrestle with him (and let him kiss her face over and over). She and Duffy were extremely close, with Duffy following her around, and the two of them shared many a game of tug-it.

These last few weeks have been hard, since we lost Louie. Elvis has been deteriorating more each day, and on Monday, I lost one of my oldest, best friends. We miss her so much, but she has left us with so much too. We always used a euphemism when talking about what we would do when it was Elvis's time (because we couldn't bear to say the words out loud) == Elvis is in Disneyland -- and I sure hope there is someone there to throw the Frisbee for her.



12 comments:

Dorothy said...

I'm sure Elvis is loving Disneyland, and that there are indeed plenty of frisbees (and frisbee throwers) there.

Cin said...

I type this with tears streaming down my face. Elvis was loved as much as Elvis loved! What a treasure to have had in your lives. What a treasure you both were to her life. Disneyland is one lucky place to have such a special dog. I also hear that there are plenty of Frisbees and Balls to be thrown there.

I hope that when it is time for my Jake to go to Disneyland that he gets to meet Elvis!!

I have thought that I need to get another pup to help when it is time for Jake's vacation in Disneyland. I have mixed feelings. Your post made me think that perhaps it is a good thing. I bet Elvis felt proud of her younger friends and also somewhat like a parent! You gave her an opportunity to live with other dogs. You done good!!

leenibeenie said...

She was a beautiful dog. I bet she is having loads of fun is Disneyland. I think that is great that you were strong enough to tell her life story and I am very watery-eyed as I type this. Anybody who has a pet(family member) like that is very blessed. She sounds like she was a wonderful dog.

lexa said...

Poor little Elvis, she was a sweetie. Her and Louie are reunited, though, going over old times in Animal Disneyland!!

I shudder to think what I'll be like when one of mine goes. That's why I keep adding more are the cats get older.... (Yep, that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.)

I'm working this weekend, so pop in for some inspiration, I'm sure I can find something good that needs to go on sale. Ahem.

Marti said...

What a wonderful tribute. I too am reading through watery lenses. I'm so very sorry for your loss but know that your beautiful girl was cherished and loved and given the very best life that she could have.

Donna M said...

That was so lovely. Elvis must have been a very special dog to deserve such a wonderful tribute! Always remember, she will forever be with you in your heart.

meegiemoo said...

Thanks for your lovely post about Elvis. *sniff* She must have had a wonderful life with such a caring family and other doggie friends. *hugs*

Alyson said...

Oh, sweetie. I'm so sorry for your loss, I can't imagine how hard it is. You're all so very blessed to have found each other - she was a lucky girl. Big huge hugs.

Steph said...

I'm so sorry for your loss! I'm sure that there is a Disneyland for dogs. I know how hard this is, having said a teary goodbye to our beloved schnauzer a few years ago. They are family and you wouldn't want it any other way.

xoxo

Sarah B. said...

What a wonderful tribute to Elvis! I feel like I knew her and am so sad that she's gone. But she's got to be loving Disneyland, Mickey throws a mean frisbee!

Yvette said...

That's a moving tribute to your friend. You enriched each others' lives. Thank you for sharing this.

Carrie Ellis said...

Sounds like she was a wonderful soul. My heart goes out to you.