February 28, 1994 - March 8, 2007
Elsie, aka Jun M Esther
In 2002, John and I went to a PetSmart. When I walked through the door, I was drawn into the tractor beam of two sad, brown eyes. I walked over immediately to this grey, sat on the floor, and proceeded to explain to her why I couldn't bring her home. I was in love...hopelessly in love. But I never made big decisions like bringing home a dog on the spur of the moment, and I had to explain this to her and try to make her understand it's not that I didn't want HER, its just that I couldn't bring her home; we had two dogs already. After about 30 minutes, she looked at me as if to say, "Oh, it's okay, no one else wanted me either." She looked away from me, and it broke my heart.
Someone from the rescue group looked at us and said, "Oh.... that's Elsie. (long pause). She's a (whisper)...senior. She's eight years old; she's been in rescue for nearly 4 months.... (another long pause)....no one wants an old dog."
I did something I have rarely done in my life: I cried in public. I was sitting on the floor of PetSmart, with my arms around a dog who wouldn't look at me, sobbing away. John said to me, "For goodness sake, bring her home; whatever few months or couple of years she has left, can be with us." It was one of the happiest days of my life.
We had never had a greyhound before, so we didn't realize that Elsie is a bit large for a greyhound girl. She weighs around 100 lbs, but she is a gentle giant. We call her Empress Elsie because she rules the household. It only takes a look from Elsie and everyone settles down. Elsie ensures everyone is behaving themselves and playing nice. If necessary, she will take a younger or smaller dog to her side and ensure they are protected.
She loved being loved and going on walks. She loved to play, and had a special spot to dig holes. She dug the hole, I filled it up, it was an ongoing battle.
Our Elsie was over 13 years old! She gifted us with over four years of love, affection, and antics, which enriched our lives every day. Would I ever adopt a senior again? YES.
Several weeks ago, our beloved Elsie was diagnosed with a ruptured disk, and at the same time, John fell and sprained his ankle, injured his back and ribs. Elsie was in/out of hospital, and finally we collectively decided to keep her in hospital for a week, for both her and John to be able to recuperate. Lin Grado and I picked her up from the vet on Tuesday, it was clear she was happy to be home. On Thursday AM, she ate steak and satin balls for breakfast, eggs for lunch, by the time I got home at 5:30, she had slipped into a coma. She died March 8, 2007, 10:05 PM, while I was massaging her and singing her favorite song. Dr. Timms called me a few days later in total shock. You don't die from a ruptured disk. Last year, Elsie had a malignant oral tumor grown into her lower incisors; she received radiation treatment for it and was declared to be in remission. Dr. Timms suspected there was a possibility the back problem might be an old injury, and the wobbling, etc. Elsie was experiencing could potentially have been a brain tumor pressing on the spinal cord. Based on the way she died, he felt it was probably a massive brain hemmorhage; either due to a massive, stroke, or aneurism. She died at home; she died relatively quickly. I had always told her, please Elsie, die at home, and die fast. Her last gift to me was to grant my wish.
Jon and Dagmar Anne "Mad Dog" Bogan