Let me tell you all about Elvis. No, not that one. This one’s smaller, scrappier, and furrier. He would also look better in a sequined jumpsuit, although that’s probably not going to happen. Also, this Elvis is actually ALIVE. Although, honestly, that was touch and go for a bit.
Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me go back a few weeks and start over.
Okay, so the first thing you need to know is that my wife and I are very much fans of adopting our pets. Well, the furry ones anyway. The turtle is another story. Anyway, all of our furry friends have been shelter animals. We had some discussions about the next dog we adopt being a Senior dog, since they don’t tend to be adopted very quickly and can spend quite a long time caged up while the cute little puppies go to a new home in a matter of days. I mean, sure, I get that. But Senior dogs still make good pets and there’s no reason why a healthy dog shouldn’t be able to spend its last four or five years in a loving home instead of a shelter.
This has tugged on our hearts for a while, and the thought was that after the current dog goes (something we hope doesn’t happen for a good, long while), we’d look for a Senior dog. Then, of course, we started thinking about getting a second dog, and pretty much decided against it, since the time, effort and costs involved seemed like they’d be a little much. However, we decided to keep our eyes open, just in case. You see where this is going, right?
Just a few days after Christmas, I searched the shelter pages on my phone, as I would randomly do every other month or so just to see what was what. I stumbled on a picture of a cute little guy that kinda stole my heart, and his story convinced me. His name was Melvin (not Elvis. Yet.), he was a nine year old terrier mix, he was described as a “cuddle machine”, and also as being deaf. I showed the listing to my wife, and we agreed that he’d be worth taking a chance on. So I went down to the shelter after work on Dec. 28th to meet the doggo possibly bring him home.
When I met him, he seemed pretty chill, and quite definitely deaf. The shelter said I could take him on a two week foster because of his deafness, and not have to pay anything or officially adopt until the trial period was over just in case a deaf dog wound up being too difficult for our household to manage. Seemed like a good deal to me, so I left with Melvin in tow. When I called Valerie to tell her I was coming home with the dog, she was happy, but mentioned that she wasn’t too thrilled about the name, since we already have a Mel in the house, and two didn’t sit right. So we tried a few names out over the phone, and she hit upon Elvis pretty quickly, since it has a lot of the same sounds involved and, let’s face it, is a way cooler name.
So we brought him home, had him meet our current dog Zoey, and the kids, and everything seemed all right. We were able to communicate through stomping on the floor or using a flashlight to get his attention, and were working on hand signs for simple commands as well. The first day and a half or so went really well. I even posted his picture on my Facebook page to talk about this cute little doggie we were fostering and possibly adopting. Everything was awesome!
Then it all changed. Elvis started sleeping a lot more, but I didn’t worry about that, he’d been through a lot recently, I figured he was just tired. His tiredness kept on, and he was acting disinterested in everything. We were beginning to think we got a dud of a dog. He was showing no signs of personality at all. Next thing you know, he didn’t want to eat. Between the two of us, we had enough experience to know that a dog not eating is a bad sign. So we figured he was sick.
On Jan. 6th we called the shelter back, and they had us bring him in for an exam. Yup, he had an infection. They sent us back home with some medicine and a special dog food diet. For two more days we fed him as best we could and got the medicine in him, but it wasn’t helping. In fact, he got worse. Even if you got down on the floor and spoon fed him the little guy wouldn’t eat. His poor little nose was running non stop and affecting his breathing. He wasn’t a “cuddle machine” at all-more like a snot machine. Valerie could pick him up and he was a lifeless lump in her arms. We were honestly worried that he wouldn’t make it through the night for two nights in a row. So we had to make he decision to surrender him back to the shelter two days later, even though it made us sad to do so. I was sure to tell them though that if he was to get better we would still be interested, and they said that they would give a call when/if he got better.
After a week went by, I decided to call the shelter and inquire about the dog, just to see if he was even still among us. I was told that he was much sicker than they had originally thought (duh), and that they had to up his medication. They gave him fluids as well, give him nose drops, and were keeping him in a room with a nebulizer. Poor little dude was going through it! The person I talked to seemed to think Elvis could still make it, and they’d let me know if he did.
On January 14th, we got the call. Elvis was ready to come home if we still wanted him. Well, yeah, of course. They were kind enough to restart the two week foster period, just in case, but we were free to come get him. So, with renewed hope, but low expectations I went and picked him up again. This time I was definitely not posting on Facebook about it, because I didn’t want to jinx it-and I didn’t talk about it either-just in case.
Elvis is alive-and almost a completely different dog! First of all, that whole not eating thing is a thing of the past. This is the most food motivated dog I have ever known (and that’s saying a lot) so much so that we actually have to hide food from him. He also likes to jump up on the couch for cuddles (not exactly a “machine”, but still nice), and he enjoys exploring the back yard. He’s also a little mischievous, but in a cute way. Turns out he’s a digger, which isn’t great, but he is going after the mole hills in back which is pretty great, so good boy I guess.
Oh, and we’ve also discovered he’s NOT DEAF. He may be a little bit hard of hearing, since there are some sounds he won’t respond to (or maybe he just doesn’t want to-he could be playing us, still not sure), but he does respond to our voices, and any type of package opening because it could be food.
So far, there hasn’t been too many problems between Elvis and Zoey either. They are both a little jealous of the other when it comes to pets. Zoey, sweet girl that she is, has always gotten all the pets, and she wants ALL THE PETS. Turns out Elvis wants ALL THE PETS too, so there is a bit of a minor rivalry going on there, and I am learning how to successfully pet two dogs simultaneously.
Elvis has snapped at Zoey a few times over food, but he is overly skinny and we think a little bit food insecure. Again, this is pretty minor and we are able to stop anything from getting out of hand. It’s only natural for there to be a little skirmish or two among the two of them as they figure out the pecking order, and Elvis gets used to how things work around here. Besides, they seem to get along pretty well otherwise. Zoey is a Huskador, and is quite a bit bigger than our little Elvis, so he does constantly get biffed in the face by her ever wagging tail, but he doesn’t seem to be too bothered. I have also seen him lick her on occasion as he walks by. So I don’t think there’s too much to worry about there.
As for the rest of us, well we are getting used to him and him to us. He does seem to like us a whole bunch, and we like him back too.
So much so that today we made it official. January 30th, a full month plus since we had our two week trial, Elvis is officially part of the family. He’s a Brink! We look forward to lots of fun and love from our new little buddy.
That’s the scoop for this week see you next time for more MonDAVES. Oh, and to my regular readers I say tank you. Thankyouverymuch.
Sorry. Had to.