To understand my bond/relationship with Elvis, one only needs to know how he came into my life. I am a HUGE fan of Elvis Presley. As a child, rather than posters of Madonna or Tom Cruise, I had Elvis Presley hanging on my walls. For my 30th birthday, I had an Elvis themed party. As a gift for that birthday, I was given a trip to Graceland. In September 2006 (with my Mom and Aunt) I was off to Memphis, TN.
On the second day of our trip we drove to Tupelo, MS to see the house that Elvis Presley was born in. That’s where we found Elvis Presley, The Canine King. He was living underneath the house/around the grounds. He was flea-ridden and deadly thin (you could count his ribs) yet had a smile on his face and so much love to give. It only took one look to fall madly in love with him.
My mother immediately called the airlines to see if we could get him on our flight home to CA (the request was denied). A truck-driver (Frank), passing through the area on his route to Miami, came over to say hello to Elvis. He said he would love to take the dog home with him (he lived on a farm in Lincoln, NE). As avid animal rescuers we were ecstatic. A farm! Oh the life this dog would have! There was one problem…Elvis couldn’t ride in the truck with Frank because he was so flea-ridden.
Without wasting a minute, we drove to the nearest PetSmart to see about bathing him. As I waited with Elvis outside the store, he fell asleep in my arms. In silence, we sat and enjoyed the warmth of the sun shining on us – me, rubbing his head and ears all the while holding him close to my heart. He never squirmed to get away from me. It felt as if it were the first time he was able to truly relax and not worry about what dangers might be lurking around the corner. We were turned away from the store (he had no records/shots) found a nearby Chevron, used a hose, cleaned Elvis up and went to find Frank. When we arrived back at the grounds, Frank was gone. In that instant, I was settled on the fact that I would be canceling my flight and driving home with this sweet boy.
With the plan to sneak Elvis into our room, we headed back to the hotel in Memphis. Just as we hit the onramp – there was Frank. Though I knew he was well on his way to a safe and loving home, as I placed Elvis in the truck and said goodbye, my heart sunk. We told Frank that if for ANY reason he couldn’t keep Elvis, to please call; we would figure out a way to get Elvis out to CA. He promised to do so, and as the truck pulled away I had this overwhelming wave of regret in my gut. I just gave away my dog.
Less than a week later, Frank called saying he couldn’t keep Elvis. I can’t put into words the feeling that came over me. I’d say it was how someone who has just won the lottery must feel. Frank drove Elvis out to California (this dog has seen more of the country than I have in my 37 years of life). I met up with them in San Leandro and brought Elvis home with me to Marin County.
Watching Elvis (“Wubbie” as I affectionately call him) grow and learn, becoming his own self has been really rewarding. He’s a mini-me in fur: his favorite place is home; he’s an incredibly picky eater, a sun worshiper, bossy, demanding, impatient, goofy, adventurous, a bed hog, a loyal protector and he gives love like no other. He constantly drives me crazy and I wouldn’t change a thing about him.
In September of 2010 Elvis became big brother to Glory, whom I adopted from Best Friends Animal Society. I vacation/volunteer at BFAS and the experience is incredibly rewarding. The work they do is above and beyond. I choose them to be the beneficiary of a cash donation, should Elvis become the overall Dogvergnügen winner of the year.
Follow this link to see Elvis in all his glory: http://youtu.be/dCjz-_uPyko