Elmo was born on July 9th, 2004 at Mueller’s Woodville Kennels in Hilbert, WI. His parents are Ronald Reagan and Cocoa Puff.
Elmo came to live with Sandra, Rob, Elizabeth and Danielle on October 3, 2004 in Madison, WI. The week prior, Sandra, Elizabeth and Danielle visited the Mueller’s to see the pups and find if Sandra was allergic. Obviously, she wasn’t and put down a deposit on Elmo and came back the following week to pick him up.
Because Danielle picked him out, Elizabeth was allowed to select his name…during the week prior to picking him up, Elizabeth went thorugh several possibilities, including Count, Cookie Monster, Ernie, Bert, Snuffy, Oscar, Wiggles, Wags, Murray, Henry, Buzz, Woody and Finnigan. Elizabeth is 3 and a big fan of Sesame Street, the Wiggles and Toy Story. Finnigan is the name of the dog across the street and was mentioned repeatedly when trying to get the ire of her mother.
On his first day home, Elmo met the pooch he was almost named after, as well as several neighbors. Since that day, Elmo has started puppy kindergarten, met several other dog neighbors and been introduced to the family cat “Minu.” Who is less than pleased that we brought home this fluffy thing that keeps trying to eat her food.
In late April of 2009, Elmo stopped eating (two days – very unusual for him). When I called the vet, they said I might have just gotten a bad bag of food and to throw it out and get a new one, but to check when it had been delivered. I did that, but he still had no interest in food. That evening (three days after he stopped eating), I found a lump behind his ear. I took him to the vet where they extracted some cells (he had a fatty lump on his hip 6 months prior, so we were hoping that it was just another one of those). It wasn’t. It came back as Canine Lymphoma. My vet was very honest with me and laid out the options – Chemotherapy, which could add several months to his life, but it would not cure him and we would be back in this position most likely within a year. The treatment was also very costly – around $5,000 to start. Option two was to take Elmo home and enjoy the time we had left with him (probably about 4 weeks.) We chose option two. I switched Elmo to a RAW diet. Two pounds of raw meat per day, plus two baby aspirin and some green tea pills. He lived for an additional 10 weeks. In the end, he maintained his sweet and loving personality. He never growled or snapped at me or my daughter, despite the pain he was feeling and you could feel his anguish when he was too slow to get outside and had an accident on the floor. Because he had stopped eating even the raw meat, I decided to not be selfish and to have him put to sleep. This was on a Saturday evening (fourth of July weekend to be exact). I called the vet the next morning and he offered to come over to my house in the event I couldn’t lift Elmo into the car. Elmo wanted to go for one last car ride and summoned what strength he had left to jump into my SUV. At the vet’s office, he had placed a blanket under some trees outside (the vet has found that bringing them into the office often times causes the animal more stress). We sat down and Elmo laid his head in my lap when the vet administered the drugs. It was obviously over in a matter of minutes.
Elmo touched a lot of lives during the just shy of 6 years that he was with us. I can honestly say that he was the sweetest, most well-behaved and most loving dog that I have ever known and my daughter and I miss him terribly.
On a side note, I wanted to send this to you in the hopes that any other doodle owners who also got their dogs from Woodville Kennel in Hilbert, Wisconsin, are given a heads up (my vet had asked me if any of his siblings had gotten sick. I had contacted the breeder, and although I asked the breeder to send a heads up to the parent’s of Elmo’s siblings, they seemed very unwilling to do so). Elmo’s parents were Ronald Reagan and Cocoa Puff.
If any of Elmo’s siblings are out there and they want to reconnect or have a similar story to share, please pass on my home email. And yes, I went through ½ a box of Kleenex while writing this.