Friday, August 26, 2011

Happy National Dog Day!

I had much planned for yesterday (mainly, the 40th anniversary of Chez Panisse (I love you Alice Waters!) and a delicious bruschetta recipe), but I'll have to hold off until next week, for you see, it's...

National Dog Day!  Woot, woot!

I am a true lover of dogs, but clearly prefer mine the most (as most owners tend to do). I've said it before and I'll say it again, Moe is one of the true, great loves of my life. I know we were meant to find each other and I knew it the second I saw his face for the first time; I'm so happy I trusted my gut.

Picture it, Christmas Day, 2008. My then fiance, Handsome K, woke me up and led me to my mom's kitchen. He handed me an envelope with a piece of scratch paper that had "You get a dog!" scribbled on it in BIC pen. His delivery is a little lacking at times.

Up until this point, I had been BEGGING for a dog. K and I had been living with one another for six months and had been together for six years, so for me, it seemed like the logical next step. I grew up with dogs in the house, two cocker spaniels, one named Sally, the other named Bailey. K, however, didn't. He had a string of sickly, poor cats that all managed to die some horrible death or another until Pumpkin, the coolest cat ever, came into the picture. He's still alive if you're wondering, and still patrols the neighborhood like the little prince he is. Either way, K didn't understand why I wanted a pup so badly.

Back to Christmas. I'm pretty sure Handsome thought he was getting a bargain gift in that he knew I wanted to adopt a dog, well, adopt a pitbull more specifically. I think he assumed "adopt" meant free.

He was wrong.

Anywho, I had been trolling for a while, morosely looking at all the dogs that needed homes, that needed some love, that needed a rescue from death. After my Christmas gift, I hit the ground running and quickly searched out all the pitbulls available at that time on the site.

Sometimes I wonder why I was so gung-ho about getting a pit, and I've come to the conclusion that I love rooting for the underdog, for the animal or person who's been dealt a rough hand in life and needs a second chance. For me, I like it when good things happen to good people, but I love it when good things happen to good people (or animals) who really need it.

I was looking for one that was friendly with people, kids and other dogs, adorable and youngish. With those criteria, I quickly found 17 and emailed them to myself to review. As I started clicking through, I kept going back to him.

I couldn't resist his little nubby ears, and his description made him sound like an all-star, so I emailed the rescue group that was in charge of finding him a forever home. "This dog sounds pretty amazing and almost too good to be true," I typed. "Will you please give me a little more information about him?" The response I received was the following:

Thanks for your email about sweet Elmo! You are 110% right, he is the best! I was there when the fosters, adopters of two other Forte dogs, found him as a stray. I fell in love with him then. He reminds me so much of my own pup, he is extremely dog friendly, submissive (it's a good thing), and affectionate. I adore him and I don't adore all of our dogs, I promise!

We saw him in person for the first time two days later, straining on a leash while his foster parents (the amazing people who found him and took care of him for three months) scanned the FORTE dog adoption fair for the people (us) who had arranged to meet him. 

It was love at first sight. When Moe wags his tail, his whole body wags with him. He lights up with excitement and it warms my heart every time.

Luckily, his fosters thought we were the ones for him, and two weeks later, he made our twosome a trio. 

For the record, we dropped the El in Elmo, but do sometimes reference his Spanish name as "El Mo."

I'm not a parent yet, and one day hope to be, but this is what I think about when I look at my dog, my Moe: My heart literally explodes with happiness when I look at him, so I can only imagine what it is like to be a parent and to love your child. It must be pretty friggin' awesome. 

I love you, buddy. You make my life better.


  1. Hi Elizabeth, You don't know me, but I was a volunteer with FAR when you adopted Elmo. I remember when the very awesome Dana & David first brought him to adoptions and he was scared to death of everyone. Despite the fact that someone cruely cut off his ears and abandoned him, he had the sweetest, most loving personality a dog could have. I am always amazed at the dog's seemingly endless capacity to forgive humans for the horrible things, and trust us once again. We all shed a few tears when you adopted him, not because we were sad, but because we were so happy that Elmo hit the dog jackpot and found the perfect family. I'm shedding a tear of happiness for him right now! Thank you for opening your heart, your home, and your life to a sweet little pittie who deserves the best of everything.

    All my best! Please give him a pet for me.

    Julie M.

  2. Hi Julie,

    Thank you for all the kind words! Moe has made our lives infinitely better and I am always grateful for the love and kindness he was shown before he became a Sutherland!

    I always recommend people to Forte, just so you know :)

    Moe says 'hi' and sends a tail wag your way...



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