Elmo is the oldest of all of the dogs. We knew we had to get him as soon as we saw him. He was this cute little black and white powder puff. You can't really tell from the picture but his right eye (left when you're looking at him) is blue, the other is brown.

Bill and I bought him a year before we got married. He lived with me in my tiny apartment.

He was a little terror when he was a puppy. Once, he tore off part of the wallpaper in my apartment kitchen. He also liked to shred the carpet. I kissed that deposit goodbye forever.

Now he weighs about 17 pounds and he's a wonderful dog. He's actually too friendly sometimes. He really made a cat at the vet really mad when he walked up to it and tried to lick it's nose. Lucky for Elmo, the cat didn't get violent.



After he grew up, I thought it would be cool to let his hair grow long like one of those dogs you see in the dog shows. It turned out it's MUCH harder than you might think. I had to brush his hair twice a day. If I didn't, he got these huge mats that, of course, I couldn't cut out because I wanted to keep his hair long. Not long after this picture was taken, I cut all of his hair off. Now he sports a short cut with his ears, legs and tail long and a short beard. 

Elmo is the worrier. If anything is wrong with Daphney or Daisy, he's right there checking on them and if he can't get to them, he's crying to see them. He's even like that with people. My nephew, Tomas, hit his head and was crying. Elmo was there trying to lick his face and he started crying himself when my sister, Laura, picked Tomas up.

Last summer we got a pool and discovered that Elmo loves to swim. He started slow at first: we'd put him in and make him swim a little and he'd immediately want to get out. Now he jumps in as soon as we let him near the pool (he can't get to the pool when we're not home) and he throws a fit if we go swimming and don't let him out into the backyard.

 Elmo is obsessive about a few of his toys: teddy is a big teddy bear that's as big as he is, kitty is a stuffed animal cat. He has some pool toys: ducky, a floating alligator and a basketball. He's so obsessive about the basketball , he'll rub a sore on his lip trying to bite it and he still doesn't stop trying. We have to take it away from him. He also loves to eat toilet paper rolls or any sort of paper products.

His favorite spot when we're home is the end of the chaise lounge or on the tile when he gets hot. If he's not in the camera frame, he's probably on the tile. He also likes to lay on top of any newspaper that's within his reach.

Elmo is by far the most talented of our dogs in the trick department. He can sit, lay down, roll over, speak, be quiet, sit up and shake.

In 2002, Elmo seemed to be feeling badly. We took him to the vet and they discovered he had a tumor by his pituitary glad. It's affecting his liver functions a bit. He's responding really well to medication and we take him to a specialist every 6 months, now, to make sure the tumor isn't growing.


Want to see Elmo diving under the water to get his toy? Click here.

In late December 2008 Elmo's left eye was very red all of the time. We took him to the vet and they diagnosed him with glaucoma and an eye infection. He had also lost sight in the eye. When the infection was better the vet could see he had a detached retina.

In late January 2009 we were still treating him for the glaucoma when we noticed one day that he was having trouble walking. We took him to the vet and got the devastating news that his cancer had come back and it was in his bones. There was nothing we could do. Our plan was to spoil him, give him any food he wanted and keep him comfortable until something changed.

That same night he woke us up crying and having non-stop seizures that were worsening. We rushed him to the emergency vet who told us the cancer had spread to his brain.

Elmo was 16 1/2 years old. He has been with us since before we were married. We've never known a home without him. He was our "little buddy." To say he will be severely missed is an understatement. He was one of the kindest, most loving friends that we have ever known.

Send Elmo an e-mail at elmo@sager.org