1988 to 2003


Elwood.  Noble Beast.  Steadfast Companion.  My faithful friend for 6 years and 58 days.  Adopted on 6/17/1997 at the age of 8 years, died 8/14/2003 following a three-year struggle with degenerative myelopathy. 

Elwood was surrendered to the humane society because he was old “and would die soon anyway.”  A frequent flyer through the humane society’s stray ward, he clung to me like Velcro after I adopted him.  Though he would occasionally surprise me by taking a field trip to the neighbor’s house, Elwood usually made sure I was always at least in his eyesight.  Even when he could barely walk, even if he had to scoot, he did not stay in a room very long once I left it.  When outdoors, he was content just watching me from wherever he chose to lay down, changing spots only if I moved too far away from him.  The only things Elwood wanted out of life were special food treats (carrots, chicken, and dried liver were his favorites), lots of water to drink, and me nearby.  Elwood is what one would describe as really, REALLY low drive.  It’s hard to understand how one could become so attached to a dog with that kind of temperament.  And actually until it became clear to me that he wouldn’t be with me much longer, I didn’t truly know how strong our bond was.

Elwood convinced me that there are huge pots of gold behind shelter doors and I know if I ever get another dog, not only will it be a shelter dog but it will be a senior dog.  Elwood suffered the ultimate betrayal by his first human when he was tossed away like a used car. Someone was prepared to extinguish Elwood’s flame when he still had so much to give.  For six years I had the privilege of being adored by this big boy and nothing I could have provided for him would have been able to match what he gave to me.  Nothing beats that kind of love.

My father taught me to love German Shepherds. I pray that he and Elwood find each other because there couldn’t be any better eternal companions for either one of them.  I love you Elwood.

--A Murray