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January 9, 2015 eblast:

Elton came home to us today.

Never have I witnessed a more lost and damaged soul.

He tried so hard to disappear.


But I know he's going to be okay.

And that one day, his tail will wag proudly because he'll be happy.

Happier than he could ever imagine.


We have his foster parents to thank for this.

The funding is one thing, but the love is the biggest thing of all. Money can't buy them love.


On behalf of Elton, thank you Denise and John. You've saved this little boy's heart. And perhaps he'll help to mend yours as he finds his way along the same rescue path that Mortimer took to you.



And to all our dear friends out there. It's my pleasure to introduce you to Elton and his new family.

You'll want to see the video below because one day, we're going to compare to a much happier one.

Please keep sending those pawsitive thoughts for Elton. He's going to need all the love and support we have in us to give.

January 8, 2015 eblast:

Meet our first rescue case for 2015.


We've named him Elton. This is his story…


Elton was first saved on Dec 4th by Animal Control Officers of a rural shelter outside Toronto.

They found him in an empty barn barely alive.

He had 18 puncture wounds around his neck.

He was frostbitten and severely emaciated.

They didn't think he'd make it through the night.

He spent the first few days on IV at a local vet clinic, followed by 2 weeks of antibiotics and pain medication.


We can only speculate what happened to little Elton.

The AC officers suspect he was dumped by a hunter and perhaps attacked by dogs or coyotes.

But he's a survivor.

He sought refuge in an empty barn and waited for a miracle.


In a world filled with what seems like an endless supply of tragedies, there are still little miracles happening every day.


Over the holidays, while we celebrated the season - Elton was slowly recovering.

In the care of the shelter, he gained some much needed weight and gradually healed from his physical injuries.

But he's only healed on the surface.

He hasn't recovered from the emotional trauma.

This gentle lamb is heartbreakingly shy and absolutely terrified of EVERYTHING (people, leashes, loud noises, vehicles).


He needs someone to fix him on the inside.


I am delighted to tell you that we're gonna do that.


Yes, Elton doesn't know it yet but someone (2 someones actually) are about to save his life!



On Christmas Day, while Elton was recovering at the shelter, BOB Grad Mortimer said goodbye to the phenomenal family that adopted him from us exactly 6 years ago.

It was sudden and it was devastating.


Denise & John had no intention of getting another dog so soon…"unless one falls into our laps", Denise told a friend earlier today.


It seems Elton has done just that and BEFORE they've even met him.

That's the extraordinary kind of people they are.



Just as Mortimer was an extraordinary kind of dog.

He left at Christmas.

He left at the most joyous time of year.

At a time when we tend to be at our best.

At a time when we celebrate the joy of giving more than any other time of the year.

It seems only fitting that Mortimer chose this special time to say goodbye.

He was all about giving.

And he didn't dare leave without giving to another.


So to you, Mortimer, I thank you for all you did to keep that generosity of heart burning bright for those who had the good fortune to know and love you.

Elton won't replace you but he will be loved by the same ones who loved you so deeply. What greater gift than that?

January, 2015:
The article below has just been published in Beach Metro Community News for my column, "PET OF THE MONTH"! Have a read and learn all about this special boy and his heartbreaking story!!

“Happy New Year!” – it’s something we say to each other every January. It’s a good thing too. We need all the optimism we can get. First, we need it for the small stuff like shedding the extra pounds we gained over the holidays or counting the days to spring - one back-breaking toss of the snow shovel at a time. And then there’s the big stuff, like world peace. We all know that’s a lofty goal.


            Alas, despite the annual encouragement of those three little words strung joyfully together like the festive lights on your Christmas tree – the now tinsel-free tree that’s losing needles AND the will to live face-down in the slush on the side of the road – happiness can seem like those old acquaintances we traditionally sing about on New Year’s Eve that we shouldn’t forget but sometimes do.


            Of course, that’s my inner Scrooge talking. My inner Tiny Tim prefers to believe even roadside slush has a silver lining if we happen to catch a glimpse when the sun is shining on it at just the right angle and at just the right moment! Yes, even the January blahs can turn BLING! I’ve got proof.


            It started with an old acquaintance that our beagle repair shop will never forget. We bid a sad farewell to him on Christmas Day of all days. He was a beagle we named Mortimer. It was around Christmas 2009 when we bailed old Morty out of a local animal shelter after he’d come in as a stray. He’d been guessed at 8 to 10 years old but those years hadn’t brought him much wisdom. Mortimer was terrified of practically everything. We’ll never know what made him that way but I can assure you he didn’t stay that way. Our plea to find a foster home for Mortimer led us to Denise and John, a couple who always seem to find the silver lining to everything. They would become Mortimer’s silver lining for the next 5 blissful years. He was their Mortimer-Muffin. Now who could forget a dog with a nickname like that?


            Just as Mortimer was preparing for his final departure, a miracle was unfolding in a barn north of the city. Aside from sheltering a tractor, the old barn no longer served any other purpose until one little beagle found his way to it just in the nick of time. He was badly injured. There were 18 puncture wounds around his neck, likely the result of an attack by wild animals. Prolonged exposure to the cold had left him frostbitten in several places and without any source of food, he was near starving.


            As good fortune would have it, the owner of the barn decided to pop by and check on the tractor. It was still there alright and next to it, curled up in a tight little ball, was a trembling beagle she didn’t expect would survive the trip to the local animal shelter. But he did. After 2 weeks in hospital hooked up to IV fluids, he was well on his way to a complete recovery except for one thing. The little beagle who survived against-all-odds was still riddled with wounds we can’t see with our eyes. Like Mortimer 5 years prior, this poor beagle was terrified of everything. And like Mortimer, we’ll never know why. But also like Mortimer, he wasn’t going to stay that way.


            We got the call from the shelter in Port Perry on January 7th asking if we had room to take in a painfully shy young beagle that narrowly escaped death and needed a rescue like ours to help heal his wounds on the inside. That call came in around the same time I was getting all “hum-buggy” about the New Year so far. It was also probably around the same time Denise was saying to a friend, “We don’t plan on getting another beagle just yet. Unless one falls in our laps, I think our hearts need time to heal”.


            Let’s just say our first rescue case of the year, the beagle-tailed barn swallow we named Elton, made a precision landing into those unsuspecting laps. Once in the nest, all it took was his wide-eyed expression of hope for a future filled with tail-wagging moments for Denise and John to see that they didn’t need time to heal their hearts. All they really needed was a beagle in desperate search of his silver lining.


            Elton’s invisible wounds have been healing ever since. He’s couch buddies with an older, wiser beagle named Molly who has no doubt told him all about his predecessor Mortimer the Magnificent and how he has very big paws to fill. Since the beginning of time, it’s been the job of big sisters to tease their little brothers. Little brothers have an equally important role to win over big sisters and by doing so, keep them young at heart. Aside from his brotherly responsibilities to Molly, Elton need only look cute in the turtle-neck sweater chosen just for him while he watches the dark clouds disappear one by one from above his head. With every gentle tickle of his tummy and reassuring kiss on his freckled nose, Denise and John are gradually bringing Elton’s silver lining into view.


            My humbug days are over! With 365 days’ worth of beagle-infused optimism, I say “Happy New Year, Elton!”


Elton is an approximately 2-year-old beagle ringing in the New Year HAPPY at Big On Beagles (BOB) Rescue, ~ where every rescued beagle has a silver lining! Would you like to help our next beagle wag away the storm clouds and find his silver lining? Then become a foster parent and ring in the New Year with a beagle bang!