For those of you who have met our family dog, Elsie, you know that she is the sweetest, most precious animal on the face of the earth. You also probably know that she is my mom's shadow. So much so, that she was even allowed to follow her down the aisle in my wedding in my parents' garden! She came into our lives about 9 years ago and has touched our hearts. My mom and Elsie have been inseparable since the day my mom asked my dad's best friend to take her home with her from his house! You read that correctly... Elsie was someone else's dog and my mom asked them for her. It's not as bad as it sounds... Our family friends (my dad's best friend since childhood), the Boones, have a good bit of land down in Headland, AL, so they have a "pack" of dogs... some that they chose, and others that chose them.... including a few bull mastiffs. Elsie (originally named Bugs) was a chosen dog, and was actually chosen to be a companion for Mrs. Boone's mama, Elsie. Shortly after getting "Bugs" for Elsie... Elsie passed away. Not long after this, my mom came to visit the Boones while she was helping to take care of my grandfather in a town nearby. While she was at their house, she was sitting on the outside swing and "Bugs" came to see her. Mom said that she took one look in those soulful eyes and she was hooked. She called my dad... "Harrison... I'm going to ask them for this dog." .... "Vicki! You cannot ask someone to take their dog!"..... "I really think it'll be ok... I'm just going to ask.".... and the rest is history. "Bugs" came home to Birmingham, was given the name Elsie in memory of Mrs. Boone's mama, and quickly became a welcome member of the family. She was originally brought home to be my sister Paige's dog, but that was quite short-lived as Elsie became mom's shadow as soon as Paige left for college (if not a little before haha). You also may or may not know that my mom was in a bad car wreck in February 2006 on the way to an early morning session of Beth Moore when she was in town. It was a head-on collision going around a curve on Shades Crest Road. The guy was in her lane in the curve so she had no where to go! Mom ended up with 6-8 broken bones in her leg/ankle, tears in her knee, and some broken ribs. She wasn't allowed to put any pressure on her leg/ankle for months and was basically on bedrest or bound to a wheelchair for a while. Elsie never left her side.
Well.... all of that to say... Labor Day weekend was a rough one. Mom felt a hard spot on Elsie stomach that seemed distented and she was having trouble going potty and eating... Mom ended up taking her to Auburn Small Animal Emergency Vet Clinic since it was the best around and my sister Grace is a student at the Vet School. Elsie had a tumor in her abdomen. The biggest question was whether it was in an organ and in which one. After muuuuch prayer, we found out that sweet Elsie's tumor was in her spleen... praise the Lord! This was good news because they were able to take the tumor and whole spleen out with no problems. The tumor weighed 2.5 lbs... which is a lot of Elsie's 14 lb body (with tumor). They also had to take a little piece of her pancreas and intestines, but not much. Other test showed that she had excellent kidney function and no nodes in her lungs.... so she was in good health and it hadn't spread to her lungs. Again, praise the Lord. After about 3 days in the ICU, mom was able to bring Elsie home. She is doing well. Elsie is about 14 years old, so we know that her days are numbered, but you're never ready to let go of a friend, which Elsie is just that. Our friend and a beloved member of our family. We are so grateful to God for His healing and for hearing our prayers. Hopefully we have much more wonderful time with our sweet Elsie! :o)