…the end of Elgin’s journey.

Elgin's Salmon Dinner (5) Elgin's Salmon Dinner (15)

We knew the time was drawing nigh.  So a week ago, Saturday, my husband grilled salmon for Elgin and fed him with a fork.  We have a very sophisticated Dogue, after all!

Elgin's Filet Mignon dinner 16 June 2013 (7)The next evening, he grilled filet mignon, and again fed Elgin with a fork.  I’d like to reiterate that Elgin oozed sophistication, but I think it was the other stuff he oozed that prompted the use of the fork, now that I think about it.  My husband’s a smart guy.


So we watched his every move during this past week, because we could clearly see that the leg was hurting him.  He was such a stoic dog, it was difficult to judge really how much it hurt.  I upped his Rimadyl, and it had no effect on him.  He was shaky on that leg and could barely make it up onto the couch on his own.  But boy, did he rally when it was time to go to the park!  I was hesitant to take him, knowing how sore and weak he was, but once I got him there, he hopped around like there was nothing wrong.  He peed on everything, sniffed around like a bloodhound, and really relished his time in the sunshine.  There were a few times he tried to play with his browndog girlfriend, but couldn’t support his weight on that leg when he really wanted to lunge and run at her. He just sort of lurched at her and scooted his rear closer.

After agonizing together, neither my husband nor myself wanted to make that final decision of calling the vet to schedule that last appointment.  But Friday morning I couldn’t take the thought of Elgin’s pain getting any worse and I made the appointment for Monday (today) at 9:45am.  That would give us one last weekend.  Almost as soon as I made the appointment, it was really strange, Elgin’s pain seemed to increase greatly. He was panting hard, scooting from place to place around the house, and apparently not able to find a comfortable spot.  It got so bad on Saturday morning that I broke out the pain meds UC Davis sent us home with when Elgin came home from his amputation.  He now had Rimadyl AND gabapentin onboard, and once the gabapentin kicked in, he relaxed and was able to sleep and looked much more comfortable when he woke up.  We began to wonder if Monday was too far away…

…cancer sucks.

We stayed close to home this weekend, except for when we went out to buy him a big, juicy bone, and special food. We brushed him, fed him treats like crazy, and laid on the floor with him a lot, cuddling.  Neighbors came to visit him and say goodbye, and tears were shed.

I won’t go into a description of how this morning went, because I just don’t think I can.  But we did what we could to make it peaceful and not scary for him.

Run free on four strong legs, Elgin.

Elgin on the hill feb 2013 (14)





295 thoughts on “…the end of Elgin’s journey.”

  1. Elgin’s life, Elgin’s terms. You needed Elgin’s validation that he was ready and he gave it to you …he’ showed it to you

    This site can be the saddest place on earth sometimes—and this is one of those times. I’m just so sorry, so very’ very sorry.

    The fact that he was able to maintain a quality that made him happy right up to the crossover is such a testament to the connection, the love, the devotion that all of you shared with Elgin. Elgin is a fine, the dog who knew nothing but love, noting but uncditinal love ad happiness

    A very polite man with good manners..clearly maintaining the proper decorum as he ever so eloquently eats off his fork. What great pictures! But the slobber says it all, “Give me the whole darn steak and want it now!”. Did you dunk his salmon I a lemon cream sauce first? Oh, yeah, that’s not cream sauce—-that’s Elgin’s slobber!! I have no doubt, had you given him a napkin he would have gingerly called his jowls:-)

    You gave Elgin the best life possible and, just as you treasure him, he treasures you. You gave hi!m the thrill of digging for treasures in his own sand box, you gave him the joy of play I g with his friend Brown Girl and you gave him the greatest gift of all–your love.

    The pictures of Elgin always show a.one of a kind dog! You just see it–a unique one-of-a-kind special dog soul.

    I will always be touched by those photos and by the journey yo have shared. This site is a better place because you and Elgin have been a part of it.

    If the rains from heaven seem a little more “slimey” sometimes—it’s merely Jerry feeding Elin steak on a fork while that beautiful slobber trickles down through the clouds!

    Elgin’s still with you…..maybe you’ll have him I. your dreams soon and you’ll k ow all is well. Feel his presence, he’s there.

    The silhouette of Elgin running needs to be a banner n this site. K certain don’tknow now it’s done…..but tthat is the epitome of being a tripawd loving life with no limits:-) 🙂

    We all cry with you and understand. Elgin wats you to remember the good memories as son as you can. For. ow, just let n’ happy memory come forth. What is it? No, not that ne—one that really brings you a BIG smile. Yeah, that’s the n’. Now,t share it with your husband and ask him to come up with OE. Yeah, that makes Elgin happy seeing you two smile:-) 🙂

    Seng you love,

    Sally and Happy Hannah

  2. I am so so sorry. It sounds like you had the best possible last week with him and there is no doubt that Elgin left for his next journey knowing just how much he was loved.

    My heart goes out to you. Elgin is a beautiful soul. Hold onto all the beautiful memories you made together.

    Many hugs

    Karen and Spirit Magnum

  3. Ann and family, this broke our hearts to read this morning, please accept our deepest condolences, we are deeply sorry.

    Elgin’s journey was not an easy one but you were all so strong, and brave. Hold your heads up high knowing that in following your instincts and your hearts, you gave him a wonderful last few months with you. Cancer is a terrible thing but it also gives us these gifts that we would never stop to appreciate otherwise, like just being together, sitting in the warm sunshine, you know the rest.

    But the biggest gift is Elgin’s inspirational story that will go on to help others at least ponder the amputation decision for their own giant dog. Whether they choose to proceed or not, at least Elgin’s story will show them what is possible in life even when the odds are against you.

    Our hearts go out to you, we are so very sorry. Elgin will be deeply missed around here.

    1. We are so grateful to be part of this community of love and support you created. The best gift of all, is that we were able to help others. Thank you for facilitating this. You are such a blessing.

  4. This broke my heart this morning… and I absolutely LOVE the picture of Elgin on the leash running behind your man..
    what a sweet sophisticated boy… I wish you strength to get through the next little bit.. it is so very hard to make that call.. and you have so much love in your heart for that big lug that you know he enjoyed every last moment with you.
    Cancer does suck.
    Cancer does a lot of things that is so unfair..
    Cancer is so limited though
    It cannot cripple love
    It cannot shatter hope
    It cannot corrode faith
    It cannot destroy peace
    It cannot kill friendship
    It cannot suppress memories
    It cannot silence courage
    It cannot invade the soul
    It cannot steal eternal life
    It cannot conquer the spirit.
    and it cannot kill the part of your heart that Elgin holds.. or the part of his heart that belonged to you.


  5. Damn. Oh, dear Elgin. He was quite a guy! He had such a loving week and life and the sweetest of gifts at the end. I’m so relieved to hear you had some extra gaba to help him those last few days. Seeing our family members in pain and unable to communicate how much is heart breaking. You did right by him. Cancer did not. I’m so sorry for the emptiness he leaves behind. I know that one day you’ll begin to recall his memories and events with smiles and happiness rather than tears and sorrow. Until then, cry and curl up. We are here. And soon, we’ll all be there.
    ~ Katy

  6. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve lost your brave, strong boy. I never met Elgin, but feel that I knew him through his stories and photos. His story will live on forever. Such a courageous boy. Sending healing thoughts to you.

  7. So sorry to hear that Elgin needed to cross over the Rainbow Bridge. I have followed his story from the beginning. What a large dog with an even larger heart. Your love through his journey was evident in each moment, each word and each photograph. Thank you for sharing his story so others with large dogs will have the courage to face what your family faced. Wishing you peace at this difficult time.

  8. I’m so sorry to hear about Elgin’s passing. You guys were awesome guardians for him. I still love that you got him a pool of dirt to dig and play in. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  9. So, so sorry to hear about Elgin. I have loved looking at his handsomest face and reading about his and his family’s courage and love.

    Thank you for sharing Elgin with all of us. I will always think of him eating his salmon & steak from a fork…what a dog!

    Darcy & Bart

  10. I am so sorry Elgin has crossed the bridge. I have kept with his story for awhile now. He had such a good kind spirit. I shed tears with you & your family. Just know cancer didn’t win. Elgin did and he put up a great fight.

    Rip Elgin. Run free at the bridge until you meet your family again.

    Our thoughts & prayers are with you

    Michelle & Sassy

  11. Dear Ann and family, it seems impossible to express how very sorry I am with words. I wish I could give you all a big hug and Atlas sends big sloppy kisses too. You are such awesome parents and I know Elgin knew how lucky he was and returned all that unconditional love that you gave him. You have been so strong and kind in sharing and helping others even as you struggled with Elgin’s cancer. I feel like we have a part of Elgin with us since you made that awesome elbow saver for Atlas and used Elgin as the model because every time I go to put it on Atlas he has to give it the full sniff once over smelling his friend that he never got to meet. I’m sure Elgin is forever with you but I’m so very very sorry he had to leave for rainbow bridge. God Speed Elgin.
    Patricia Gaye & Atlas

    1. Thanks, Gaye and Atlas. I am so glad you let me try to help with Atlas’ journey. This is a rich community, and we are all here to help each other… I will enjoy keeping up with your journey.

  12. Ann,

    I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I am always at a loss for words when we lose another friend here. This stupid disease can never take away the wonderful memories you have of your beautiful boy.

    Sending you lots of warm hugs and strength,

  13. Being new to Tripawdland – going on a month – I wasn’t familiar with Elgin, but just finished reading all your posts from the beginning. First, what a face! Quite a beauty! This is a journey I’d never choose, but, since it is what it is, it’s certainly given our family a new outlook on life, love and what these amazing creatures give us unconditionally on a daily basis. It sounds like you have the most wonderful memories. Thinking of you.


  14. What heart breaking news. Elgin put up such an incredible battle. Thank you for sharing this eloquent tribute. An unforgettable final week. Thank you for being such an awesome ‘pawrent’ and giving Elgin the best.

    I have followed Elgin since I discovered the TriPawd site. I have found great support here. I hope you will find solace in the posts of all Elgin’s supporters.

    Hugs to you, and hugs to your family. Elgin lives on in your hearts through the wonderful memories you created.

    ~~~Charlie & his mom Cathie~~

    Lost a Friend
    You lost a special friend today
    the kind you can’t replace,
    and looking at his empty bed
    you still can see his beautiful face.
    You know he’s in a special place
    our Lord has for such friends,
    Where meadows, fields & flowers
    help make them strong and whole again.
    I know he’s watching over you
    He’ll be with you when you cry,
    So with one more kiss on his beloved head
    You told your friend goodbye.

    -Author Unknown

  15. I am so sorry to hear of Elgin’s departure from this world. On Monday, it will be six months since I last saw my boy Bruno’s face. Cancer sucks. I hope you can find comfort in the fact that at least you had time together to make memories, exchange endless love, and were blessed enough to be able to say not “goodbye”, but rather “until we meet again.” I won’t lie and tell you that it will get easier, because I still have yet to find that it has. But I do hope that the pain and sadness of his absence does not overshadow all the love and joyous moments you all shared together. Stay strong and best wishes.
    Run free Elgin.

    Maricela and Spirit Bruno

  16. I am so so so sorry to hear that Elgin has passed to the rainbow bridge. Tears were shed reading this article and my heart aches for your loss.

    Take what little comfort you can in knowing that will be waiting for you, pain free, at the rainbow bridge.


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