Rescued  May 13, 2017

Crossed the Bridge July 1, 2021

Written by Elio’s furever mom and co-founder, Brittney...

Elio | 2/19/2006 - 7/1/2021 🌈

Elio/ means “sun”, “sunlight”, and “sunshine”, from the Ancient Greek “helios”. Named after a generous, kind hearted supporter named Sunny who paid his ransom so that after an entire lifetime (and then some) spent in a Missouri puppy mill, he could have the opportunity to experience freedom, love, and family. A name he would really come to fit into as he was such a bright light and my little ray of sunshine ☀️
At the tender age of 13, Elio was was welcomed into The Cavalier Rescue’s hospice program (due to age) and became a furever member of my family. He amazed me with his tenacity, determination, and abilities for his age. Even as he turned 15 years of age, I was still welcomed home everyday by Elio’s bunny hops of excitement. I would look so forward to that coming home from work, often getting my phone out before I opened the door to capture it on video so I could replay it. And he loved running around the yard chasing bees 🐝 and butterflies 🦋. I would watch with joy, amazement, and disbelief at how he could move about so spry and carefree at such an old age. He always kept right up with everyone, even his furry siblings that were 10 years younger than him. Never showing his age in his appearance, physical health (and a clear heart all the way to the end), or abilities. And he was a fighter - independent, strong willed, determined, qualities that no doubt were born as he survived over 4,000 days in puppy mill hell.
The last few months have been a struggle for Elio at a cognitive and neurological level suffering from dementia and likely a brain tumor. He had great days and terrible days but every great day wiped away the bad days that came before and filled me with renewed hope. As he came to depend on me for so much, my independent, strong willed, little warrior finally shed his armour and we bonded in a way that I never thought would or could happen between a human and a 13 year puppy mill survivor. Although these were challenging times, I’m ultimately so thankful for them as they allowed our relationship to reach such a deep level of love. I proved to be there for him everytime he needed me and he came to believe and trust me to protect him, to console him, to care for him, to love him. And I love him more than I can put into words. He truly made my heart sing - right now that heart is in a million pieces and it seems impossible that it will ever be whole again. My world, my home, my heart, my family, will never be the same again.
Unfortunately it’s been many of those terrible days in a row and my little ray of sunshine let me know that he was tired… too tired. I always said you were going to live forever, and if love could have kept you alive you certainly would have. Rest easy now, my little bear. You’re tired and you need some sleep 💔
(📷 credit: Robert Barry Hamric)