Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Elvis --My Most Memorable Birthday Gift!

Little, adorable Elvis, only eight weeks old, he was a German Shepherd puppy. Back in February of 1996, I bought him for $500.

Elvis is my most memorable birthday gift. Notice that I am using the word memorable and not the word best.

As I am turning 37 this week, my daughter brought up the topic of favorite birthday gifts. Did I have one? It was a difficult question. I couldn't think of many, but then Elvis popped into my head. He was a gift to myself when I turned 23.

Elvis was what you call a spontaneous purchase. He wasn't planned. I saw an ad in the paper: "For Sale. 3 male German Shepherd puppies. No papers. $500." It sounded cheap, so I decided to go and take a look.

(You never just go and LOOK at puppies!) My mom, being older and wiser, asked if it was a wise idea. She reminded me that I had just started school full-time.

Did I listen? Of course not!

I was just going to look. But of course, I brought money with me, just in case. Yeah well, "just in case" went out the window (along with my come and sense) as soon as I saw the puppies. In that moment, holding Elvis in my arms, he was so soft and so cute --almost like a little wolf cub; I knew that I wasn't leaving without him. So I gave the breeder my money, and put Elvis in the car.

When I got home I had to dash to the pet supply store to buy dog food, bowls, a leash and toys. I was completely unprepared to care for a dog. In more ways than one, I would soon discover.

As I had no experience with raising a German
Shepherd puppy, things didn't go so well for Elvis and I. I treated him like he was my little baby. This was before Cesar, the Dog-Whisperer. Cesar would have told me to be the Alfa-leader. Consequently, Elvis though I was a dog, and since I wasn't Alfa material --he decided to lead.

His leadership meant I couldn't leave my apartment. When I left, to go to class, he barked, howled, and chewed and destroyed furniture, mail, kitchen cabinets, wallpaper, just about anything. And when I took him out, he nearly pulled my arm off. I wore leather gloves to keep my skin intact.

After six months of dog-owner Hell, I called the breeder and begged her to take him back. Lucky for me, she did. Though, she had moved half across the country--so the return trip became a real goodbye-to-Elvis-adventure.


  1. I guess you lost the deposit on your apartment.

  2. My mom and I ended up re-wallpaper one of the rooms.