Elvis sang the “Jailhouse Rock” last December when he ended up at the Coachella Valley Animal Campus, the local county shelter. While dogs throughout the Valley played with new toys and romped through Christmas wrapping, it was a “Blue Christmas” for this little dog and his cellmates at the pound. The majority of the animals entering California’s public county shelters are euthanized, and Elvis had a close call. In January, the luck of this small Pug/Chihauhua/Dachshund mix changed. Elvis came into Loving All Animals’ Mobile Mutts rescue program. But it still proved to be a long road home for Elvis who holds the unenviable record for the longest time spent in Loving All Animals’ foster to adoption program.

Elvis came faithfully to all adoption events, including fun filled Yappy Hours where he was admired but never adopted. Often one of the husbands would admire this handsome dog with the sable mink looking coat. Then his wife would nix the deal. One of the volunteers complained that Elvis snarled at the bigger dogs and was a problem at events. There was a different report from foster mom Maritza Rodriguez, “Elvis is a calm, affectionate, playful dog who loves going to the dog park to play. He’s perfect!”. In an ideal world, Elvis would have the continuity of one foster home. But our Valley is filled with snow birds and folks taking mini vacations which meant Elvis was moved to four foster homes. His wonderful foster parents Joy & Dean Jacot, Paul White, Donnamarie Marconi, and Maritza Rodriguez report Elvis was a joy in their homes. Elvis adapted easily to the changes. Lynne Lockwood and I took dogs to the recent Sun City Shadow Hills adoption event, and again Elvis was left behind. I told Lynne, “This is it. I’m going to get Elvis adopted today!”

Elvis was overlooked for the little, white fluffy female dogs preferred by many Valley residents, particularly women. Realizing Elvis’ appeal to “macho” men, I made a list of the likely places to find them. Matching the right dog to the right owner is key to success. First stop was McMahon’s Recreational Vehicle sales office, where the alpha guys were lounging around the sales office on a scorching hot afternoon. Two of the salesmen expressed an interest in Elvis. Mike Hill said he recently visited a couple shelters and was in the market for a dog. Mike, a single guy, explained that he lived in an RV parked on the lot and traveled to RV shows. Mike goes up north for the summer to McMahon’s in Morgan Hill where the cool weather means better sales. I thought to myself, “This is not the ‘kids and white picket fence’ life I imagined for Elvis. What if he gets attacked by coyotes at a campground?” But Elvis had plans of his own. He checked out Mike’s RV and made himself at home. We strolled back to the sales office where the staff admired the little dog who seemed to relish the attention.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT WAS AMAZING. MIKE’S CELL PHONE RANG AND HE SHOWED US THE NAME “ELVIS” APPEARING ON THE PHONE. Turns out it was Mike’s best human friend named Elvis calling. He does Elvis impersonations! Everyone was amazed, and it seemed like an omen that this adoption was ordained. I told Mike that Elvis was a chick magnet, attracting the ladies and getting extra points when they found out he was a rescue dog. Mike couldn’t take Elvis that day, but we set an adoption time for several days later. That afternoon Mike told a co-worker, “My heart is fluttering thinking about that dog. It’s like I’m falling in love for the first time”. Mike called the night he adopted Elvis to report, “This is the best dog I’ve ever had! You were right, he’s a chick magnet. We got lots of attention at PetSmart!”. ELVIS IS MIKE’S “GOOD LUCK CHARM”.


In the spirit of “Follow that Dream” Mike and Elvis hit the road the next morning for an RV show in Victorville. Dogs are traveling animals, and Elvis thrives in his new adventure filled life with Mike. He attended his first barbeque and played happily with a husky dog named Sheeba. Remember this is the dog who didn’t like big dogs! Mike and Elvis are now working at the McMahon’s RV location in Morgan Hill, near San Jose. They are pictured here on the RV lot. Elvis has an area right outside Mike’s glass covered office, and he accompanies Mike whenever he has a customer. Mike says proudly, “I’m the salesman, and Elvis is the closer!”. Elvis is good for business and went on three RV test drives and one house call. Last night two female park rangers dropped by to see Elvis and of course Mike didn’t complain about the attention. This is another reason to get a rescue dog!

Next week they travel to Garden Grove, and Elvis the dog finally meets Mike’s other friend Elvis who made the prophetic phone call. Hopefully we will get a photo of this interesting meeting!

Mike tells how much his new pet means to him, “I knew right away Elvis was the dog for me. I like the way he looks with the racing stripe down his back. I like his energy, his playfulness, the way he’s good with people which is important in my business. He’s a great buddy and great companion. I love him. He’s grown on me, I can’t be without him for very long!” Elvis sleeps by Mike’s side at night with a little stuffed lion. Elvis’ new life is different than most dogs. His home is on wheels. Elvis who loves people is rarely alone. Dogs love to perform tasks, and they bring happiness to the humans in the workplace. Elvis waited a long time for the perfect home.

“Are you Lonesome Tonight?” Head over to see hundreds of wonderful adoptable dogs (and cats) at the Coachella Valley Animal Campus, the local Riverside County shelter at 72050 Pet Land Place in Thousand Palms, (760) 343-3644. You can also contact Loving All Animals at (760) 776-9397 or www.lovingallanimals.org for information about pet adoption.

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