How do I find the right words to describe to you a beautiful Border Collie who came into my life on a very hot fourth of July in 1994, temperature 104 degrees in the Sierra Mountains, around Coulterville, California. My twenty-two year old daughter and I were riding our bikes out of Coulterville down the long very steep hill to Lake McClure where we were camping. Coming up this long hill was a small (about 1 year old) Border Collie. She appeared to be very weak and was weaving back and forth as she trudged up the hill. We stopped to give her water. She didn’t want any. She went and lay down in the shade of a tree along side the road. I went to sit beside her. She immediately crawled onto my lap. She loved to be cuddled. My daughter had gone to the campground to get some dog food as we owned two German Shepards. When she got back to us the dog wasted no time eating the food. She was very hungry. She was very thin. We went to houses in the area thinking someone owned her. No one knew of her. We left her thinking she would find her way back home. Hours later we had gone into Coulterville to play a game of pool. It was late afternoon when we came out of the pool hall. In front of the door was the border collie eating an ice cream cone that was on the side walk. We asked all over the small town. Finally, some one said a bar tender owned her but he was out of town. So, we left her again. The next morning around eleven my daughter was returning to her job at Yosemite. She stopped at a phone in front of the pool hall to call her friend to tell her she would be late getting home. She noticed something leaning against her leg. She looked down and here is the border collie again. The bar tender did not own the dog either.The third time is a charm. Nikki brought her back to the campground where we gave her a bath and took off over one hundred ticks. Some were as big as your thumb nail. Within six months my daughter was unable to keep ELO as she was now named in her home. Her work hours were too long and the dog was alone in the home. So, I brought her to our home with the two female German Shepards. There was never a problem with the three of them. But, ELO made it clear she was the alpha female. On walks around town, She was always on the end of her leash fighting all dogs who were loose and attack us. The two shephards were glad to let her do all the fighting. She loved to run. I would get on my bike and ride from our home out to Point Mugu Naval Air Station a nine mile one way trip. She would run all the way out there and back. She loved going to the mountains around Bass Lake in the Sierra Mountains. ELO and our two Shepards and I would roam the forested mountains around the lake. Elo was always bonded with me. She just seemed to tolerate my wife’s presence in the home. Her personality won my wife over dispite ELO’s attitude. When it was time for dinner she would hop around on all four legs and howl wanting her dinner. When I got home from work if I wasn’t moving fast enough to change cloths to start our walks, she would start nipping at the calves of my legs, as border collies do to sheep to get them in line. It made me jump. This dog made it clear I belonged to her period. I could not get out of her sight once I got home. She taught me unconditional love. I finally learned to return that love, something I had not been good at all my life with people. She taught me to open up my emotions. Soon I could do it with people. She taught me lessons of life I never expected to learn from a dog. I finally over the years came to realize GOD sent me this animal to help me grow. She brought fun, excitement and joy beyond description. She helped me over come a childhood of death of my mother when I was age six. Then a cousin who died two years later at age nineteen. These experiences had shut me down but a lost or discarded one year old Boder Collie found in the Sierra Mountains brought me back to life.
At age fifteen this wonderful dog who had never had a sick day in her live began to falter. Her health declined drastically the next year. She became disinterested in her food and began to loose interest in her walks as she would be too sick to get up off the floor. My heart struggled with her decline. I finally had to accept it was her time to return back to GOD and Heaven from where she had been sent into my life. I can only thank Dr. Cooney for her wonderful help in assisting ELO to begin her journey back home. I hope GOD in all his wonderful love will bring me back to her once more so we can be together forever.
ELO I love you so much. I miss you. My heart aches everyday without you here in my life. Garth Korfanta