A New Fund to Honor an Extraordinary Dog

Eli was technically a dog, part Bullmastiff and part American Bulldog, but really, Eli was more like a human than a canine. Endlessly loving and loyal to his family (especially his human mom), Eli was a celebrity of the Upper West Side of New York City, often holding court on Columbus Ave while friendly passersby greeted him with belly rubs. Warm and gentle beyond measure, Eli possessed a humanity and strength all his own. He radiated goodness and fun, from his midnight romps with his sister and friends in Central Park to his hilariously spontaneous flops for attention or naps. We all remember falling asleep next to Eli's curled-up form and waking up with half of his immense body draped over us in an embrace.

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Perhaps Eli's most remarkable trait is the one most difficult to describe and the one that we will miss the most. He possessed an intangible humanity about him that he could communicate with a look or a tail wag. His facial expressions told you exactly what he was feeling at any given moment; from the hopeful eyes when he sensed he might be getting a snack, to the cute and stubborn glare he would give if you asked him to scoot over on the couch. We would speak to him as we would any human and see him react in real time to our words like a human. That will always stay with us. He seemed possessed of a personhood even beyond that of "beloved dog." From the ways he lounged with humans on the couch to his ability to find the person who most needed him in the room, Eli could always cross the communication barrier between dogs and humans effortlessly. Perhaps more than anything else, we will miss looking at Eli and having him look back, knowing that he understood.

Eli also was undoubtedly resilient when it came to his health. Having torn his ACL twice and suffering from intense allergies and, ultimately, multiple malignant tumors, Eli was no stranger to the vet’s office. His mom counts herself as truly lucky to have been able to afford all of the medical care that Eli needed.

The medical care he received, including multiple cycles of radiation, definitely granted Eli more time with us and a higher quality of life.

That’s where you come in.

We know that while every dog owner has a pet who they love as much as we loved Eli, not every owner can afford multiple surgeries and cancer treatments. So, Eli's family has established “Eli’s Fund” within the Waggle Foundation to assist pet owners who need financial assistance in receiving potential life saving medical care for their pets. Grants are typically made in the form of matching donations at waggle.org.

Thank you for helping us remember our remarkable companion.