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Elsie The Story of A Rescue Dog

Elsie was rescued from a horrible death.



This is the story of Elsie, a rescue dog. No, she wasn’t rescued from a shelter or any organization. She was rescued from under my daughter Lisa’s camper in her yard in Oklahoma. Lisa caught a glimpse of something moving beneath the camper and her first thought was that it was a cat.Upon further examination, she realized it was a tiny, listless, stick-thin puppy, covered with ticks. Her face alone had three big ones, and the rest of her body was worse. Gingerly picking the puppy up, she held it as far away from herself as possible, and went to see if she could find the owner in the neighborhood. Not one person claimed the sick little dog.Meanwhile, the puppy was looking at her with sad, pleading eyes, and Lisa just couldn’t let her go to a sure, horrible death. 

The Face of Neglect


The photo included here is the face of sadness and neglect. How could anyone in their right mind allow a little creature like this to brutally die under such cruel circumstances? Better to be euthanized humanely, than to suffer. But the survival instinct was strong in this little girl, and she found her way to someone who cared that she was sick, starving and alone. Lisa already had a dog, a beauty named Farrah, and didn’t need another, but decided she had to give this little foundling some relief from the ticks that were eating her alive. She took her into her bathroom and gave her a bath with tick shampoo, not once, but twice in order to kill them all. Meanwhile, she realized that the hair was matted down so badly there were hard spots against the dog’s skin that had to be painful. She started gently and carefully cutting away the mats of hair.

Tiniest, Skinniest Dog

Finally, when she finished, she saw the tiniest, skinniest little dog she’d ever seen. Lisa also noticed the dogs dew claws on its hind feet were curved and piercing the skin of its legs. When the right hind leg was touched, the dog yelped. Lisa and her husband Kyle decided to take the dog to their veterinarian. They managed to get the dew claws cut, relieving the pain from where they pierced. They felt that since the dog was so thin and sickly looking, perhaps there was something else wrong with her. After tests, the veterinarian told them the little dog was slowly dying from starvation because she had tape worms that were taking all the nutrition. He prescribed medicine to rid her of the  parasites and they took her home and began the regimen of medicine. But what to do now? She didn’t need another dog, she thought, one was enough. But she felt she had to fight for this dog’s life.

Maybe there’s a home for her?

The two, woman and dog, began to fight for her life together. Days after her veterinarian visit, she began to eat and drink regularly, and each day her spirits seemed to brighten. She was getting healthy right in front of their eyes. Lisa and Kyle decided they would bring the little one with them on their upcoming trip home to Las Vegas. Lisa said she did not need another dog, one was enough. The thought was that maybe I would adopt the puppy, even though I already owned a dog too. Elsie Gets A Name In the meantime, they called the little one LC, thinking maybe she was part little Chihuahua. She was definitely a mixed breed. Finally the name took hold, and she became Elsie. The visit home over Labor Day was good, but every time Elsie was put into my lap, she was fine for a few minutes, but when Lisa walked away, Elsie jumped down to follow her. She never let Lisa out of her sight. They had not bargained on the bonding that had occurred between woman and dog, during the process of ridding her of parasites, and feeding and watering her. Yes, Elsie knew she had found her home….but did Lisa know it yet?

Your Dog Is Only As Healthy As You Help It To Be

There’s more to owning a dog than just feeding and watering it. They need to be bathed regularly, coat brushed, teeth brushed, and prevention of parasites and other critters, all most important to the welfare of your pet. Tape worms, heartworms, and other ailments can only be diagnosed by a veterinarian. If your dog shows these signs: pale tongue and gums, short of breath after small amounts of exercise, listless, spiritless, get them to an animal doctor right away. Tape worms can be eliminated and heartworms, if caught early enough, can be cured. Without a medical intervention, both conditions may result in the early death of your pet.

Thinking of adopting a pet?

Adoption of a pet is no small thing. A pet can change your life and enrich it, but it can also be a responsibility that can’t be “put away somewhere,” when it isn’t convenient for you. Pets require love and care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you are not ready for that responsibility, please do not adopt. However, if you ARE ready to invite a pet companion into your life, please consider visiting one of your local shelters and perhaps save the life of a shelter dog or cat. And here she is…Elsie! Shown with owner Lisa a few weeks later….

Winner of “Favorite Tail” in Pioche, NV Labor Day festivities.

…as a winner in the Pioche Dog Show. 3

Elsie is shown here with her owner, my daughter Lisa, just after winning the Favorite Tail trophy in the 2011 Pioche, Nevada dog show. This photo is from our family album taken by Missy Foster Malone. Elsie’s tail is longer than her body, and when she wags it, it stands in the air and swings back and forth like a metronome. On such a tiny dog this really looks funny! Her hair was still growing out and would become long eventually. She’s wearing the little ribbon clip on her head that she wore in the contest.

A Forever Home For Elsie

By the time my daughter and son-in-law left Las Vegas, they realized that this little girl was going back home with them. Lisa said “I don’t need another dog, but I think she needs me.” However, I suspect they needed each other, and Lisa just didn’t know it! Elsie is now happily ensconced at home with Lisa and Kyle, and takes full advantage of being Queen of the House.

Rescue a dog! They need you, and sometimes you need them more.

Please check out your local shelters. There are many beautiful dogs there, just waiting for someone to love them and give them a good home. They’ll be forever grateful to you for taking them in, because they DO recognize they’ve been saved.


Here are a few updated photos of Elsie. Quite a change from the little waif found under the camper! All Elsie photos are courtesy of Lisa Mauldin unless noted otherwise.

Showing off her beauty

Cowgirl Elsie for Halloween 2017 Note the braids on her long ear hair.

Pretty, precious Elsie

Flea And Tick Shampoo And Medication For Dogs  Flea and tick shampoo is a necessity for dogs, especially those that are outdoors a lot. Regular bathing with a shampoo that will kill fleas and ticks can keep a dog comfortably clean from the critters that roam in the grass. Be careful around a dog’s eyes as some of these shampoos could cause damage to them. Please note: Regular dish washing liquid or soap will not kill fleas or ticks. You must use a shampoo especially designed to kill those parasites, otherwise your dog will continue to suffer.

You might also consider a bathing tub for your dog. Always determine what size of dog you have before ordering a bathing tub. These tubs can be used outside during the warm months, sparing the splashing of your bathroom with so much water.


About The Author
I am Nancy Hardin, a retired journalist, a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. I’m also a veteran of the Women’s Army Corps. You might like to visit my other website,  Mystery in the History.   It’s full of stories of strange happenings, mysteries and oddities throughout history.