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Jan 23, 2012

Elmo's Story

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Dr Margolis is in private practice in Hazelwood, Michigan.

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(2):185. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.793

My dog, Elmo, passed away this week. Elmo was a unique dog. He only liked people. The outdoors were not for him. He was an indoor dog. He did not care about chasing rabbits, the scent of other dogs, or going for a run. He wanted to be inside at a controlled temperature. It was as if he had lost all the primordial wolf genes.

We first met Elmo at a dog breeder's farm owned by Melvin Smith. As a practicing gastroenterologist, I had treated Mr Smith for a bleeding ulcer a few years previously. At that time, we got to talking about dogs, and Mr Smith told me that I should look him up if we were ever interested in acquiring a standard poodle. Elmo was much larger than the other puppies there, and we found out from Mr Smith that he was from an earlier litter. The first owners had brought him back because he could not be housebroken. Even though he appeared to be hyperactive, I immediately felt sorry for him and suggested to my wife that we take him in. The 50% discount from the price of the other dogs was also an enticement.