Elmo Needs Someone to Give Him a Home
If Elmo were a child, his story would be similar to that of "The Little Match Girl," a Christmas story and one of the few tragedies penned by Hans Christian Andersen.
Elmo is, of course, a dog, and his story has not yet turned to tragedy.
Sharon Granito rescued the little mutt at her doorstep on Connecticut Avenue in Southern Pines Horse Country a couple of days before Christmas last year.
Now, a year later, Sharon is still searching for a home for the friendly pup she nursed back to health.
"He's a very dear dog," Granito says. "His only crime is that he chases cats, and he chases them quite aggressively."
For almost a year, Granito and fellow dog lovers have struggled in vain to find a suitable home for Elmo. He has been temporarily adopted by a couple of people, who were unable to keep him for varying reasons. He has been boarded in a kennel.
On one occasion he was picked up by Animal Control and was rescued from death -- practically at the last minute.
The past year of his life reads almost like one of those old "Perils of Pauline" silent movie serials, where the heroine, played by Pearl White, was always rescued at the last minute from the machinations of miscellaneous villains.
Granito and her husband, James, love dogs but they also love cats, a factor that makes Elmo an incompatible fit at their horse farm.
When Elmo first showed up at their doorstep, Granito had no way of knowing that this friendly, loving dog could pose such a threat to their cats.
"He socializes well with people, and he's good with other dogs," she says.
Elmo simply cannot abide cats.
When the Granitos rescued Elmo, he was painfully thin, was almost hairless, had multiple sores and had cauliflower ears. Elmo was so weak that he could barely raise his head.
But once Granito looked into those soulful eyes, she was hooked. Elmo received veterinary care and plenty of nourishing food. He quickly returned to be a healthy dog with plenty of energy. He followed Granito all over the farm and was always at her side.
The Granitos faced the fact that they could not keep Elmo because of his unfortunate cat-chasing habits. She called various animal rescue organizations and advertised in The Pilot.
When PetSmart held an Adoption Weekend, Granito decked Elmo out in a bow and hopefully sat there while dozens of visitors walked by and headed for "younger, cuter" dogs.
"I cried and cried," Sharon admits.
At least a couple of people offered to take Elmo, but neither worked out. One woman was disabled and realized after accepting the dog that she could not satisfactorily care for him and herself.
Then, another woman offered a home, but Sharon declined the offer after determining that the dog would be confined in a small, constricted area without the opportunity for adequate socialization with humans.
"He is so sweet and just loves people. He is a very sociable dog," Granito says.
For the time being, Elmo is in foster care with a local man who provides fostering service for dogs awaiting adoption.
His age is estimated at five to six years, and his ancestry is, at best, mixed, with a sprinkling of lab, shepherd, hound -- well, you get the idea.
Elmo is one of hundreds of dogs abandoned in Moore County on a regular basis. Other dogs and cats are available for adoption through the county's Animal Shelter in Carthage and through several animal rescue and service organizations.
Granito fears that the rural area near the intersection with Fort Bragg Road, not far from their home, is a favorite "drop-off" spot for people wanting to abandon dogs that they can no longer care for or no longer want. The situation has become acute in recent months because of economic conditions.
Just in case Santa has an interested elf out there, adoption inquiries about Elmo may be called to (910) 693-0304.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at (910) 693-2479 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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