The Dog Liberator™

The Dog Liberator rescues abandoned dogs throughout the Southeast. Based in Central Florida, this non-profit organization fosters all of their dogs in a home environment. Founded in 2009, all dogs are fully vetted, spayed or neutered prior to adoption. The Dog Liberator focuses in rescuing the herding breed, which consists of Border Collies, Shepherds, Sheepdogs, Aussies, Collies, and Deaf/Blind Dogs.

Remembering Harry Elliott

Remembering Harry Elliott

The Dog Liberator receives donations from individuals from time to time.  Many times, donations are received from people we do not know, people who have not adopted from us, people who may never adopt from us; people who just want to help.  Some donations are $5, some are $100.  What matters is people want to help, and they help in anyway that they can.  It all adds up, and every dollar makes a difference.

What’s important, however, is the story behind the giving.  Why people make an effort to be “paying it forward”.  Last week, I received a donation for Shep’s care via paypal.  The comment read:

Harry Elliott

Gisele:  Although I can’t adopt a dog (we rescued a border collie who had been run over with his farmer’s tractor) and a feral kitten wandering in the neighborhood, but I still want to help you do what you do best. Don’t listen to those who send hate e-mail. They are probably sending hate e-mail to more than just you. If that is all they have to do, then just feel sorry for their families and spouses. They have a mental problem. This donation is in memory of my Dad who died this year before seeing our rescued animals. Please help another animal make it to a good home. Those of us who benefit from rescuers hard work appreciate all that you do.   Sincerely,  Susan

I emailed Susan, thanking her for her donation, and asked her to elaborate a bit.  Here’s what she wrote:

Hi Gisele,

My Dad, Harry Elliott, was a WWII veteran who was wounded in action in Europe at the Battle of the Bulge.  He loved animals and looked forward to our getting a dog after he and Mom moved in with us.  However, he was sicker than anyone knew and needed so much care.  I would look online for a border collie at PetFinder.  Dad would look at the dogs I found as I sent the candidates to his computer.  He was really looking forward to having a pet again.  But, as it turned out, he didn’t live to see us get Lance.

We had been looking for a few years since we lost our last border mix somewhere around the age of 14 years.  She was a rescued dog, also.  But I hurt too bad to go get another right away.  Turned out to be the best thing as both my parents needed to come with us and we needed to renovate their house to sell it.  No time for a dog.  But as things settled down and the house was up for sale, the hunt began again in earnest.  We would put in for a dog and never hear another thing.  Although, our neighbors and vet had been checked out.  The dog would disappear from online and it was gone.  (Adopted, I hope).  We had people from a border collie rescue come to our house and deemed us worthy.  But we didn’t have one when Dad suddenly took a turn for the worse and was taken to the hospital. 


The weird part was that while Dad was drugged and delirious in the hospital, he spoke about how wonderful it was that we finally had our dog after all that looking, and that HE was a wonderful, beautiful border collie.  We had only been looking at females. He genuinely thought we already gotten a dog.   I just went along with it and didn’t tell him we had no dog.  Dad died last February.  

A few weeks later a male border collie showed up in NJ and was being shown at a Petco about an hour from our home, having been shipped from Virginia to a rescue group here.  This is unusual because here we are inundated with pit bull terriers and don’t find many border collies.

We drove to see him with all of our credentials and paperwork with us (even a Google Earth printout so that they could see where we live is rural).  They liked us so much that they loaded Lance into our car and we drove him home with us. 


Dad was right.  He is a beautiful wonderful dog who is smarter than we are.  He is training us very well.  It took him a few months to recover from all the stitches and his wounds.  He doesn’t look anything like he did when we got him.  His fur was thin, as was his body.  He has filled out with the most beautiful border collie long flowing hair.  His personality went from fearful of kids, strangers, and anything that resembled a stick in any way, to a mostly socialized dog who looks forward to the neighbor kids throwing Frisbees for him.   We love the breed.

Did Dad know?  Could he see Lance?  Was it coincidence?  We will never know.  But we have a wonderful dog.  And I couldn’t have asked for a better Dad.  


Have a great day!  And thanks for all you do to save these wonderful animals.  They aren’t really dogs, but aren’t quite kids, either.  Somewhere in between are border collies and aussies.   Sincerely,   Susan

The purpose of this post is to publicly thank Susan for her donation, but more importantly, thank her for sharing her story with us.

You may not always get the dog you want, but you’ll always get the dog you need.

2 thoughts on “Remembering Harry Elliott

  1. what and awesome story (and what a handsome picture of him). Thank you so much for the support and for sharing your heart with us. Love moves mountains.

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