By Georgie Gurl
Long before there was ever a Georgie Gurl, there was another dog named Eli.
He was a terrier, like me, but his ancestors were from the Scottish Highlands, an entire sea apart from the green countryside of Ireland where my canine forefathers rollicked and roamed.
His fur was as white as snow, and I’m pretty sure he wore a kilt, dined on haggis and played the bagpipes. At least, that’s how I imagine him.
He led an extraordinary life, this four-legged Scotsman. During his youth, Eli was an avid huntsman and not once, but TWICE, actually caught squirrels. But Eli was so kind, he never hurt his prey. He simply released the chattering rodents and went on his merry way.
An athlete in every sense of the word, he also played soccer and dominated the sport of poolside volleyball, never tiring of bouncing a small, blow-up ball back to his humans with the tip of his wet black nose.
Eli’s life was not without its hardships, however. A torn knee ligament in the early 2000s sidelined his sports ambitions—and his distaste for small children, along with an inability to learn any real tricks, ruined his dream of joining a traveling carnival.
But when one doggy door closes, another one opens up, and Eli soon discovered a penchant for politics and embarked on a storied political career. Amazingly, it didn’t even matter that he couldn’t read or write or understand the issues. He just had a way with people on the campaign trail. He was cute and nosey friendly and made everyone he met feel happy.
After about five years of serving as the unofficial mayor of an over-priced northern Virginia condominium complex, Eli set his sights on a large community of single-family homes in southwest Florida. He won that mayoral non-election handily too—and in spite of the fact that he attempted to kill the mailman every day.
He just had that “je ne sais quois”—a kind of magic, if you will.
At Christmas time, the neighborhood kids would come to his house and sing him carols. And his humans credit just about every friendship they ever made to the 27-lb ball of scruff and fluff, who only walked one way. Eli’s mantra: “Why go home when it’s so much more interesting to be outside?”
Regrettably, I never met Eli the Scottish mayor. He passed away three years ago today—before I was even a twinkle in my sire’s eye. But the universe works in funny ways and it turns out we are inextricably bound because we rescued the same humans, and guard the same hearts.
Sometimes I’ll do something just like Eli used to do and my humans will get a funny, misty look in their eyes. I’ve even heard them wonder aloud if maybe I’m Eli reincarnated. I don’t have the heart to tell them nope, that’s not it. I’m just a little girl, doing my best to make my big brother proud.
This column is dedicated to my brother, Eli, who was born on Sept. 28, 1999 and passed over the Rainbow Bridge on Sept. 28, 2014.