I met Elan and Barbara in March of 2014.  Barbara had completed an application for a dog that most of the world had forgotten - a 9 year old Cocker Spaniel mix who was turned away by a few other rescues for being “too old”.  I was elated at the idea of Apollo (then Cocoa) finding his forever home.  When my husband and I pulled in to the driveway of their beautiful home, we were greeted by Barbara at the door.  As we spent time with Barbara and Elan, they shared that Elan had been diagnosed with cancer.  They both wanted a little joy in their life and they felt like Apollo might just be the one for them.  They mentioned that they had seen a few other dogs and I had assured them that they could take their time - we always want a placement to be right for both the dog and the family.  They decided within a few minutes that they wanted Apollo to be theirs.  I was thrilled.  After the adoption was done, I sat in our vehicle and I wept.  I wept because sometimes, you are given the opportunity to meet someone with such an extraordinary soul that it overwhelms you.  Here were two people facing an uncertain path who could have easily gone and bought a happy puppy.  Who would have blamed them?  What they did instead was opened their heart and home to a senior dog who just needed a second chance.  Beyond that, they gave him a life that few dogs ever really get to live…a life of purpose.  Dogs want so much to have a job.  Apollo now how had his…his job was to be Elan’s full-time companion.  When Barbara e-mailed me to let me know of Elan’s passing, I was speechless.  When I read that one of Elan’s wishes was, "In appreciation of his canine companion Apollo, Elan requested that donations in his memory be made to Toy Breeds in Need Rescue” well, I was simply overwhelmed.  

Rescuing dogs is tough work and it’s easy to become jaded if you’ve done it for long enough.  People like Elan are what keep me moving.  Yes, it’s about the dogs but, it’s also about the people.  The people with hearts so big that they not only want to save a life, they want to save one of the ones that most people rarely give a second thought to.  

In Elan’s honor, we have started The Elan Halperin Memorial Fund.  The donations made by his friends and family members will be used to help dogs in need.  Dogs like his beloved Apollo.  Dogs that are otherwise overlooked and cast aside but still have so much love to offer - as this is what Elan saw in Apollo.  

My hope is that even those who did not know Elan will mourn his passing, because I believe that when the world loses someone with a heart that big, we should all notice the absence.  

May his friends and family find peace in their journey and may we all try to live a life that is in service to others.