Stephanie & Elmer


♡ Can you tell us a little about Elmer?

Elmer is roughly 9 years old. I adopted him out of Fresno, CA after finding him on Instagram through Noelani, who is a well-known Pitbull foster mom. 😍 He was found as a stray on the streets with his tongue already dangling loose. It wasn’t long after until it was also determined that he was deaf. Elmer is the sweetest, most patient dog I’ve ever met. The vets say he is a Bernese Mountain Dog mix.

♡ What does FriendshipCollar mean to you?

FriendshipCollar has giving my relationship with Elmer a whole new meaning. It was an emotional gift when I sat at home wearing my bracelet. ❤️ It definitely opened my eyes to how much Elmer means to me and how much I mean to Elmer. I am so happy to have my very own set!

♡ Can you explain his tongue situation?

Elmer has no teeth. His lower jaw bone has receded a significant amount where his tongue no longer fits in his mouth. He does however have four molars, two on the top and two on the bottom. Though his tongue is always out, it never turns into jerky. Like all dogs, they drink water constantly all day long. The water moisturizes his tongue and it’s right back to slobber for the next hour or so until it dries out again. It’s actually nice not having a wet tongue hanging out all the time. It would leave marks everywhere as if it were a snail loose in the house! 😂

♡ How/what does he eat?

Elmer does not let his loss of teeth slow him down. Elmer is the fastest eating dog I have. Elmer eats kibbles that we moisten with water to make things easier on his gums. We didn’t always do that though, he use to swallow his kibbles whole, no problems. 👍

♡ Do you travel together often?

While I travel a lot for personal vacations, Elmer does not travel with me often. Because of his size, it is hard to fly with him. I personally am against ‘stowing’ any animal on an aircraft. However, the couple times I have traveled with him, while they can be stressful, they were amazing.

♡ How do you work around his deafness?

Elmer being deaf has its pros a cons. It was extremely difficult learning how to communicate with him during the first few months. Everyday is a learning experience on how to communicate. I’ve managed to teach him a few hand signals/signs. I mostly let him do whatever makes him happy. 😊 I want him to enjoy his life how he pleases.

♡ What is one quirky thing that he does?

Elmer dreams A LOT. Every. Single. Night. In all his dreams, he is always running. 🏃 Running so fast, so hard that he kicks the wall he sleeps next to. It’ll be the middle of the night when the house gets woken up to the sound of a sledgehammer pounding on our walls!

♡ Does he love dressing up?

I think he hates it, honestly. For the past two years, I’ve dressed Elmer up for Halloween and I’m sure he doesn’t care for the ridiculous outfits. 🙄 

♡ Has he always been the pawfect model?

I don’t think he is aware of everything that goes on when I try to take photos of him. I never try to force him to sit anywhere or do anything specific when I am trying to snap Instagram worthy photos. Just natural posing and he doesn’t even think about it.

♡ Can they do any fun tricks?

I recently just taught him how to shake. I’m working on teaching him how to catch treats being thrown at him.

♡ Has he pooped anywhere he shouldn’t have? 💩

Definitely not. Elmer is a home pooper, for sure. He is very particular about where he goes. We went to Los Angeles for PetCon for two days and he did not poop once! When we reached home around 1am, he ran straight to the back door to go poop in his favorite spot.

♡ How did you get/meet your doggy?

I’m from Phoenix. I drove to Fresno to pick him up. I met him for about 20 minutes when I realized that I needed to take him home with me. Plus driving all that distance, I wasn’t going to leave without at least giving him the chance to have a home.

♡ What is the strangest thing they have eaten?

We have a tree in our backyard that drops little black seed pods, probably the size of peas. Elmer will beg to go outside just to eat all the pods off the ground. Other than that, he did snatch a whole mouth full of cookies off our coffee table during Thanksgiving dinner. 🍪 It was definitely a mouth full because when I grabbed him, I pulled 5 whole cookies out of his mouth!

♡ Any secrets about them you can share with us?

Elmer’s favorite spot to be scratched is under his chin right beneath his tongue. It’s the spot that makes his leg kick. It’s the cutest thing ever. I do also have to prepare myself for it because I know my hand is going to get slobbered on being under that tongue!

♡ What is the funniest thing they have ever done?

Elmer is an expert at scratching his front legs using his back legs. 😂 It’s hilarious watching such a big dog do something in such a way!

♡ Describe your dog in 3 words.

Doofus, Side-eye, Zoomies

♡ Where is your dog’s favorite place to go?

He loves going for car rides.🚗 If I’m putting his collar and leash on for a walk, he automatically walks up to my car and waits for me to open the door.

♡ What are your top tips for being the best dog mom?

Patience, for sure. I had to learn A LOT of patience when I brought Elmer home. The first few months were the most difficult for me. Adopting a special needs dog was a totally new skill to learn. The more patience I developed, the better dog mom I became. They listen to me much better when I’m more patient with them.

♡ What is it like having a dog as a best friend?

It really is amazing. Whenever I come home from a busy day, it’s always so nice when all my dogs run to the door to greet me. It’s a great welcome home gesture that never ends. They’re great to cuddle with and listen to everything I have to say. 🐶 They also have the cutest puppy eyes that brighten even my worst days.

♡ What does your BFF do that always makes you smile?

Because Elmer is deaf, whenever I come home or walk around the house, he’s totally unaware of it. It is so peaceful to see him sleep, undistracted. Most dogs will wake up when their humans move, but Elmer will continue sleeping through everything and I find it so innocent.👼