The Hair of the Dog

ELBEE That may be the worst title that Pack Leader has ever come up with and trust me there have been some bad ones. I don’t even think she knows what it means. Being a dog about town, I admit that I’ve indulged in a morning after Bloody Mary or two.

I think that hair can make a huge difference in the way you feel. The right haircut can change your whole outlook. On a good hair day, my attitude is better. I’m more productive, more positive. I could talk my way out of a traffic ticket (that was a long time ago). On a bad hair day, I just stick on a baseball hat and hide from people I know at the market.

ELBEE Excuse me, my baseball hat is a fashion choice.  I rarely have a bad hair day.

Oh wait, this post was supposed to be about Gus, not me, but obviously I have hair issues.

ELBEE She has her hairdresser on speed dial!

I was planning to write about Gus because I’ve let his hair grow and it has totally changed the way people respond to him. I used to keep him cut short because, although he’s non-shedding, he can get a lot of knots. It was just easier. As his coat grew, I realized how much cuter he looked. Other people noticed too. He started to draw more attention, a big plus when you’re a therapy dog.

Old Gus


New Gus








ELBEE My hair has always been long and fabulous but Pack Leader did the same thing to me with pigtails. To be honest, I used to  hate them but now I’ve come to embrace them. And how about this look? It’s fitting for the diva I am.

At UCLA, someone who knew him well, saw the long haired version and asked if I’d gotten another dog. His new look is a great conversation starter, especially when the weather is humid and his hair sticks out even more. A woman who was petting him commented that his coat was “magical.”

I really noticed a difference when Gus arrived for his visits in the neuropsych units. He’s called a Teddy Bear Doodle (not sure what that is) and the kids began to react to him as if he was a stuffed animal. They wanted to hold him and cuddle with him. One boy offered me $68 dollars to buy him and another told me that he was going to hide Gus in his room.

Along with his popularity, Gus has acquired his share of nicknames. Like Elbee, he’s been called a sheep and poofy dog. Then there was that unfortunate fluff monster reference. When his ears and tail were blue for the Dodger game, someone remarked that he was like a giant blueberry.

ELBEE Don’t forget that another person said he looked like a member of an 80’s hair band. 

Rock on!

Gus I still don’t know what that means.

Last week in the hospital lobby, he was given perhaps his best name ever. Someone took one look at him and christened him, ” Little White Cloud.”




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Ellen Morrow

In her former life, Ellen Morrow was a carpool mom and award winning bodybuilder. Today she is a nationally certified therapy dog handler who volunteers at UCLA Medical Center and Providence Hospital with her GoldenDoodles. She's also the mother of three grown daughters who all think she's a little crazy or in the words of a friend, "a little unconventional." She is also an avid hiker who has survived a rattlesnake bite!

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