Spring and Ernie are two Pit Bulls whose person—a New Jersey dog rescuer named Elise Linden—died unexpectedly in March.
Elise was so in love with her dogs, her obituary describes her as “the proud dog mom of Spring and Ernie Linden,” and asks for donations to be made to a local rescue group, in lieu of flowers.
In the months since, the dogs have remained in Elise’s house—fed, walked, and loved on by family members and caregivers—because they have not yet been adopted into a permanent home. But now their situation has gone from tragic to dire, as Elise’s house will soon be going on the market.
“Elise’s passing was sudden and unexpected,” says AJ Albrecht, a volunteer with The FernDog Rescue Foundation. “This is every pet guardian’s worst nightmare, especially a rescued pet owner—to leave behind fur babies with nowhere for them to go.”
AJ and Elise’s sister Rene Paparian are now searching, near and hopefully not too far, to find Spring and Ernie a new family. (We’d like to help them, because this story just damn breaks our collective hearts.)
Here are the important details: Spring is 7 years old. Ernie is 9. They’re about 50 pounds apiece.
Elise worked with both of them on training, and they respond well to positive reinforcement; they are fast and eager learners.
The people who now care for these dogs can’t adopt them themselves, because Ernie and Spring don’t get along with other pets, and these are households with animals.
But both of the Pitties adore people. Love love love love love them, such that “when visitors walk into their home Spring does a happy dance and Ernie tries to get as close to each new friend as he can,” says AJ.
If no one comes forward, the dogs will go into boarding—far, far from ideal, for two older dogs whose whole lives have been spent in a home.
Families in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, or Connecticut are preferred. It is also preferred that Spring and Ernie will be adopted as a pair.
They’ve always been close. But given their situation for the last few months, alone in their house together, Spring and Ernie now sleep together, they play together, they stay by each other’s side pretty much all the time.
The dream now, for these dogs, is modest and important—that they not also lose each other, after they’ve already lost so much.
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