CREATED Jan. 10, 2013
It's a miracle the black "schnoodle" Elvis is sitting here with Gayle Johnson.
"He's never even left the yard so to leave like that and live for 9 days, I think he's like a little angel that was sent to me."
The schnauzer poodle mix lived in Ralston with Gayel's mother, Judy Gustas, who battled cancer for a year.
Elvis never left her side.
"When she had asked me to take him as a last wish, I was honest and I said I couldn't do it, it wasn't gonna work."
So Judy's nurse, who lived near 23rd and Harrison, offered to keep Elvis.
"So I texted her the next morning, just to say how was Elvis's first night? And she said oh, he ran away. I was mortified, I was devastated I didn't know what to do."
For 9 days and nights, in the middle of the pre-Christmas blizzard, Elvis was nowhere to be found.
Gayle didn't think he was alive. She put at ad in the paper hoping someone would spot him.
"My phone rang, and the man literally said hey did you find that dog yet? I said who is this? He said I'm Bill Beatty and that dog just walked in front of my house."
Beatty's house sits right across from St. Rose Church at 13th and Mid City Avenue. It's two and half miles from the nurse, who took Elvis in.
It's the church where friends said goodbye to Judy Gustas, just days earlier.
"I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it. I knew at that point that he was staying alive really, just for her."
On New Years Day, Gayle and her husband spotted Elvis. They threw him some ham and one of her mother's blankets.
Elvis wouldn't budge until she called him.
"It's what my mother called him. He's just been the best pet I can't tell you. It's just amazing and I'm glad it happened this way. Because we have an inseparable bond."