Soller has a new celebrity.  This one will be the icon of the Hidden Valley.  More fans than even the most A list visitor and his Facebook hits are  legend.  Elmo is our four legged friend, the face of “Bullimoto” with a story to tell that will make you smile and cry in equal measure.

Elmo is a 5 year old French Bulldog. He relocated to Majorca with his owners Alice and Rory in 2011.  They came to the wedding of Alice’s sister in the Soller valley and found a Majorca they didn’t know existed.  Rory came from a life of Civil Engineering designing tunnels and bridges and Alice is part of Virgin Atlantic’s cabin crew.  An idea for a business was born at their visit and they followed the dream and their business plan to Soller.  Their final relocation decision was taken after a night of watching children playing in Soller’s square with their families all around.  This was going to be a good place to start a Vespa hire business and a family.  They sold everything they had in the UK to buy their first set of bikes and arrived in the Hidden Valley to start their adventure.

Elmo settled into his life in Soller’s Port and loved his daily routine of accompanying Rory to work each day.  He sniffed the customers who came to hire the trendy white motor scooters to ride the Soller valley.  His face adorned their publicity and he became our local mascot.  But Elmo’s life changed one day in May this year.  He developed a limp and within two hours his back legs were paralysed.

He was a very distressed dog and his owners were beside themselves.  Local friends rallied round and phone calls were made all over the Island.  A vet was needed who could deal with the complications of Intervertebral Disc Disease – a condition that sometimes affects French Bulldogs.  The power of friendship found the vet  Dr Guillen Riera Palou in Palma-  He was one of the few prepared to do the immediate operation needed to alleviate the condition.  He worked through the night and performed a risky six hour operation.  Post surgery blood complications created a DIC situation.  I have learnt today that the initials stand for ‘death is coming’.  Blood transfusions and tender loving care brought Elmo back from the brink and he survived.

The prognosis was good and there was hope that he would regain the use of his paralysed back legs.
Unfortunately even after all the therapies available to him from electro to aqua the day came when the vet said that this healthy dog would never regain the use of his back legs.  Alice and Rory were devastated but they knew they had to find a solution that would enable Elmo to live a happy life despite his disability.   The search was on for wheels for Elmo.

Elmo’s wheels were found in Montana, USA and came from a company called Ruff Rollin who make wheelchairs for dogs.  Their website www.ruffrollin.com makes fascinating reading.  There are many disabled dogs out there enabled to live happy lives with the aid of their wheels.This is a great, caring organisation with innovative products.  Elmo was measured and measured again and a set of wheels was designed to lift his back legs off the ground and give him the power to run around again. To watch Elmo strutting his stuff is inspirational.

The wise words of vet Dr Guillen sustained the family through their dark days.  He said that dogs only live in the ‘now’ and that pity is the last thing they need.  Train your dog to use the wheels and that will be the expectation of life he has.  Certainly watching Elmo now his wheels have become his legs and that’s just what we all expect.

As Alice and Rory devoted their time and energy to making life good for Elmo along came Baby Beatrix.  She is a delightful baby with a ready made best friend on wheels.  The Bullimoto dream has been subject to the problems that life throws at you but all have a smile on their face today.  Especially all of us who watch Elmo ruling the Port of Soller on his wheels.

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