In the early morning hours of September 10, 2017, Hurricane Irma made landfall near Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys as a Category 4 storm. The winds lashed at trees and homes, washing boats ashore with the storm surge and doing catastrophic damage to everything in her wake before moving up the western coast of Florida. The entire state was impacted in some way, but the most devastating damage was done to the Keys, primarily the lower Keys. Businesses were ravaged, homes were destroyed, and the Keys were shut down to visitors.
Elaine, Kyle, and the Dragonslayers – their Ibizan Hounds, Raine and Dutch – had evacuated to higher ground farther north several days prior to Irma’s arrival. They watched the news coverage coming in, saddened to see what had happened to the Keys. They had no idea how their home had weathered the monster storm and with power out across the region, there was no way to know what had happened. Would they have a home to return to or had Irma leveled it?
After several anxious days, they finally saw aerial footage and from the sky, they could see that their home was, indeed, still standing but they still didn’t know what to expect from the ground. They weren’t able to return home, as the roads still weren’t passable and authorities hadn’t opened up US1 – the only route in and out of the Keys – to residents. In the meantime, some friends that had stayed to facilitate cleanup once the storm passed, were able to take and send some pictures. The house was standing but the outbuilding was gone. They yard was destroyed and the fence for the Dragonslayers was gone as well. Dragonslayers require fenced yards, so the lack of one was problematic. They were overjoyed to see that their home was still there and that the damage appeared fixable, but they wouldn’t know for sure until they were allowed to go back home.
When they did arrive, they were deeply saddened to see not just what happened to their own little piece of paradise, but to the entire region. They knew it would take years for the Keys to fully recover from Irma’s wrath. While their own home was still structurally sound, they still have a lot of work to do. Despite their sadness at what they saw, they are optimistic for the future.
This is where you come in. Elaine and Kyle have always done everything possible to help their friends, neighbors and complete strangers. They have always helped Podenco Friends, a Podenco (ibizan Hounds are part of the Podenco family) rescue group that provides sanctuary and finds loving homes for abandoned Podenco dogs in Spain. They have always helped with various ibizan Hound fundraisers in the US. And they have always opened their homes to any fellow Podenco lover, Ibizan Hound or other. Anyone that knows them, knows that if they visit the Keys, they have a friend and a safe place to land should the need arise. Now, Elaine and the Dragonslayers need a little help to rebuild the Dragon’s Lair (aka, their home). We’ve put together two t-shirt fundraisers to help raise funds to assist in the rebuilding process and to help them financially until they can get back to work. They won’t have a steady income until that happens. We have also started a YouCaring page for people that simply want to donate. And lastly, there will be an auction filled with amazing items and the proceeds of the auction will go to Elaine and the Dragonslayers.
Please visit any one of our fundraising pages to help:
Our auction can be found at
Our limited edition dragonslayer t-shirt campaign can be found at
Our other limited edition t-shirt campaign with Ibizan hound designs can be found at
For international orders, you can visit
To donate via YouCaring you can go to
Or you can find all of this information and more by finding Save the Dragonslayers! on Facebook.
They say it takes a village and that is very true. We all need an extra hand up from time to time. Elaine has reached out and provided that helping hand whenever it has been needed. Now, it’s time for us to reach out and help her up. We are her village. Let’s come together to help her out.
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