Like most young adults, Mitch Elliott had a list of things he wanted to do when he finally moved out of his parents' house in Atlanta and into his own place. Top of that list?
"I'm getting a dog!" he remembers telling his folks all those years ago. "And I did it." He was 20 when he adopted Sake, a Chow Chow who lived with Mitch all 15 years of his life.
These days, the co-host of the popular "Afternoon Buzz" with Daria Eliuk and Ted Douglass on 105.1 The Buzz, has not one, but two canine companions in the Portland home he shares with his partner Derek: 11-year-old Frodo, another cream-colored Chow Chow, and a year-old Golden Retriever named Ruby June. It's a warm and cozy family unit that's just right for a guy who says he'd describe himself as a fuzzy red slipper.
"Soft, comfortable, and perfect for the weekend," he laughs.
In addition to a being a pet parent and on-air personality, Elliot is also a dedicated animal advocate who’s been helping shelter animals since his early days in radio back in the ‘90s.
"I started a 'Pet of the Week' program in Atlanta when I was a morning show producer. Every Friday we had an animal in," Mitch recalls. "I continued that in Seattle, and now here in Portland, [where we have] our segment called Mitch's Mutts."
The Friday afternoon segment spotlighting current residents at the Oregon Humane Society has been very successful, especially considering that not all the dogs chosen to be featured are the easiest to place.
"We've had three-legged dogs, one-eyed dogs, and a lot of elderly dogs, and dogs with special needs who need a little more help finding their forever homes," says Mitch. "And so far, we're batting 1000."
Bringing excited dogs into the studio does have its hazards.
"Oh, we've had plenty of poop," Mitch laughs. "We had a dog come in and hims had an upset tummy. He basically sprayed the acoustic walls in the studio. I went home and got my carpet shampooer and spent the next hour and a half shampooing the walls so the rest of the airstaff wouldn't have to smell it."
Obviously, Mitch knows something about making the best of a bad (smelling) situation. That said, radio is not without its perks — like getting to meet celebrities, music stars, and most importantly, fans.
"It sounds corny, but here in Portland, we talk about our lives —that's about 80 percent of our show," Mitch explains. "In Ted and Daria's case, it's about their kids; in my case, my dogs. When you meet listeners and they know so much about your life... it's kind of comforting to me somehow, because we truly have no secrets on this show."
Well, almost no secrets. Mitch says there is one aspect of his life he prefers to keep private: His love of close-up magic tricks.
"But I don't like perform for anybody," he laughs. "I just like doing it for myself in front of the mirror. I spend a lot of time practicing, and I do a lot of research, and I read a lot about magic, but I have no interest in doing in front of anybody."
Lucky for us — and for many now-happy dogs — he doesn't feel the same way about being on the radio.
About our Sponsor
Dignified Pet Services has served the Portland-area community for 13 years. In addition to their core business of cremation and memorial services, Dignified co-sponsors the beloved annual Service of Remembrance, this year Dec. 9th at The Old Church in downtown Portland, as well as serving as wonderful supporters and friends of pets and those working in animal welfare. Proprietors Michael, Randy and Avani live in Sherwood.
Michele Coppola is a Portland-based air personality for 99.5 The Wolf and copywriter for Entercom Radio. When she's not talking, writing, or pursuing quality couch time with husband Bryon and their dogs, Cindy and Lucy, she's also a proud volunteer for Fences for Fido and Family Dogs New Life Shelter.