It's a rare and unique opportunity to have your life profoundly affected by an interaction that turns out to be all too brief. Wendy and I have both the good fortune and the pain to know the massive impact that unconditional love and a difficult illness can introduce.

Our sweet puppy, Oliver, would have been three years old today. It's hard to believe that just one year ago we were celebrating his second birthday. He was quite sick with Lymphoma by that point and in the midst of several months of chemotherapy. He was not nearly the stocky ball of muscle he used to be, but he was feeling good, still very playful, and still as interactive and expressive as ever. He sure was a personality.

Wendy and I adopted Ollie in May of 2009. He was a rescue that had already been given up twice by previous owners. He was our first dog, but we were potentially his last chance at a good life with a family. 

To say the first few months of our life with him were difficult is a true understatement. Between the constant biting, destructive tendencies, and complete inability to listen to anything we asked him to do, we sometimes felt like we had bitten off more than we could chew. But through our very hard work and perseverance (and immeasurable patience), Wendy and I reached a mutual understanding with Ollie.

 

Our mutual understanding is easiest summarized as "If you love us, we'll love you back and do anything we can for you, no questions asked."

But Ollie's illness and months long treatment is another story for another time. Today, on his birthday, I want to remember some of the things that made him a truly wonderful snaggletoothed companion, an absolutely one of a kind addition to our home, and an irreplaceable member of our family.

 

There are two days that stand out in my memories as picture perfect Ollie days. Though we had so many good days with our sweet sweet boy, these two always pop into my mind when I think about him. 

The first was a day in fall 2009. We used to take Ollie to the cemetery to run around in a large open grassy area where he would usually play with other dogs. When other dogs weren't around I would run and chase him, and try to get him to fetch sticks. He was quite fast, had tons of puppy energy, and we always had a very good time. This day didn't have any great story attached to it, it was just a great day with perfect weather and family fun. Wendy took a photo that really captured how perfect of a day it was. 

 The second of my favorite Ollie memories occurred during the week surrounding the Snowpocalypse of 2010. We were snowed in for a solid week with little work and lots of play. Ollie LOVED playing in the snow. He really couldn't get enough. We took him out during and after the storm several times per day. By the end of each day, he was absolutely spent. Basically a "can't even keep my eyes open no matter how hard I try" type of tired. I was having so much fun because I knew he was having the time of his life. So the whole week we just kept putting on his jacket and romping around in the snow with him.

Ollie was such a wonderful addition to our lives. Though we fought as hard as we could and exhausted all of our options, he was still taken from us far too soon. We still think about him every day and not a day goes by where we don't miss him tremendously. 

Happy birthday, Ollie. You'll always be our puppy.

Comments 7

Comments

8/22/2011 at 7:26 PM
What a wonderful post. Of course I'm a sucker for all things dog and this had me tearing up. You guys are clearly really good people.
Laurie Kazimer
8/22/2011 at 7:53 PM
sweet ollie. xo
8/22/2011 at 8:46 PM
My heart goes out to you guys! This post made me miss Bruegger and hug Linus! Thank you for sharing!
sue
8/22/2011 at 8:51 PM
You and Ollie were so lucky to have each other. Your mutual understanding says it all.

Sue
xo
Anna Pritchett Gordon
8/23/2011 at 5:13 AM
Would you please send that link to the amazing travelers video you shared a few days ago? Can't find it now.
8/23/2011 at 3:27 PM
Aw <3 This is so sad but a great remembrance of the good times!
Cristi & Remi
11/10/2011 at 4:43 PM
This is so sweet. Brought a few tears to my eyes as I give Remi a big rub down! Ollie was so blessed to have you two as his forever home.

xo
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