Sunday, May 6, 2012

A four legged soul mate named Ollie

I am new to fostering.  I’ve wanted to do it for as long as I can remember but circumstances always got in the way.  Finally, things fell into place and the opportunity presented itself to foster.  That foster’s name is Buffy.  But before I get to Buffy’s story, I should probably tell a little bit about my own four legged soulmate.  His name is Ollie.

The day I met Ollie
I adopted Ollie just over five years ago from Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary.  I grew up with golden retrievers and knew when it came time to have a dog of my own that’s what I would adopt.  I also knew I wanted to name him Ollie (full name Detective Oliver T. Pickles).  I used Petfinder to search for golden retrievers near me.  This is how I came across Almost Heaven.  I was browsing through all of their pictures when one stuck out.  I fell in love immediately.  I looked at his name, and it was Ollie.

His backstory is unknown.  He came from a rural shelter in southern Virginia where he didn’t have a chance of being adopted.  Fortunately, Almost Heaven found out about him and saved him from certain death.

I met him two weeks after seeing his profile and knew I was not leaving the rescue without him.  We got home and he didn’t know what to do with himself, but not in a good way.  He didn’t want anything to do with the basketful of toys he had waiting for him.  He didn’t want anything to do with food or snacks.  He didn’t want anything to do with me.  He just wanted to hide in the basement and be left alone.  I started to wonder if maybe I had made a mistake.  Perhaps this was not my four legged soul mate after all.

I gave Ollie his space but let him know he was in a safe, loving environment.  He went to the vet a few days later for a wellness check, and I got devastating news.  The vet thought he had a mass on his spleen that could rupture at any time.  They couldn’t know for sure without opening him up, but if it was a mass there was nothing they could do.  He probably wouldn’t live more than six months.  I was heartbroken as I realized how much I already loved him and wanted him to be with me for as long as possible.

Ollie at work
Ollie slowly started coming around.  He stopped spending so much time in the basement.  The day I knew he realized he was home and not going anywhere was the day I caught him sleeping on the living room couch.  It was about two weeks after I brought him home.  (The magical two weeks ... which I will discuss at a later time.)  Now he is a mama’s boy and rarely leaves my side.  He has even been dubbed my company's unofficial mascot and goes into the office about once a week.  The mass on his spleen?  Apparently it was something else as five years later he is alive and kicking (literally!  He loves to kick.)  He still has no interest in toys and takes treats on a case by case basis.  He makes me laugh every day with his silly antics whether it’s by sleeping on his back or moaning while scratching his rear-end on a bush.  I can’t imagine my life without him.
Ollie on his 5 year adoptiversary

He is also most likely not golden retriever at all but instead Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.  Perhaps that story will be told at another time, though, as I am not here to talk about Ollie (although I could all day and night).  I am here to tell you about Buffy.  Hopefully her two legged soul mate is reading this right now.  Her story is up next.

To see all of the available dogs at Almost Heaven, check out their page on petfinder.  They have more than just golden retrievers!

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