What Happened to Ollie?
This is a topic that is staggeringly difficult for me to write about. Long time friends and followers know that Ollie has been my best friend, baby, and love for the past 7 years.
I'd been visiting local shelters looking at dogs for a few months, but when I met Ollie, I just KNEW. I signed the adoption paperwork within minutes of meeting him. Ollie and I instantly understood each other. I named him Oliver, after Oliver Twist, but he quickly just became Ollie. He'd come skidding into the room when I'd turn on Gilmore Girls (the hopeless fella is still a TV addict), He'd run ahead on the trail, but would constantly come bounding back to make sure I was still good (yeah, I'm a slow trail runner), he'd politely stay behind my bike on the way down (even though it killed him to be in the rear). He never begged for food, but made himself subtly present when I finished eating. No matter where his bed was moved to, he'd always sleep right next to me. When I pushed snooze on my alarm at 5:45am to go trail running, he would let out a LOUD Napoleon Dynamite sigh. He knew I'd always buy him his own cookie after we'd ride the Mueller Park trail, and that I'd always give him half of my cheeseburger after we'd ride the Armstrong trail. When I was having a bad or heartbreaking night he would glue himself to my side. I had a lot of hard nights the last two years that I lived with Ollie, and he'd almost noiselessly rub my elbow or face with his warm, wet nose while I lay in bed. Best friend only begins to describe Ollie.
After getting divorced, Huck and I shuffled between a few non-dog friendly homes. Ollie would sweetly bounce between the loving homes of different friends. He remained a TV addict in each home. He'd be so happy and bouncy each time I'd see him, but I knew it broke both of our hearts every time that I didn't take him home with me. It felt like getting kicked in the stomach every time I drove away.
One of my dearest friends told me her family could temporarily foster Ollie. This was the EXACT dream home I'd want for him. A mountain biking, horse riding, hiking, home with lots of time to roam on the ranch. Most importantly, this friend is one of the kindest, gentlest, warmest, most loving women I have ever known. And her little boy is pure perfection.
Very quickly after moving in, she told me that Ollie was a part of their family. Even her husband had fallen in love with Ollie. How long would Ollie be staying with them? Would I consider letting this be his permanent home? I'd be lying if I didn't say I had a lot of sleepless nights over this. I'd be lying if I didn't say that Ollie is still by my side in nearly all my dreams. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't crying a little bit right now. I had to think really hard--- to soul search. What kind of home would Ollie have with me right now? A single mother that works and obsesses over her little boy and somehow barely manages to keep everything afloat? This past year I have had to learn that I need to accept the help I get from family and friends. Huck and I do so well because we get a lot of HELP from family and friends (time, childcare, companionship, patience, favors, gifts, meals, the list goes on and on and on).
I needed help with Ollie. And I needed to learn how to accept it.
You know when your childhood dog died, and your parents told you he went to the ranch? Ollie's new home is the home every dog dreams of. It's the exact home I would want to give him. It's the exact home that a perfect boy like him deserves. He has room to run, and stability, and bike rides, and attention, and time, and treats, and a family that adores him, and TV, and LOVE.
Yeah, I still spend an hour here and there scanning through my photos of Ollie. And yeah, I'll still post a photo of him on occasion. He might not sleep next to me every night anymore, but I still chase his fluffy black and white tail up a mountain a few times a week in my dreams.