On October 23, 2016, we laid our sweet Ollie dog to rest, and our hearts have been broken in these last few days without him. I think about how ironic it is that this happened on the same day that I always posted “Sundays with Ollie.” For us it was literally our last “Sunday with Ollie.” I kept thinking he was 13, but after looking at his papers he was actually 12. He became a part of our family in October of 2004. I remember the day we picked him out. I was going to take home the first puppy that came up to me. They say it’s their way of picking you out, but Ollie was too busy chasing his brothers and sisters around the yard, and he was the runt of the liter. I fell in love with him right off the bat. He was 6 weeks old and so tiny I could hold him in my two hands. As we took him away from the only family he knew he was scared, but he melted in my arms as I began to hum softly in his ear. Our bond began, and while Tom wasn’t much of a dog person, it made him happy to see me so content. Ollie, being the personality that he was warmed his way into Tom’s heart as well.
As I was looking through his papers I found the receipt for a dog training class I signed him up for. It made me laugh remembering how totally uncooperative he was. Ollie was more interested in playing with the other dogs then learning how to behave and listen. He had no fears of other dogs, he’d let the biggest ones know that he was no push over. By all accounts some people might consider him an irritating dog with his loud bark and his piercing stare, but it was his charismatic personality that overshadowed anything else. I would do anything to hear that bark one more time right now. As Tom said, Ollie was one of a kind, and surely our most favorite of all pets.
God has a way helping us through our losses. We simple must be open to what he has for us to receive. As we left the pet emergency, taking Ollie home to bury him in our back yard. A woman appeared out of nowhere seeing how distraught I was she said to me, “peace be with you sister, you’ll see your furry little friend again someday.” Then she took my hand and prayed that God would bless me with his loving peace. I felt like she was an angle placed right where and when I needed her. The next day as I was sitting in my sacred space, the void of Ollie was overwhelming. His presence always played an intricate part in helping me to become centered. Feeling unable to concentrate on anything, I started flipping through my “Science of Mind” Magazine stopping at an article called “Dog gone grief.” I couldn’t help thinking how much the title sounded like something Ollie would say in one of his post. The author Stef Swink was writing about the recent loss of her own 13yr old dog. She was reminded by a friend, that it’s ok to allow ourselves to feel life’s heartbreaks. “Deep love,” she goes on, “is worth the pain! If you are in anguish, allow it and honor it.” That’s what Tom and I are trying to do. It feels like we’re on roller coaster of emotions, same as we were when we lost our loved ones. There’s the ups and the downs, the twist and the turns, and the downhill screams allow me to cry as loud and as hard as I need to, letting my tears heal my heartbreak. I talk about my grief, because I can only share what I feel. But both Tom and I know by the grace of God our “dog gone grief” will slow down when the time is right. It is then that we can sit with the treasured legacy that “Sundays with Ollie” has yet to offer us.
Tom tries to lighten the mood by telling me that Ollie is with our other dogs now, his brothers, and knowing Ollie he’s probable chasing them all over the place in heaven.
I can hear him saying his favorite line, “I’m a lucky dog, indeed!”