Oliver Twist

Oliver (Ollie, my muppet, my noodle, strudel doodle, Oliver twist, Oliver Einstein, my sweet pea)

I marvel every time I look at you, and wonder who you are (what planet did you come from?). You are part human, part stuffed animal, a whimsical, comical cartoon character (a Jim Henson creation?). You are all heart covered in strands of long blonde fur, and I love you more than words can express.

My sweet Jasper had just passed away after battling a rapid, aggressive cancer. It happened in just two months. My Max and I were devastated and I was definitely not ready to think about getting another dog.

When my parents asked me to take them to adopt a dog just five days after Jasper passed, I wanted to say no. But I didn’t. In my mind, there was no logical reason why I would end up at animal services that day, so soon after losing Jasper. It was really hard, but I wanted to help my parents. I took them through the shelter with tears streaming down my face as I said hello to each dog in each cage. My parents put their names on a few lists for particular dogs they were interested in, and I was grateful when we were finally heading back out down the long corridor back to the entrance to go home.

We were almost to the exit when we passed a side corridor where they were bringing in a new dog, it was YOU! Something made we walk over to say hello. You were a matted, dirty, skinny mess, but within moments I wanted you. I put my name next to yours on a list, and went home. They hold all homeless dogs for five days and I thought for sure someone would come to claim you. No one did. Lucky me.

When I brought you home, you were so sick and you wouldn’t eat. I could feel every bone in your back. I traced each one with my finger. Ahhh, you liked that. I knew I could nurse you back to health.

How you could end up in a shelter fills me with disbelief, you are such a special dog.

Max hated you that first day. ‘Who was this guy invading my territory?’ He seemed to say with his growls. But you guys became the best of friends. I truly believe Jasper sent you; an angel from heaven to save us both.

You were such a good brother to him. You gave him a reason to keep going even when his degenerative spinal disease was progressing. When he could no longer play standing up, you wrestled with him lying down! I’m sorry you were only together for a little over a year. I know you loved Max too. It was so hard to lose Max so soon after Jasper and I don’t think I could have gotten through it without you.

You think you are a small lap dog, though you take up most of the couch or anyone’s lap who will have you! I love it when you do the full body lean and then collapse on top of me. Then you usually end up on your back with your feet in the air so I can rub your belly. It warms my heart and makes me smile.

I love when we watch shows together, and you really do watch! You are the only dog I’ve ever known who not only loves animal programs, but will actually leave during commercials and then come back when the show starts again! Where do you go?

You are always so excited to go for a walk and literally bounce your way to the front door. But then you are just as excited when we come back and you bounce your way back in and run to get your toy pig Mr. Gruntly.

You make me laugh every day! Whether it is at the pond or in the yard, when you are running full speed and then doing a nosedive into a somersault for no apparent reason, you just crack me up! And when you stand and walk on your two back feet to get a better view over the bushes, you are like a nosey neighbor. You are too much Oliver!

You are loved by people and dogs alike. You have so many friends; I think your social life is busier than mine.

You are the only dog I’ve ever known who will take a cookie and then save it for later. Sometimes you even wait until I get back from running an errand and you greet me at the door with it. It’s like you want to give me a present for coming home. But in reality, you are MY gift, Oliver. I love your big black nose and your expressive eyes that glimmer with light and love and life. I love that your sweet funny face is the first thing I see every morning when you jump up on the bed to cuddle, and the last one I see when I kiss you good night on top off your head and wish you sweet dreams. Thank you for the joy you are in my life and all the ways you make our house a home.

Your mommy (Jackie)


  1. rebecca says:

    Knowing the wonderful person you are and just how much you loved Jasper and Max I knew Oliver would be a new light to help you through the difficult times, just like Jasper and Max, Oliver has a home, a full life, and a loving home like none other..your letter is so touching it just makes me love you Jackie all the more.

Leave a Reply to rebecca Cancel reply