Almost thirteen years ago I somehow talked nick into looking at a puppy. “We’ll just look!” I said. This being the beginning of what nick learned to be, we don’t just LOOK, we BUY. We drove to the outskirts of Aylmer to a farm where a million adorable yorkie/Maltese puppies lived, we played and cuddled and chose our favourite. Without skipping a beat Nick told the woman we would take him and we drove into town to the bank to get our deposit. Swoon!
Weeks later we picked up our little three-pound ball of furry cuteness and drove home pondering names. We chose Oliver because he looked like a cute little old man puppy, he snuggled right in on my lap and even though he puked and pooped on me on the drive home…I was in love!
The years to follow, Oliver was our baby, my mom made him little coats, we took him everywhere, he slept with us on our heads or across our chest. Oli was loved by all and always jumping on laps of all visitors’ for some extra lovin.
In 2011 we welcomed our twins, life was busy and Oli wasn’t sure of this new venture we were partaking in. Four kids, another pup named Charlie and a new house in the country and Oli turned into a grumpy old man dog. Still the best cuddler, just more of a fan of alone time then screaming kids pulling his hair and trying to ride him.
Five years ago Oliver was diagnosed with diabetes. We were so scared taking him to the vet but the diagnoses of two needles a day seemed much better then the ideas we had thought up in our heads as to what may be going on. Oli still thrived and still got the occasional under the table scraps from the boys but he was doing fine. He went blind a year ago but could navigate like a trooper, still healthy as an ox.
This past week Oli seemed to get worse by the day. It’s something we knew was coming but never really prepared for, mentally. Thirteen is a good long life, I know this. But you can’t help but think about the last couple years, the years since kids when our beloved pup took the backburner to kids and life. The years since he went blind and accidently tripped us and we’d get upset, knowing it wasn’t his fault.
Telling the boys of our decision to send Oli to Rainbow Bridge was the hardest we had to do. They were devastated and so upset. Phoenix told us that on his birthday God would choose Oliver to be reborn as another animal or possibly a human and that we should watch for new animals/humans in our life around that time because it could be Oliver. (I’m not crying! You’re crying!) Declan turned to face the couch and cried, begging not to talk about it any longer (he is my child to a T) But eventually they all got up, hugged Oli and told him they loved him. I even overheard Mason explain to Nixon that after tomorrow he would not see Oliver anymore because he was going to heaven. (I am constantly overwhelmed by the love and knowledge my kids have in the Lord. All thanks to my amazing Grandmother who makes sure they learn and believe in this higher power)
I gave Oli a bath and cuddled him up in a towel, telling him all the things you say when a loved one is leaving you. The boys said their good byes and we cuddled up together to watch a movie in my bed. Nick dug a hole to bring Oli home to. The most perfect spot that looks like it could be the steps to heaven, it only seemed fitting that he be with us, here, forever.
I may have thought the years of having kids and “not having time” for pets has jaded my emotions towards dogs, I will reiterate a commonly used phrase, It is one of the hardest things you will do. Oli was our first pet, first fur baby, a start of our family almost thirteen years ago. I know he is better off, I know he is in a better place …but….it doesn’t make it any easier.
Rest in Peace my pup, you were loved for so long, and loved so long after you are gone as well. You will always be in our hearts.
*I wrote this before it happened. I have never in my life been so unprepared. The last sigh, the last breath is an unmistakable sadness. My heart broke into a million pieces and all the words of “you’re doing the right thing” seemed like a lie. Could we have done more, should we have done more? My heart feels heavy, my eyes hurt and all I want to do is sleep so I don’t see his water dish, his spot where he slept or the envelope that contains his paw prints. Charlie is wondering the house, sniffing my clothes, wondering where his buddy is and I dread the moment the kids come home to realize Oli is actually gone. Nick took him out back, to his perfect resting place and as soon as he left the skies opened up and it rained, seemed fitting considering the way we are feeling right now.
Rest in peace sweet Oliver