I know that my Friday list usually has ten things in it, but honestly? There’s one thing that is truly so awesome that it blows away everything else. And here he is:
Meet Oliver Blackwell, Esq. He’s a two year old Minpin/terrier mix who I adopted last Tuesday. He’s twelve pounds of black and tan kisses and cuddles, as long as you aren’t a squirrel or look like you want to hurt me. In which case, he’s the most ferocious guard dog. With gigantic ears.
Oliver’s story is a sad one. He was thrown out of a moving car onto a busy street by his previous owners. Luckily, someone saw it happen and stopped their car to pick him up. He wasn’t hurt, but it was clear to the shelter that he’d been neglected and abused for a long time.
I’ve never had a dog, and although I was set on adopting an animal from a shelter, part of me was a little worried. I didn’t know if he’d have behavioural problems from being mistreated. I didn’t know if he’d like me, or if I’d bond with him. I didn’t know if I’d be able to teach him how to behave. So I spun my wheels and stressed out and made some lists.
Turns out that my worries were baseless, as they almost always are.
Oliver cuddles his favourite stuffingless toy. This is the only soft toy that has lasted longer than 20 minutes; highly recommended for the discerningly destructive terrier.
He is the best. I know most people say that about their animals, but I really mean it. Within the first day, he was housebroken. Within two days, he was crate trained. I’m still working on the whole “walking politely on a leash without freaking out over squirrels” thing, but hey, some stuff takes time. Every day he learns new commands, sometimes without me even explicitly teaching him. I’m constantly amazed.
The silliest thing of all was that I worried he wouldn’t like me. He put THAT to rest within twenty minutes. Oliver’s prime directive is “Never let Alle out of your sight, not even for a second” and now I see why people name their dogs Shadow. If I’m working, he’s laying next to me. If I get up for a glass of water, he follows me to the kitchen. If I’m having a shower, he’s outside guarding the bathroom. Yesterday I was working out and he pushed opened the door–I, mid-plank–and was SO HAPPY TO SEE ME AFTER TWENTY MINUTES that he headbutted me.
Headbutts aside, he’s sweet, he’s loving and he makes my life better in so many ways. But, you may be asking, is he also hilarious? OHO YES.
I honestly didn’t realise dogs slept so much or in such weird positions. The things you learn.
Sometimes I get really angry at whoever threw this little guy away like a piece of garbage. How could anyone be so horrible? All that Oliver wants is a soft blanket to cuddle in, a person to follow around and the occasional treat. But at the same time, I’m so happy that he’s here with me. I love him so much, and I know I’m going to give him the best life imaginable.
But I still hope the people who hurt him get anal prolapse because fuck them, seriously.
There are far better advocates for animal adoption than me, but I’m sharing this story with you guys in the hopes that if you ever do want to get a dog or a cat or whatever, you’ll look at a shelter first. Not only will you get a great friend–and Oliver is a GREAT friend–but you’re giving an animal a shot at a good life.
The first night I had Oliver, he wouldn’t sleep in his crate. He slept pressed up against my chest, waking up with a start every few minutes to make sure I was still there. As I write this, he’s the definition of content; sprawled out at the end of my bed, dreaming twitchy little dog dreams. I’m happy because I know he’s happy. There’s precious little of that to be had lately, so I’m taking it where I can get it.