It has now been a month since we had to let our beloved Ollie go, and the feelings are still raw- much of why I have postponed this tribute post until now. After a tumultuous 2007, Ollie came into my life from the Wyoming Border Collie Rescue in February 2008 and was my roommate for the duration of graduate school. She taught me what loyalty looked like, impressed me constantly with her insight and smarts, and followed me faithfully to living in four different homes in three different states. She welcomed Chad into our little pack without hesitation- though in the beginning she always looked to me for approval before ever complying with any of his requests.
People say that pet owners don’t get what it’s like to actually have children until they have human children of their own, and undoubtedly there are differences. But Ollie certainly occupies a part of me that will never change or disappear. She was an incredibly important part of who I was and became during some challenging mid-20s years and I will treasure her friendship forever. Most likely she had cancer, as she wasn’t getting around well towards the end of August and multiple trips to multiple vets uncovered a mass in her belly, chronic fever, and progressive anemia, among other complications. She remained at home more comfortable on medications until she let us know it was just too much for her anymore. Ollie was around 5 when she entered the rescue, putting her at about 12 when she passed away Sept 12, 2014. She entered the rescue after her first owner died unexpectedly and she became homeless. I hope now that on some level of the dog and human soul she has reunited with him so that she is with someone who loves her still. As for us, we will keep her in our hearts and always remember the role she played in my grad school days, our early days as a couple, then marriage, and becoming a small family. Rest in peace, my dear friend.