Saturday, November 13, 2010


Dear Ollie,

Almost eleven years ago, your dad and I went to the SPCA hoping to adopt a friend for your big brother, Bones, because we thought he was lonely. (We later learned that Bones is just morose and depressed all of the time, and would have preferred to be a lone dog.) You jumped up in excitement when we approached your enclosure, and peed right through the gate onto my Saucony. At that moment, I knew you were meant to be ours. You were about 12 weeks old when we brought you home.


For a little while, you were smaller than Bones.
Ollie and Bones look for Dad

You quickly tried to become Bones' best buddy.
Ollie and Bones

You also tried to become his boss. You definitely won. The blanket lost though. I would later enter this room to find the two of you sheepishly covered in stuffing, one corner in each of your mouths.

Brothers fight

You remained Bones' boss for a while. You were the terror of the house in your puppy hood. While Bones would peacefully hang out in the kitchen behind a baby gate while we were at work, you chewed through the gate, escaped to find where we hid the treats, ate them all, then pooped all over the living room. While Bones was content to gnaw on his water bowl or the phone cord, you figured out how to open all of the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen. You ate all of my tupperware, all of my plastic utensils, all of the tin foil, baggies and wraps. You also somehow managed to one day ingest an entire gallon of olive oil. That was a stain that never came out of the rug. I once made a panicked call to the vet to find out if an entire package of fudge striped cookies would kill you. I don't know how many pairs of slip on Vans you ate. (Eventually, you resorted to simply cuddling my shoes, with your nose stuffed inside. Weirdo.) As I said, you were a terror. I laugh now, but then, I thought I wouldn't survive your puppy hood. I did, though, and you became the best dog, absolutely devoted to me.


Okay, so I apologize for Squirt. She usurped your alpha role in the house, within minutes of her arrival, actually. But she loved you immediately.

Ollie and Squirt

Ollie, Bones, Squirt

You both became my constant shadows. You slept by my side, she at my feet. I was never cold at night with the two of you around me. Right now, I wonder what it will be like to sleep with just one dog. (Bones prefers to hunker on the couch, pretending that I don't know it.) Possibly, I will no longer smush over into your dad at night. But mostly, I know I will really miss your weight on my side. It was a constant reassurance that you had my back. I also knew I would never fall off of the bed. Thanks bud.

Your favorite place was on a pillow, or cuddled with me on a blanket. You were, how do I say this, not the most energetic of dogs. For a while, one might even refer to you as "chubby." I'm sorry about putting you on the diet food, but it was for your own good.


Ollie and Damien

This morning you left me. The doctor said that cancer ruptured something inside of you, and it was making you bleed inside your belly.


You weren't supposed to go so soon. Your dad and I bought a new house, with no steps, but it's not ready yet. Since your knee surgery a few years ago, you haven't liked the steps. You always waited until you were sure I wasn't coming back downstairs to make your way up to bed. You never met me in the basement when I got home from work, unless I called you down to go outside. When you did do steps, you took your time, allowing your insane sister to careen down the stairs past you, while you waited for her to pass, and then gingerly descended. You were so regal. If you could have spoken, I'm sure you would have had an upper crust British accent.


My Ollie, I will miss you.


  1. What a beautiful boy. I don't know if there is an afterlife, but one thing I do know is that after Charlie died, Abby saw him under the Christmas tree. After Carlos died, I hoped for a sign to know that he is OK. A couple days ago when Abby was at school, I was putting laundry into the dryer and I heard Carlos' squeaky meow. Without even thinking twice, I turned around to see him (for a second forgetting that he is gone). I didn't see him, but I felt the calmness I felt after Abby saw Charlie. Maybe it was in my head, maybe it wasn't it. But, whatever it was, I hope that you experience something similar because it does make you feel like they are OK.

  2. I keep taking three treats out of the box whenever I treat the other two. I keep crying whenever I'm in the car alone driving somewhere. I hope you are right. I need something like that. This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. Why is it worse when a pet dies than when a person dies?

  3. Because pets love you without reason or agenda.