I’ll always remember the first time that I met Oliver. My friend, Mary, was visiting from California and we were relaxing and hanging out. I received a call and the caller asked if I was the Newfoundland woman? I’ve never been called this before but I definitively knew what he meant. The caller, a man, asked again “are you the Newfoundland woman?” I replied, “Yes, I guess.” “But you have a bunch of Newfies, right?’ “Yes,” I replied.
“Here’s the deal, I have a Newfoundland,” he said. “Good for you”, I replied. “No, he’s not my dog. He’s my friend’s dog. ” I wasn’t quite sure where the conversation was going. Then he began again. My friends moved back to the Czech Republic and they left their dog here” “What,” I shrieked? “They moved and couldn’t take their dog with them, ” he replied. My heart sank. At the time, I had three dogs and two cats. I didn’t need another dog. I really didn’t need another dog. My husband had been ill for a number of years and I certainly didn’t need more responsibility. But off we went, “Let’s just see about this boy. He might need us. Or maybe we can find someone to help this poor dog.”
Oliver’s caretaker gave me the address and for some reason, I flew by thinking that it was just a little bit farther. Mary, said “there’s your new dog, in your rearview mirror. I saw a dog but he looked so small. Well, not small but definitely small for a Newfie. At the time we had Atlas (209 pounds), Apollo (190 pounds) and Ferguson (175 pounds), Sedgwick (10 pounds), Abbi (10 pounds).
We circled the block and came back. This cute black and white Landseer sat in the driveway with a forlorn look on his handsome face. His name was Oliver. He was so sweet and so STINKY. We talked to the guy about what had happened. He mentioned that Oliver’s owners had moved and asked him to take out the garbage. So I can only deduce that he was in the garage waiting for garbage day to be let out. There was a salt lick, a 40lb bag of Ol’ Roy, and an empty bowl.
My heart broke and so did Mary’s, How could someone just leave this sweet boy? I looked at Oliver and saw that he was covered in hot spots meaning that he had little fur and was bleeding from the hot spots. Without another thought, I said “Ok, I’ll take him. But I can’t take him until Monday or Tuesday as he needs a bath before I bring him home. Mary looked at me quizzically, “What are you doing,” she asked? “I won’t just leave him, I can’t, he’s so neglected. Who will bring him back to health?” “Well nobody like you but you don’t have to do this,” she said. I called my husband and told him about our new dog. He was good-natured about it and felt bad for Oliver.
So off to the groomer he went and he came to our house happy and clean. I called our animal communicator, Whitney. Here’s what Ollie told Whitney: “I love my new home, the cat even looks like me. These dogs, my new brothers are really, really, big but they too, look like me. ” I asked Whitney, “Isn’t he sad that his people left him?” “Nope, he replied, it was time for me to move on from there, this is my new home.” I was amazed at his resiliency. He was 10.5 years old and left with a bag of dog food, unable to go outside to the bathroom, and no water. Yet he ecstatically wagged his tail.
It took almost a year to nurse Oliver back to health with raw food, homeopathy, and Traditional Chinese Medicine He had atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathy, and cancer. He lived with us for 3.5 years and he never got into arguments with any of our other pets. He was a true gentleman. Our neighbors named our Newfoundlands after rock stars. Argos was Keith Richards, Apollo was Bruce Springsteen, Atlas was Jim Morrison , Ferguson was Billy Idol, Dreamer is Kanye West, and last but certainly not least, Oliver was Paul McCartney.