Monday, September 09, 2019

Oliver

  Another post that has nothing to do with pushing dolly or film making. Bear with me.






  My wife, Rebecca, found him tied to a tree in Compton, of all places. Emaciated and clearly miserable and mistreated, he shivered in the rain at the end of a very short rope. Animal control was called and he was taken away. My wife, being my wife, called for four days to keep track of his condition. She called me at work asking if we should take him in. I said no (we already had two dogs in our little LA house and I always said no anyway). She said, "I'm taking him." I said, "Ok." I came home to the most pathetic creature I had ever seen. He was all skin and bones and by that I mean he had no fur and every bone was visible. He didn't look like a dog by any definition you would use. She had set him up in the garage after consulting a vet who said he had the worst case of mange he had ever seen and would probably die within the week. He slept for a week straight.  But under her loving care  he didn't die. His fur grew back and he slowly gained weight. We named him Oliver after another famous orphan, and soon he was member of the family. He was certainly the most neurotic dog I had ever seen. Easily scared after a short lifetime of abuse, he slowly came to trust us, although he was always a little unsure of all this good fortune. His lineage was uncertain. Rebecca said probably Beagle and bird dog and something that crawled out of the woodpile. He liked to bark at the crows, something my wife called, "Going on sky patrol." His bark was a booming, sharp roar that you wouldn't have believed could come from a dog of his medium size. It drove me crazy. He barked to demand his dinner, or attention, or to go out or just for the hell of it as far as I could tell. When we walked him he strutted with a gait that reminded me of that bulldog from the old Warner Brothers cartoons. I always imagined a cigar in his mouth and a bowler pushed forward on his head. He liked beer and many's the time I would get up to get something and come back to find his tongue stuck deep in my bottle. Scotch, ditto. He not only came back from his inauspicious beginnings, he flourished, if a little uneasy that we might turn on him at any time.
   We had to put our Ollie down this morning. Sixteen years of sky patrols, beer drinking, and stress had taken it's toll. While his mind was clear, his eyes had grown cloudy with age and his back end, as happens with so many dogs, had finally given up. A cancer mass had formed on his mouth. Rebecca made the decision last night that it was time. That's the deal we make when we join the pack. So today after a treat of McDonalds egg and cheese biscuits, among many hugs and kisses, he went to sleep on his own bed. He was a good boy.
  So long Oliver. I'm having a beer in your honor. I'm proud to have been in your Pack. We love you.

I'll be back later, busy hoisting a beer for my boy.
D

4 comments:

The Grip Works said...

Futile attempt to hold back the tears. Big hug D.

Michael Taylor said...

Sorry to hear, this D. Losing a long term pet -- or any pet -- is rough. Godspeed to Ollie, and your grief.

Unknown said...

Ok D. Now you done it....sitting here crying like a baby.

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