From Oliver to Ozzy: Saying Hello-Goodbye to My Furry Friends

Though it’s a heartbreaking thought, every pet owner knows from the get-go that the time will come when they have to say goodbye to their beloved furry friends. Last summer, as hard as it was for my family to say goodbye to our wonderful dog of nearly 14 years, we knew it was the right thing to do. 

 

 

Oliver was a tricolor Welsh Corgi who was rescued from an illegal breeding facility. When I was in kindergarten, my family saw his photo online and decided to travel from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Siren, Wisconsin, to pick him up from the Humane Society. They estimated he was three years old at the time, but we quickly discovered he was much younger, as he presented a lot of puppy behaviors.

 

Oliver was not the most athletic dog throughout his life. Overall, he was rather sedentary and mellow. However, he did have his brighter moments which included chasing frozen peas across the floor, peeing on our Christmas tree, and getting stuck behind the bathtub during thunderstorms. I always enjoyed Halloween with him and dressing him up in his various costumes. Some of my favorites were Eeyore, a hot dog and Captain Jack Sparrow. 

 

Oliver was around for the majority of my life. He was there from the time I learned how to ride a bike until I graduated from high school. I always loved having new friends come over to my house for the first time so I could show off my beautiful boy. Oliver loved meeting new people and would let you pet him for hours.

 

Oliver’s main purpose in life, like most dogs, was to make people happy. This became difficult for him in the last few months of his life as he developed hip dysplasia. This made it nearly impossible for him to walk normally, and it was tough to watch. We knew he was in pain because of how often he whined anytime he was awake and tried to move somewhere. We all did the best we could in terms of caring for him and loving him up until the very end.

 

One night in July, Oliver’s whining sounded especially agonizing. He was sitting on the floor yelping as if someone had stepped on his (nonexistent) tail. My mom was the one who made the difficult decision to bring him to the vet and put him down that night. 

 

I can’t even begin to explain how it felt to lose a being that had been a part of almost my entire life. All I can say is that I’m very grateful he was my childhood dog and I have so many great memories of him that I will keep with me forever.

 

Since then, we took some time living in a dogless household to reflect on and remember Oliver. We knew there was something missing in our family, though, so my mom began searching for a puppy. We’ve always been a Corgi family, as we actually had another Corgi before Oliver named Libby, so we wanted yet another one. 

 

 

Long story short, we found a Corgi mix named Ozzy three months later. He was a rescue from Missouri who was being fostered for a while before we got him. He’s only eight months old now, so he’s still learning a lot about the world. He really likes to bite everything within his reach. We’re going to take him to some training classes as part of his adoption agreement this December. 

 

So far, I don’t feel connected to Ozzy in the way I hoped I would. I’m still struggling with moving on from Oliver, and I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around having an entirely new dog. I think an added challenge is the fact that I’m in college and won’t be seeing him on a daily basis, so that may stunt our bonding. 

 

Ozzy is cute and I do like having a dog again, but the truth is it takes time to become comfortable with a new pet after living with one for so long. I’m going to keep an open mind with Ozzy, but I have to realize that he’ll never be Oliver.