An Update on Olive

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In December of last year, Aaron and I brought an adorable, energetic little fifteen-pound puppy into our lives. We had been wanting to add a second dog to our family for a couple of years, both because we love dogs and because Honey is so social and playful. Instead of going to a breeder, as we did with Honey, we wanted to adopt from a shelter and give one of too many homeless pets a loving home. We explained our living situation to the shelter (two bedroom apartment, in the city, no yard but access to a park down the street) and after multiple visits and careful consideration, we brought a Blue Heeler/Pointer mix puppy home.

On the drive home, I excitedly called my mom to tell her we found the dog, and she looked up the breeds because Aaron and I weren’t familiar with Blue Heelers or Pointers. She said, “Well, it says they’re not apartment dogs and have tons of energy…but you guys will do training and take her to the park. It’ll be fine.”

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that we spent seven months in puppy training, countless hours outside of class working on commands, and nearly three hours a day taking Olive on brisk walks, runs, rollerblading (Aaron bought them specifically for Olive), to the park, and even borrowed my parents’ treadmill so she could burn off some energy throughout the day. Aaron and I have had dogs all of our lives, but neither of us had ever experienced a dog with this much energy. It was extremely frustrating, both for us and for Olive. She just kept going and going, and on days when the park wasn’t an option (due to rain, other events, or because it’s only dog-friendly from dawn to 1pm), Olive would buzz around our apartment all day, chasing her tail or hanging on Honey because she couldn’t settle down. Honey would hide under the furniture or try to jump in my lap to get away.

We spoke to trainers, veterinarians, friends with dogs, and went back and forth for months about what to do. Do we try to find her a home with a large yard, or do we do more training, exercise, doggy daycare? In August, after another conversation with our veterinarian, we were given a couple of contacts at rescue groups and shelters. We explained our situation, they evaluated Olive, and told us that her behavior was totally normal given her mix of breeds. They thought it would be easy to place her in another home given the amount of training we’d done and also that she’s a really, really nice dog. We agreed to move forward, keeping Olive in our home until we could find that perfect fit.

Olive eating something. Follow Me on Pinterest

This past week, we finally found an ideal family for Olive. They live in the town next to where Aaron and I grew up, they have a large yard, a big house, a second home on the Cape, a twelve-year-old son, a mom who works part-time and is home during the day, and lots of experience raising border collies. They recently lost their dog and were devastated, and so it almost felt like fate that Olive was meant to live with them.

Olive Eats a Honeycrisp Apple Follow Me on Pinterest

Aaron and I are heartbroken that we couldn’t provide the type of home Olive needs, but ultimately, we’ve accepted that it just wasn’t a good fit. She’s a great dog and so loving, and although we’re really sad, we know we made the right decision for her and also for us. Olive is going to be so happy in her new home, running around her big yard, chasing chipmunks and eating sticks.

Olive Follow Me on Pinterest

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Comments

  1. Rick Spada says

    Amanda,

    Peg, Dominic, and I understand how difficult it was to make your choice. Be comforted knowing that Olive is one very happy dog with us and has filled a very big hole in our lives. We can’t thank you and Aaron enough for choosing to let Olive join our family.

    BTW I joke that whenever she follows us around the house she’s thinking “food…you have food…food…gotta have food…I know you have food…” Sort of reminds me of the seagulls in “Finding Nemo”…”mine…mine…mine”… :-D

    It also didn’t take her long to discover where the peanut butter is stored!

    — Rick

    • says

      Thanks for this, Rick. We could not have envisioned a better home for Olive. :)

      I also used to joke that her thought process was “food food food food squirrel! food food food”. That Finding Nemo comparison is spot-on!!

  2. says

    Sorry to hear about Olive. Even when a dog isn’t “the right fit,” I know how painful it is to part with them. You guys did the right thing though! Good luck. :)

    • says

      Thank you so much, Brigitt. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster, but we know she’s a lot happier living in the suburbs with lots of room to run.

  3. says

    I’m sad that you had to let go of Olive, but I am so happy you made the right decision. It can be hard to do the right thing at times, but Olive will be so happy in the situation you described! :)

    • says

      Olive was all smiles when we dropped her off, racing around her new (much larger) house. She’s being spoiled with lots of playtime and treats, and even sleeping in bed!

  4. says

    It must have been painful to part with Olive, but it sounds like you knew in your hearts that she needed more than what you could give her. That is such a courageous thing to do. I hope she is happy in her new home!

    • says

      Thank you for this comment, Nicole. We had a really tough time making the decision to re-home her – I just kept thinking “what kind of person gives up their dog?”. I knew it was the right decision though as soon as we met her new family and saw all that they could offer her.

  5. says

    This is such a sweet post! And definitely a bittersweet situation – but glad to hear Olive will be moving to the perfect home for her. Will you still get a chance to go visit her when you’re home?

    • says

      Yes, the family very kindly invited us to visit, and said they’d send updates and a Christmas card, etc. :) They already let us know how her first night went and that she’s doing great.

  6. says

    Awwww that must be just so incredibly hard. Pets just totally become such a part of the family. What a relief to have finally found an amazing home for Olive where she will be taken great care of!! Will you be looking into getting another dog? If so, I recommend yorkies!! haha…I’m a little biased. Such great dogs. :)

    • says

      I’m so happy we found a great home for Olive. I was really worried we might not, but the response was awesome. There were a handful of good options, and the family we chose is everything we had hoped for.
      We will definitely be getting another dog. Honey needs a brother/sister and I need another co-worker since I work from home. ;)

  7. says

    aww, so bittersweet. it takes a special kind of person to rescue a dog and an even stronger one to give it the right home – even if that means a home other than your own. you guys worked your buns off & gave olive such a loving home for her first year and now you can rest assured she’ll have an equally happy home for years to come.

    • says

      I’ve been trying to think of it that way – we gave Olive the best first year we could, and now we’ve made sure she’s in a home that’s ideal for her. I think it’s highly unlikely the shelter would have been able to provide that for her because of the need to place dogs quickly. I feel confident that Olive’s going to have a really nice life. :)

  8. Lisa Richardson says

    You did the good thing for Olive, AND you did the good thing by not doing what some others unfortunately do, dropping her at the pound, or by the side of the road. Sometimes hard decisions have to be made, but I think you can safely say you made the right one for her!

    • says

      Thanks, Lisa. I would have sooner kept Olive than put her back in a shelter – that’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of great shelters, but it is NOT the same as being in a home. I won’t even get into people who drop dogs off on the side of the road. Absolutely heartless and cruel.

  9. says

    In what had to be an incredibly difficult decision and process, it seems like you couldn’t have found a more perfect fit for her with her new home. Wishing Olive lots of freedom and room to run and you & Aaron peace with the decision. I’ll miss the crazy videos and stories of her though :)

  10. Aimee B. says

    I know this had to be heartbreaking for you, but it sounds to me like you were meant to save Olive. You were her loving guardians until she could find her forever home. You’ve given Olive a beautiful gift and I know you will always love her and keep her close in your hearts as she will you. (((hugs)))

  11. says

    We recently went through the same situation with a boxer puppy we had and I can completely relate to how you’re feeling. Its really tough but knowing that they have a home that can give them more is comfirting. Hang in there.

    • says

      Thanks, Kathy. Sorry you had to go through that with your puppy – it’s such a hard decision to have to make, even if it’s the right one.

  12. Laura S says

    So sorry Amanda!! Very mature of you and Aaron to make this gut-wrenching decision to do what’s right for both your and Olive’s future. Even though it was difficult it sounds like you are at peace with it, made easier by the fact that you waited and found the right family fit for her. Even better that you can still go visit her from time to time. Hugs!!!

  13. says

    Ohmygosh I just teared up reading that! I think you are incredibly loving to be able to set your own needs and wants aside in the best interest of Olive. That must have been very difficult for you but it sounds like you made the best possible choice. I think that picture of Olive “smiling” does more explaining than any words could do.

    • says

      Thanks so much for your comment, Shana. Olive is all smiles when she gets to run around in the grass – it’s the best. :) It was very sad to make the choice to give her to a new family, but she’s really happy with them.

  14. says

    Wow Amanda, that must have been so difficult, I almost cried reading this. I’m sure she will love you even more now, she will be so happy to have all that room to run & play. If you get another one, may I suggest a Boston Terrier? hehe, jk :) Good luck to Olive!!

    • says

      Awwww, thank you for sympathizing. Last week was tough (we dropped her off on Tuesday), but it’s getting better, and I’m sure she’s having a blast.
      Boston Terriers are adorable… ;)

  15. says

    You guys are awesome for putting Olive’s well-being before your own.
    We have a terrier and I know he gets sad if he doesn’t get out to run.
    So, Olive’s very lucky to have you guys and to have such a nice new home.
    And you can visit!

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