November 5th, 2012

In Memory of Oliver

by Jacqueline Whitmore

On October 9, 2012 at 9:00 a.m., my husband, Brian, and I said goodbye to our beloved Oliver. He had congestive heart failure, an illness that is common in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Yesterday would have been his ninth birthday.

The house is silent now. There is one less heartbeat. It’s strange not to see his beautiful face each day. It’s also strange not to feed, walk, and care for him anymore. I have a lot more time on my hands and I’m not used to that.

My office is quiet too. I’ll miss watching Oliver sleep and hearing him snore underneath my desk next to my feet. If I worked too much or too late, he would nudge me and remind me to eat, take breaks, and play. He provided comfort and support when I needed it most.

I was closer to Oliver than I am with some of my own family members. Sad but true. He was my precious companion and best friend. Brian and I adopted him when he was just 12 weeks old. He was the most beautiful and confident puppy I had ever seen. Since we don’t have any children, we raised Oliver as our “fur child.” I swear he could almost talk. We gave him the best life possible and took him almost everywhere.

Oliver was a certified therapy dog and brought happiness and sunshine to thousands of people. He loved going to hospitals, nursing homes, and the public library where the children read stories to him. He was calm, patient and loving. He was also a wonderful listener.

What I think I’ll miss most about Oliver is his willingness to go anywhere with me at anytime. Whenever he saw me put on my shoes and pick up my handbag, he was ready to go too. He thought that he was my most important accessory (and he was).

I’ll miss taking him places including the bank, pet store, post office, restaurants and the grocery store. Wherever we went, people asked me if they could pet Oliver. That’s the magic of dogs; they make people stop, smile, and talk to you.

Life is not the same without him and I miss him terribly. But I’m at peace knowing that he is in heaven with my mother and his Yellow Lab sister, Taylor. He is happy and can breathe freely now and chase lizards without getting tired.

Although Oliver is not physically with me anymore, I know his spirit lives on. Just the other morning before I got out of bed, I thought I smelled him for a brief moment. I look forward to experiencing more of these moments.

Donations can be made in Oliver’s memory to Therapy Dogs International.

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