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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14 Responses to “In Memory of Oliver”

  1. christine DiRocco on November 6th, 2012 12:26 am

    I am sooooo very sorry for your loss. As a fellow Cavalier fan and owner, I completely understand your love and loss. My heart is broken for you. He was lucky to have you, I am sure you gave him a glorious and fun life. xo

  2. Dawn Casteel-Lorick on November 6th, 2012 12:45 am

    Oh, Jackie. What a beautiful tribute for such an amazing soul.
    His adorable face just oozes love. That unconditional, sweet sweet love that only animals seem to know how to share.
    Chasing lizards without getting tired…yes…and giving his human mama the fragrance of his scent.
    A gentle paw upon your heart.

  3. Jacqueline on November 6th, 2012 2:03 am

    Thank you for your comments, Dawn. I was so blessed to speak with you the night before Oliver passed away. You provided much wisdom and comfort to me. xoxo

  4. Karin Schroeck Singh on November 6th, 2012 11:08 pm

    Dear Jacqueline, I feel so sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed reading your blog posts where you mentioned your cute “fur child” as you described him. You were really proud of him and he was so affectionate to you. Tonight I will include you in my prayers. Warmest regards, Karin

  5. Sasheika on November 7th, 2012 2:42 am

    Jackie I am so sorry for your loss. Your tribute of Oliver is so endearing. I remember when Oliver was a little pup. He was so full of spunk and energy. As a pup he loved to snuggle up behind you on the chair. He was just a bubble of love and warmth. Sorry to hear about Taylor also 🙁 I will hug my Kinzie extra tight tonight.

  6. Arden Clise on November 7th, 2012 3:26 am

    Oh Jacqueline, I’m so sorry. I know how hard it is to lose them.

    He sounded like a great dog. It’s wonderful he touched so many lives and was such a sweet friend and companion.

    They fill our hearts deeply. It’s just so hard when they leave us.

    My thoughts are with you.

  7. Rob Green on November 7th, 2012 2:55 pm

    …had to pass this on…i saw it right after i lost my Border Collie.

    If tears were a stairway – tribute to my dog.

    If we had one lifetime wish
    One dream that could come true
    We’d pray to God so hard
    For yesterday and for you.

    The things we feel so deeply
    Are the hardest things to say.
    But we, your family, love you
    In a very special way.

    They say memories are golden
    And maybe that is true.
    But we never wanted memories,
    We only wanted you.

    If teardrops were a stairway
    And heartaches made a lane,
    We’d walk a path to heaven
    And bring you back again.

    Ever since you passed away,
    A thousand times we’ve cried.
    If our love could have saved you
    You never would have died.

  8. Janet Spurr on November 7th, 2012 11:50 pm

    Dear Jackie,

    Thinking of you and your wonderful tribute to your great friend, Oliver. What wonderful pictures. I send you a big hug.

    Have you considered writing a book about Oliver? I’m sure it’s the last thing
    you might want to hear right now, but I thought about that after reading your
    newsletter yesterday.

    Take care,


  9. Yasmin Anderson-Smith on November 8th, 2012 2:04 pm

    Dear Jacqueline and Brian:

    So very sorry about the loss of your dog. Please accept my heartfelt sympathies. May his lovely memory live on in your hearts and those he touched with his amazing work.

    Take good care


  10. Mariterese on November 9th, 2012 5:15 pm

    I’m rather new to your site, but want to convey my sympathy. Here’s a message I share with those who grieve. Grief has a way of affecting your daily life by causing you to forget and misplace things, do silly or stupid things when you know better, feel sudden physical fatigue for no apparent reason and, of course, be overcome with grief when least expected.
    Be gentle with yourself and beg others indulgence when these things happen.


  11. Theresa Miller on December 1st, 2012 9:34 pm

    Jackie and Brian……..
    I am so sad after reading your blog. Dean and I had a blonde cocker spaniel, she passed with the same thing Oliver had. We now have a chocolate cocker her name is Coco Chanel. And yes they are so smart and not to mention the looks they can give you right? Cocker’s are my FAV and Miss Chanel is our bundle of joy, not a day goes by that I don’t think about Laci the one we lost. Your new baby will have a special place in both of your hearts…Oliver will always have his. I will pray for you both because it is so hard….
    Theresa and Dean

  12. Jacqueline on December 2nd, 2012 8:58 pm

    Thank you, Theresa, for your kind words and thoughts. Have a happy holiday!

  13. Wayne Melton on December 19th, 2012 4:00 pm

    Really enjoyed looking at the pictures of Oliver. Also lost my dog in 2012. Actually lost two dogs in the last 18 months. (Ages 18 and 15) They become such a part of your life I am so sad and really miss them sometimes.

    Always have been a dog person but in the last year my wife and I now have a cat. (Kitten when we found her.) They are such a different experience.

    Anyway sorry to hear your dog is gone. It looks like (pictures) that he was a great dog.

    My suggestion: Get another dog.

    Years ago we lost our 15 year old Irish Sitter. Out kids were young so we went through gold fish, a turtle, hampster, guinea pig, rabbit, and finally back to a dog that just left us. If I had it to do over again I would just get the new dog right away. So much better than any other pet (except maybe for my current cat).

    Wayne Melton

  14. Jacqueline on December 19th, 2012 4:50 pm

    Dear Wayne,

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss. Dogs (and cats) are family members and we mourn for them when we lose them. On a happier note, I did get another dog — a 7 1/2 month old puppy named Cooper. He is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I’ll post pics on my blog soon!

    Merry Christmas,

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