Oliver - Dog in the City
The Love Story of a Farm Dog that made his way to the big city and into the hearts of his new owners then turned their world upside down in an instant. Read all about how Bianka accidentally adopted the perfect dog! We had only just decided that we would look into getting a dog and the first enquiry I sent off was to Pound Rescue Inc to meet Oliver. At the time, his ‘ad’ wasn’t loading properly, so we had only one grainy image of him and little to no information about his personality.
It was a Thursday when we organised to come and meet him on the Sunday, however the rescue organisation explained to me that they weren’t actually sure where he would be staying between Thursday and Sunday as he had to leave his foster home that day. They were a bit apprehensive about sending him to the usual vet for boarding as there was a recent dog death and so were concerned he might be stuck in a crate for a few days. I offered to essentially ‘foster’ him whilst they figured out what to do for him and while we checked to see if we were a good fit, and before we knew it he was being dropped off that same evening (which ended up being midnight!). I explained to my partner that I had accidentally adopted a dog immediately and we had better go to the pet supply stores to get him the basics - it was a long night while we waited to meet him. As soon as Oliver stepped out of the trailer, we knew it was love at first sight and we were never letting him go. What was it like when you brought him home? He was nervous and overwhelmed. As soon as he came inside he sat directly on the dog bed and didn’t move a muscle the entire night – I had to check he was still breathing. Over the coming weeks he slowly became acclimatised to us and his beautiful personality shone right out. We took him to puppy school (despite being 1 year and a half years old) and he graduated with flying colours. Our trainer remarked that she hasn’t seen a bond develop as quickly as ours has with Oliver. He is gentle, playful and loves a wrestle with us or with other dogs. Initially he was nervous on the main roads and around cars, and could be frightened if other dogs came up too energetically but has come into his own now (he is the one bounding up to play!!). We learned over time that he had come from a farm outside Rockhampton and we can only imagine how scary inner city newtown must have been for him at first – all the cars, pedestrians, planes and music around him. Now you wouldn’t know he wasn’t always a city dog - his favourite activity is to head to the local pub for all the attention and pats he gets, or to the local leash free park to run and wrestle. He sleeps peacefully when we are out or at work, not bothered at all by the comings and goings around him. If anything he finds it difficult when we are home all day on the weekend and keep him up too long!
What does it mean to love a dog/s like yours?
I think adopting Oliver is proof that every dog is individual and that dogs generally are really resilient. He is a border collie x koolie and while we knew that we were undertaking a very intelligent dog who would need a lot of exercise and brain stimulation, we didn't know at the time that he had been raised on a farm. However, he has adapted perfectly to living in a busy city area, doesn't react negatively at all to the many noises and smells that come with living in Newtown - although he is desperate to chase down a train!
We each look forward to our walk with Olly each day rather than see it as a 'duty.' We must be doing something right to keep him busy and stimulated as we have a camera in the backyard to watch what he is up to while we are at work and he genuinely just rotates nap position throughout the day - after exhausted the 45 minutes of brain stimulation we leave for him in the morning with kongs/treat hunts. How does Olly bring you together as a family?
Sharing the same responsibility and love for Olly has really turned us into parents as we share the load, the worry at times (like when he swallowed a whole sock) and the joy that he brings.
How has Olly changed your life?
Our social life has completely shifted to ensure our plans suit him, often bringing him with us to meet friends at pubs or cafes – he gets ALL the attention and pats when we visit the Courty or The Bank. Luckily he enjoys it, he basically drags me in to any pub we pass. We are also way more active now as each of us take responsibility for an hour long walk each day, and we socialise more with other people in the community as they are also out and about. We always spent a lot of time outside, but now we make sure that the majority of our free time is spent outdoors doing things we both love to do and that Olly can join in on.
What does Olly do that makes you laugh?
He makes us laugh when he does a fart and gives himself a big fright, turning suddenly to stare at his offending rear end. He also has the goofiest little somersault he does when he is wrestling other pups.
What is your favourite thing to do as a family?
Our favourite thing is to head to a dog friendly beach where we can all enjoy the waves. Being a farm dog, Olly was a little uncertain about the waves at first. Now he loves to frolic in the shallows bouncing around and splashing us. His drive to be near us is slowly wearing down his surprise at the waves and he is getting more and more confident to join us for a paddle. Otherwise he just loves getting messy in the sand.
What do you think you mean to Olly?
Food! Just kidding, I think our presence really reassures him. He sleeps in his bed in our room, and we have both caught him waking up mid-dream startled and coming around to sniff each of us in turn while we 'sleep' to check we are still there and then take himself back to bed. We think that he does this to reassure himself that everything is okay and we aren't going anywhere.
In two words, what does your dog mean to you?
Soul mate --