Oliver is our Foster Failure. We vowed when we began fostering Labs that we would never adopt one – we had two, that was enough, etc. Then came Oliver.
His story is not terribly tragic – adopted from a (fairly) reputable breeder, two years old, probably neglected, definitely overweight, horrible ear infection (yes, definitely neglected), but he wasn’t starving, hadn’t been beaten, wasn’t wandering the streets or rescued last-minute from a high-kill shelter. His family just didn’t have the time to devote to him (which is a form of abuse, but that’s for another post). Mike did the temperament test and came home talking about him from day one.
Once he was surrendered he came to stay with us. He’s a complete goofball. He is 100% cartilage, smiles constantly, is always playing and no matter how much you tell him no, stop it, leave it, sit, cool it, he just keeps being goofy Oliver. And there’s a certain inherent charm in that.
He wasn’t with us very long before we both started looking at him going, “Hmmmmmm.” We agonized, we rationalized, we debated. We even made a pro/con list:
|He’s adorable and we love him.||3 is more expensive|
|Harder to foster|
|Harder to take vacations|
|More pet insurance/vet bills|
|More difficult to find someone to dog-sit|
|Higher expenses in food/care/toys, etc.|
|Tucker/Barclay are settled and happy – how would they react?|
|We really don’t have room|
|He’s young and high energy|
So we leapt and Oliver became the most recent addition to the Buck-White Boys. And it’s like he’s always been here.
Isn’t that the way of things? At the end of the day, all the pros and cons and all of the reasons why and all of the arguing and quibbling and back and forth and endless discussion, it comes down to what matters most – love.
Oliver expresses himself with abandon and he doesn’t care who’s watching, who’s making fun of him, who might be offended or upset or whether or not anyone likes him. He expresses every emotion in his little block head. With complete and utter joy.
Oliver loves to swim and he loves the dock at Dock Dogs . . . he leaps out into the great wide expanse and he is certain, absolutely certain, that the water will be there to catch him. And it does. And the big splash it makes is FUN!
(photo courtesy of Lisa Weber)
And that’s why Oliver got to stay. He’s a daily reminder to LEAP. And sometimes, just maybe, the leap might make a big splash and be a lot of fun.