This is Emily Ryan, today is Olli’s Gotcha Day! I don’t remember if we sent in a success story so I am updating you guys now.
To start off it has been a wonderful year having Olli a part of the family! He has grown so much since joining the family. When we got him a big concern was his separation anxiety but trying some things out with him we realized that he didn’t really have the separation anxiety that we were told about. He certainly didn’t want us to leave and he gets into things from time to time if we haven’t secured everything, but that happened with our other dog, Milo. We can now leave the house for up to 4 hours (someone is always at the house so he isn’t alone for more than that) and come back to a dog happy to see us.
Olli still gets really excited when someone comes to the door so, we have to put him in the crate so he doesn’t charge the door. And speaking of the crate, we put him in it for training in the beginning and now he goes into the crate and can stay in there for a while without problems. Although he really only goes in the crate if he is wet or someone is coming over or we have someone coming to do some work.
Another thing about Olli, when he came to us we noticed if you stood over him while he was groggy or deeply asleep he would start growling. That was concerning at first but we realized that he just didn’t like being disturbed when in those states. He never does anything, just growls and comes to you like he is sorry he is growling. So, we have learned to either wake him up with loud noises or come down to his level and he is ok. And now he only does a little growling like that from time to time.
Also, when Olli came to us he was crazy about food and a little territorial when it came to someone getting close to him when he was eating. But since we found the right food, we found that his overall mood has changed and he doesn’t act so crazy around food. He now waits without constantly drooling when we give him food and he doesn’t growl when we are near him while he eating.
One of the greatest things that we had to get used to again when Olli came, was having a dog with a lot of energy. So, we have taken him out a lot to the dog park and on lots of hikes. This year alone he has gotten 1 or 2 hikes a week and going to the dog park, besides the usual morning walk he gets around the neighborhood. And around 7 months I took Olli on a hike and tried letting him run free. I was a little apprehensive but even though Olli took off running he came back after two calls and if he got far ahead and couldn’t see me he would come back. When we run into people he always stops and is a little unsure but will come after the two calls. So, now when we go on hikes we always let him run free and we also know the trails that are less hiked.
Oh and we have this one set of trails that go around a huge lake and Olli loves going in a little bit for a swim. He is always so excited to go on these hikes now and whether we hike for 1-3 hours, Olli comes home exhausted, and then the next day he is still so tired. We say it’s his recovery day because runs so much on the hikes.
One thing we think that helped Olli with his transition into our home was our other dog, Milo. Olli fit right in with him and they became buddies right away. After a while, Dad would joke and say “Milo must think Olli is his child”. This was because he would bark for us to come if Olli was outside and wanted to come in, if Olli was distressed because he couldn’t get at his ball, and if Olli heard something outside. Milo being an old dog and having bad back legs, we feel having Olli kept him going.
Sadly, though we lost Milo on New Year’s Day. He was a valiant dog all the way to the end—strong, brave, happy. When we lost Milo we weren’t sure what Olli would do. He didn’t seem all that upset that Milo was gone but he did go right to Milo’s bed to sleep on. We thought Olli might be upset that first night but he slept like a log. And when we left him alone for the first time since Milo was gone, we were surprised to come home to a dog that was just waking up from a long nap. He didn’t go crazy! Well, he didn’t do anything to the house.
When we first had Olli he would always get after my dad in the morning when he would wake up (my dad gets up around 6 or 6:30 every morning). Olli would need to go outside and then come in and want food right away and then would follow dad around the kitchen and bring him toys to play with. Now Olli is so comfortable that when my dad wakes up he will look at him and stay in bed until he hears the door open to go outside or food being made in the kitchen. Especially if he went on a hike the day before. And because of this, sometimes he even eats breakfast late. My dad says his mornings are more relaxed now. But he loves taking Olli out on his morning walk.
We, love having Olli a part of the family even if he is a bit stubborn and won’t listen to us all the time when we tell him to go away hahaha. It is so nice having another companion again to go on hikes with! We can’t wait to take him on bigger hikes up north on a vacation or to the beach! But we are waiting for him to be even more comfortable being left alone in a new place because we don’t want him destroying an AirBnB we would rent.
We are so happy that we found Brookline and chose Olli! He has overcome a lot in this first year with us and now can’t see a life without him!