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MEET MY BUDDY, OLIVER The Dog That Changed Everything
“SOMEHOW, THAT 9-POUND, 10-YEAR- OLD POODLE WIGGLED AND WHINED HIS WAY INTO MY HEART.”
Oliver is the neediest and moodiest little fluff ball there ever was, but there’s no doubt that he loves me. Every morning when we wake up and every night when we go to bed, it’s the Justin and Oliver show. Even if we’re just coming in from taking out the trash, it’s a big event. He’ll start screaming like he hasn’t seen us for months, and Alexandra will have to pick him up and cuddle him. Even then, he’ll lean his head back and look at me until the two of us stand close enough together that he can put a paw on each of us. It’s pretty amazing that Oliver and I formed such a strong bond considering how our introduction went. The first time Alexandra brought him over to the house where I was living, he marked his territory right away by pooping in my closet. In all of the years I’ve lived with Oliver, that’s the only time he’s ever gone to the bathroom in the house, so I know he did it on purpose! Honestly, looking back on it cracks me up because it really tells you a lot about his personality. I wouldn’t say loving Oliver has convinced me to love all dogs, but he’s definitely had a huge impact on my life. Even though Oliver is technically a senior, he still has all of the energy of a puppy, and he’s always running around, shrieking and making funny faces. With all of the care and attention Oliver requires, I can almost imagine what it will be like when Alexandra and I have kids. It’s already tough to go off to work and leave Oliver sitting by the door, looking at me like it’s the end of the world, so I’m sure it will be 1,000 times more difficult to drop my son or daughter off on the first
The first week of May is National Pet Week, and with all of the chaos in the world these last few months, I, for one, have been feeling particularly grateful for my dog, Oliver. Technically, Oliver is my wife Alexandra’s dog, but over the last few years of living together, we’ve fallen for each other hook, line, and sinker. Honestly, no one was more surprised by that turn of events than me! My family had a series of small dogs when I was growing up, but somehow, that didn’t change the fact that I had (and have) a healthy fear of canines. In theory, I really love animals — I’m even a vegetarian — but something always held me back from bonding with the dogs I had as a kid. That all changed when I met Oliver. Somehow, that 9-pound, 10-year-old poodle wiggled and whined his way into my heart.
day of kindergarten. Still, when Alexandra and I decide to take the leap into parenthood, I know I’ll have Oliver to thank for preparing me, just a little bit, for fatherhood. you have pets of your own, give them a hug for me this month in honor of National Pet Week. Hopefully, they’ve brought you as much comfort and happiness in this difficult time as Oliver has brought me.
Stay safe out there!
Justin Stivers, ESQ.
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