Ollie’s Poorly Friends

As any dog-walker will tell you, regular haunts mean meeting lots of other dogs, and their owners. At one time, Ollie enjoyed the company of the same afternoon gang. We could have up to eight dogs in a very happy pack, and they would play together as we chatted walking around Beetley Meadows, or Hoe Rough.

Sadly, some of those dogs have since died, or owners have moved away. Each year, the old canine faces become fewer, and new ones arrive to replace them. But the boisterous new arrivals rarely interest Ollie, and he still scans the paths and fields for a sight of some of his ‘best mates’.

Just lately, we have been hearing some bad news about some of Ollie’s oldest friends and companions. Winston is fifteen now, and has recently suffered a stroke. He can still come out, but only for around ten minutes a day. Big Rocky the Newfoundland has suffered a complete collapse of his back legs. His owners bought a special cart to wheel him around in, as once in the river, he can still swim to his heart’s content. But he can no longer walk without assistance, and wears a harness with handles so that he can be lifted in and out of his cart.

Yesterday, I heard some sad news about Spike, the Rhodesian Ridgeback. He was born in February 2012, the same time as Ollie. For many years, they were firm friends, and used to enjoy the rough and tumble of dominant play. But for some time now, I haven’t seen him around. I spoke to his owner yesterday who informed me that he has a complete deterioration of his spine, and can hardly walk. If he stands still, he falls over. The prognosis is not good, and they are just ‘keeping him comfortable’.

Earlier this year, Buster the Lhasa Apso died unexpectedly from kidney failure. Paddy, the Collie who lives next door, is over fifteen years old. His back legs have crossed-over, and although he can still manage to walk, it is upsetting to see him struggling.

Some of the old gang are still the same. Toby the Jack Russell, as mad for his ball as ever. Poppy the Lakeland Terrier, still lively at ten years old. And a few of the new arrivals are slowly being accepted by Ollie too. Marley the black Labradoodle, and his terrier partner, Duke. Buddy and Walter, the frantic yellow Labradors, and Flossie the young Whippet, who trembles with delight every time she sees him.

Ollie is one of the ‘old guys’ now. Respected, sometimes avoided, but still in charge of his walking grounds.

At least as far as he is concerned.

63 thoughts on “Ollie’s Poorly Friends

  1. So sad to know that Ollie misses his friends. Our Rosie can only play with other dogs at daycare because walking her is futile. She’s so protective of my daughter (her owner) that neither dog nor human can come near. We have to hear about her fun times from the day care folks 😉

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    1. That’s a shame about Rosie. Ollie is pretty friendly with most people, and with all other dogs. He is a little suspicious of walkers who don’t have a dog though.
      Thanks, Lelia.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  2. This is quite sad, Pete. It is what happens with very old people too. They start losing all their friends and siblings. I suppose with veterinary interventions, dogs are also living longer now. I don’t recall seeing such old dogs around when I was a girl.

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    1. My grandparent’s dog lived to an old age, but it was rare back then, as few people could afford Vet bills, and nobody had insurance. Some of the very old dogs around here are quite pitiful to see, but their owners are so reluctant to have them put to sleep now.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s wonderful that Ollie is such a social dog. I’ve only owned one dog who did not do well with other dogs, and that was quite a problem. It’s not fun if your dog wants to fight (not play) with others. I ended up walking him at the crack of dawn before I went to work and then had to find isolated places for him to get a run in. I hope that Ollie can meet some new friends to replace the old ones.

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    1. Thanks, Pete. There are a couple of anti-social dogs around here. They have to be kept on a lead, and away from all other dogs. I think that having a dog like that would be quite depressing, and take away so much of the joy of waking your dog.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  4. Always sad to see pets deteriorate, even if owned by others. Dogs are very social creatures and I am sure Ollie misses his mates. I can only imagine how hard it is for the owners. It is hard for us when one of our ‘grand dogs’ takes ill. They are definitely important members of the family.

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  5. The story about Ollie’s old friends in heartwarming and I must admit that I, myself, am now experiencing some of the same kinds of stress that your dear little puppy friend must be experiencing with the passing of some of his old friends. The happy and positive moral to this story is that Ollie still has you.

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  6. Yes, pets are heart-breakers sometimes. We had a small border-collie-mixed-with-something who was deaf. She was completely fierce and fearless against any bigger dogs that didn’t understand she was THE big dog. It was cute and kind of scary sometimes, but she pulled it off. We think it may have been her deafness causing her to miss some cues and causing confusion on the part of bigger dogs.

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    1. One of the dogs (a Spaniel) around here is deaf and blind.. He wears a small coat warning people of that, and you have to approach him carefully, so he can smell you. He manages really well on just smells alone.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  7. I dont like to think about them getting to the end and would do anything to keep Jackie going as long as possible, however I sometimes feel that the decision to try and keep them alive when suffering is obvious is doing nothing but lining the pockets of the vets.
    I remember my Gran, a lifelong dog breeder, always wanted to be put to sleep once it was time and she no longer knew her mind or body, sadly she had to suffer a few more years before nature took her as no one would give her the injection.

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  8. It is sad news about some of Ollie’s mates. I’m glad Ollie doesn’t seem to be slowing down and still enjoys his walks and exercise. He may not enjoy a walk up here, though, the rain is horizontal today 😦

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  9. This reminds me of the decline of humanity , it is uncannily the same.
    For some we loved, the loveliest and the best
    That from His vintage rolling Time has pressed,
    Have drunk the cup a round of two before,
    And one by one crept silently to rest.’

    Liked by 2 people

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