https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Ollie-Home/540326415977878?fref=ts link to ollies facebook page and information on Ollie
Ollie....and the Hope Bones. Our Family's Story
My husband Patrick and I had been married 4 years and both serving in the armed forces at the time when Ollie joined our family. We already had 2 cats ,William Wallace a fat snugly orange tabby and Grommet also known as "scratchy bleedy". We attained our lover cat, Wallace from a farm near Hershey, Nebraska. He purred from the minute we got him. Then during our time in Texas Patrick saved Grommet while I was away on a 5 week TDY when she was just a kitten. She was from a Ferrel litter and the runt (sick and dying) when he found her and nursed her back to health. For some strange reason though...she loves me most and and sometimes only! She probably will scratch anybody else but I can kiss all over her without the slightest aggression. I called myself a cat person. I loved the way they snuggle (when they want to) and purr all around me. Patrick was the dog guy...although he never owned one, since the day I met him he always talked about wanting one of his very own.
I had a cat growing up named Fluffy and a dog named Oreo. Fluffy was a kitten my dad let me pick out when my other cat Charlie had died. I was devastated so my Dad did what only dads with daughters do....he let me choose another to give my heart and love to. I remember one time Fluffy had gotten ringworm and thus so had I. There was a terrible thunderstorm outside and unfortunately, so was Fluffy due to the virus. I begged for mom to let him in....I wanted him to be safe and I had ringworm already so there really was no reason to keep him out, I thought! I think Fluffy got to come into the house and spend the night in the bathroom....I snuck some snuggles when I thought no one was looking.
My family got Oreo from the animal shelter when he was just a puppy..he was a Cockapoo. A black and white ball of fur and I loved him! Oreo was a family dog but everyone knew he was mine. I snuggled on him and he loved on me as only puppies/dogs can do! We went everywhere together and when it was time for bed...I had both Oreo and Fluffy with me. When I went away to Arizona for college I left both at home with mom and dad. Fluffy had gotten sick my freshman year and died. I cried and cried. Mom said his fevers were so bad that he was laying on the sprinkler to cool down. On one of my return trips from college mom let me out a block before our house so she could go let Oreo out of the house and see if he would recognize me. He did! Before I even got up to the house he was on a dead sprint for my arms! He kissed and layed in my lap and would not get up! Those were happy memories. And people wonder why they call a dog man's best friend. When Oreo was gone I cried for days.
Enter Ollie. Patrick and I had a deal that when I got pregnant he would get a dog. He joked that if I got a pet (child) he would get a pet too (dog). Remember folks that was just a joke! But....not very far off. You see, it was Valentines 2012 and Patrick was getting ready to deploy in March again. We were stationed at Offutt Air Force Base and had bought our first home. Ironically it was right across the street from a new dog park. Perfect timing I thought so I began the search for his furry pal. I searched the shelters and nearby places for an Australian Shepherd. Every time I found one I was too late, already adopted! So I started looking at nearby states and found a litter born in Missouri 5 hours away. I called and found out about a little blue-eyed girl named "Steely". She was magnificent! At 10 weeks old, I took a day of leave from the Air Force and hopped in a car with my mom headed to Missouri. I got her a baby blanket to rub on her litter (so she could smell her family) and headed for the ranch where Steely was. The family was amazing and so was the litter! Steely became Ollie that night and a part of our family. My mother and I drove 5 more hours late into the night to bring her to her new daddy. It was around 1:30 in the morning when we arrived at home. Patrick was sleeping on the couch downstairs waiting for us. I grabbed the little blue-eyed bundle and took her inside. I will never forget my 6ft 3inch' husband opening the door for us...picking her up in his big strong hands and kissing her furry little head. She slept all night on our bed=)! Patrick was deploying 3 weeks later and I (the self proclaimed cat person) would be raising our puppy the first 7 months. I had also found out a week after getting Ollie that I was 4 weeks pregnant. It looked like we were both getting our "pets".
At 7 weeks pregnant Patrick had deployed, I was working and seriously sick with morning sickness. Only, it lasted all day long! Everything made me sick...especially Ollie! Her puppy smell got to me and then there was her puppyness. I drove home every day at noon to let her out for the bathroom and woke up with her twice every night. I am pretty sure she tried to eat everything and I was just too sick and exhausted to really exercise her. She chewed through two $80 computer cords and I was done! I wanted to rest and Ollie wanted to play. I even called my family to see if someone wanted a puppy...they laughed but I was halfway serious! At 20 weeks my sickness finally left and Ollie and I were becoming pals. I finally was able to take her to the dog park across the street and she loved it! At 7 months pregnant I put in my final days in the military and got out to be a stay at home wife and mother. Ollie and I now had a chance to bond more than just on weekends. I found her constant companionship comforting when Patrick was gone. I felt safe at night with her protecting us and wouldn't you know it....I took Ollie out of the crate at night and let her start sleeping with me. I know she knew I was pregnant! She followed me everywhere and her demeanor was quiet and tender. Patrick got home and she got her buddy back! They bonded with balls and runs and even working in the yard together. We went on family walks as I got bigger and bigger. And yes, Ollie slept on the bed with us! Patrick usually got up early in the mornings and let Ollie out as he prepared for work. Ollie would disappear from his side and end up back upstairs with me in our bedroom. It was like she was just checking on me. I let her.
Now let me tell you about Patrick and his Valentine girl. He had only got a good 3 weeks with her before he deployed. It was clear from the beginning that he loved her. He wrote about her in a blog and called the next years with her "the best yet to come". When he returned home from the deployment I met him on the base with Ollie in the back seat. I think she even got a bigger kiss than me! They played most mornings and almost every night they ventured across the street to the dog park for hours. He taught her how to walk on a leash the right way (I just let her lead me). When they returned Ollie was usually a hot mess full of dog slobber, dirt and mud. She would lay beside him or on him in sweet content. Ollie started learning his schedule. Have you seen the movie "Hachi"? That was Ollie and Patrick. Every morning she would walk him out to the car and watch him drive away and then around 5pm she would just sit on the step and wait for his return. When he came home....she was crazy for him! I have never seen a furry bum wiggle so much. The pictures I took of them are exactly how they were. She was always in his arms of love. She was his ever faithful snuggle buddy.
Our little guy was born in November last year and from the time we brought him home Ollie was wherever he was. She was his protector and friend. I was so happy our family was complete and I had fallen in love with Patrick's Valentines puppy. I had forgotten how amazing a dog's love and companionship could be. We planned for pictures when the little man was 3 weeks old and Ollie was included in that photo session with him. Late that December we planned a trip to Texas to see family. We were going to spend some time at the coast and could not wait to take Ollie fishing with us! Our plan was see the family on new years then take Ollie to the coast for 4 days of fishing and family. We drove to 6 hours Oklahoma the first night because we all needed a break. We booked a hotel room at the Embassy Suites (they take dogs). We had so much fun with Ollie....(sorry Embassy) but we ran through the room and played tag with her. We also jumped on the beds...well, we kind of slid on them but Ollie was jumping! It was so much fun. Our first family trip was starting out well. We got to Texas and stayed at Patrick's mom's. It was December 30th. That next morning Patrick got up early to let Ollie out and took the baby to let me sleep. A couple hours later he came to check on me. I will never forget what he said. "WHAT IS THIS???" He woke me up and and as I rolled over I came face to face with these beautiful blue eyes. Ollie had not only crawled into bed with me but was sleeping on his pillow. We laughed and I hugged her tight. I would not trade any of those moments with her.
That night wast New Years Eve. I was nursing inside the house when the fireworks started. It had just gotten dark around 6pm. Minutes later I came out of the bedroom to find my sister in law's small white dog hiding under a couch. I said "where is Ollie?" They said she was outside with everyone. I became worried and looked....no Ollie. Then, I became panicked! Ollie was missing....in all the excitement of the fireworks nobody had noticed they scared Ollie. Patrick didn't think she would have run. The other dogs she was playing with were still outside with the rest of the family but not Ollie. He hadn't even thought of her running because she had never been out of our site....ever! WE were devastated! Fireworks stopped and we looked everywhere. A search party lasted for about 4 hours. Nothing! Ollie was gone within 30 minutes. I was in tears and heartbroken. It rained heavy that night all night long but, I could not sleep. I left a 6 week old boy sleeping next to his daddy and walked. I walked and walked in the rain. I called for her and prayed for her. But, still no Ollie. We canceled our trip to the coast because we were missing a family member and stayed near San Marcos, Texas the next 9 days looking for her until we left. The local newspaper ran a front page story and picture of Ollie hoping someone might see her and return her. The local families in the Willow Creek subdivision started helping us look. I got phone calls of people who wanted me to look in the wooded areas behind their homes just in case she had gotten back there. They were amazing and still are. We sadly started our return home without Ollie.
It has been two months now since she has been missing. We continue to hope and pray for her safe return. Patrick deployed again so I wait for his return and for hers. This last week I spoke to my mom who told me she too is praying for Ollie's safe return. They live in a small town of western Nebraska. Mom tells me she looks at the horizon as she walks and thinks..."wouldn't it be great if someday I saw Ollie coming home". I look at her and agree with a smile. I too, scan the horizons and my back door looking for our girl. Then mom tells me something that increases my faith and fills my heart with joy and warm thoughts of hope.... "did I tell you I have been saving bones in the freezer for Ollie? I call them my "hope bones". I am going to give them to her when she returns. I love you, mom! "Hope Bones"......you see, Ollie, a lot of people love you and are looking for you. Because of your love I have even met some amazing people around the country. Thank you Melayna, Mary Ann, Heather, Carol and the Willow Creek Sub Division, Ton Ton, Lost Dogs of Texas, Australian Shepherds Lost and Found USA, Comal County lost and found dogs, PAWS Shelter & Humane Society, San Marcos Daily Record, San Marcos Animal Shelter and many others! Because of your kindness, Ollie is not forgotten and people are still looking when we cannot physically be there looking ourselves.
There are times I find myself looking at pictures of puppies and wishing for another dog to be my protector, cuddle-bug and friend. I have almost called on dogs available but then feel like I would be cheating on Ollie. I know that God will bring an Aussie into our lives again at the right moment....it will be the right dog and God willing it will be the perfect dog that chewed through 2 computer cords and snuggled right into the center of my heart...it will be Ollie and the best years will truly be "yet to come". Did I mention.....I am a DOG PERSON! =)
IF YOU READ THIS BLOG...PLEASE SHARE OUR STORY AND HER PICTURE WITH AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN! And if ever you see a dog bone remember the story of Ollie and the Hope Bones we have waiting for her. If your reading this and you are missing your four legged best friend...stick a bone and the freezer and hope! Don't ever give up! Fight for your missing loved ones like this military family is doing.