You thought I needed a brother. I greeted him all-pawed as I do everyone. He hid under a chair. I don’t know why.

You pay a lot of attention to him. I thought you were all mine. 

I like him fine. He likes me a lot and keeps sniffing under my fur. When he bites my fur, I walk a little faster.

The first night he cried every few hours. When you or Dad got up to take him out, you let me come out too. I lifted my leg right over his. That was fun. The world has to know who’s in charge.

Yesterday, he left the cage empty and went away in Stephanie’s car. I don’t know if he’s coming back.

I’m thinking about him. He wasn’t here very long. 

Advice from Oliver: Being a big brother is a lot of work. Not every dog is cut out for it.



Above is my before photo. I am sad and smelly and weary after almost two weeks of wearing a dreadful white plastic cone around my neck.  My wonderful doctor removed a lumpy cyst from my eyelid, but then you made me wear this noisy, ugly, white thing. I even walked around outside with it where other dogs and people could see me. One person called it a lampshade. Oh, dog, I am such a good sport! I never complained. I never tried to take it off. Well, only once. I am a very good boy.

I was rewarded. I was so excited to go to the vet, I practically ran inside. I knew what was coming. He removed my eyelid stitches with a sharp, shiny instrument. You held my legs firmly on the cold table and told me I would be okay and I believed you. You discussed how thin I’ve gotten and I listened and was very happy that you said I could eat more since I love to eat.


After my stitches were gone, you drove me to the groomer who makes me beautiful. Her name is Bonnie. Isn’t she cute? She has been grooming me and all my predogcessors since 1972. She doesn’t look that old, does she? That’s because dogs make her laugh and sing. I like Bonnie even though I don’t like her hair dryer. Hair dryers are second to skateboards in my opinion.

Doctors and groomers make my life better. I am pretty close to perfect again.

Advice from Oliver: If you wait long enough, hard things get easier.


Sadness is the sister of Joy.

Sisters hold each other’s hands 

all through the night until morning.

My chin has been resting on my paws as I consider this. 

Sometimes, bad, sad things happen. 

Sometimes it takes a little time for my ears to perk up

to the melody of the plain clear sound 

of the White-throated sparrow 

or see the deep red flower 

hidden at the base of wild ginger. 

Friends lead me over soft paths strewn with yummy, fresh mulch. 

My heart thumps and my tail wags. 

Really good friends let me stray off the path, 

sniffing living things and bark I remember 

from trees born before I was.

Every second, someone’s outside light goes out. 

Some of their spirits I have known. Some I have not.

They glitter inside me when I dream. 

Sometimes I chase them.

I wish them all a beautiful flight into the heavens 

until I catch up, barking and leaping as I go. 

Especially noted today are sister Alex, Sally, Bob, and Daisy.

Advice from Oliver: We’re all family.



I have two big woofs today. The first one is something I learned from a vendor at the airport where we go to provide calm amidst the chaos in their program Airport Ambassadors—Wag more; bark less. Do you get it? I keep working on barklessness, but it’s impossible for me, especially when I see skateboards. They won’t be herded, that’s part of my problem with them.

But, that’s not the whole subject of my woof today. I fooled you. My other woof has to do with fluidity, going with the flow. I’m here to tell you I am gender fluid. That’s right. I’m here to announce I am a boy but it doesn’t offend me the least little bit if you think I am a girl. I wear a rubber band on top of my head, wrapped into a sprout which comes in all colors, including pink and other pastels, which, BTW, were once very popular for boys in the early twentieth century. I wear it so I can see everything better, not just to look cute. I love it when you put up my hair. 

Just so you, my reading audience, know. My scarves also come in all colors…you name it. My wag swagger is boy/girl. I can really swish my hips. I’ve just plain got it, regardless of my gender. 

People always ask, “Is it a boy or girl?” When they refer to me as “it,” they are thinking I can’t speak for myself and am just a neutral being. Well, we know that’s not true, don’t we? So, you always say, “Oliver is a boy.” But, even if you said I’m a girl, people would still think I’m adorable, so, really what difference does it all make? I want to be called by my name: OLIVER.

I will tell you about my dad, your sweetie, in another blog.

Advice from Oliver: Care less about gender and more about wagging.